Up The Rigging

 

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Tall ships are full of lines and geometry.

So beautiful in form and substance.

These are random images captured on a hot day at a Tall Ships event in Toronto Harbour, June 2013. I was so fortunate to be on the water in a friend’s motorboat for this experience.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

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©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2018 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lines

Waiting

 

Waiting

 

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My submission to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness Week 27 takes us to sunny Spruce Meadows just south of Calgary, Alberta.

These children waiting with anticipation for the next horse and rider to appear for a big show jumping class in the main grandstand remind me of when I was a little girl with an insatiable passion for horses.

I started riding lessons at age 10 at a stable in north London, England. When I wasn’t at the stable I was reading horse books, leafing through the Moss Bros. equipment catalogue ad nauseum, making copious lists of horse names and colours and temperaments, and playing show jumping in the back yard with my best friend, pretending we were horses and launching ourselves over home made obstacles constructed from brooms and buckets and anything else we could find that would serve.

And certainly, I was daydreaming of having a horse to call my own one day ~ one I would keep in the shed in the back yard and gallop around the local park. 😉 (I had to wait 33 years for my dream to come true ~ minus the shed, etc. See my blog Musings of a Horse Mom for more about my experiences with my darling Shakespeare aka Bear.)

In the summer I would watch televised broadcasts from Hickstead ~ the main outdoor venue in England for the big show jumping events at the time (it still is, I think). In the fall I’d get special permission to stay up late the week the Horse of the Year show which, at the time was televised from Wembley Arena, not far from where we lived.

Occasionally, I even got to go. Oh the sights, the sounds, the smells … pure heaven!

I lived for the thrill of just seeing a horse (when I wasn’t at the stable) and being with the horses when I was there.

During the roller coaster of life I’ve fallen off the equestrian wagon a few times and had no contact with horses at all. It can safely be said that those were among the most miserable times for me. Separated from my passion I was denied an important part of my Self.

Official Portrait 2013A death in the family 20 years ago brought me back to the horse and, as it turns out, this free-spirited animal in all its beauty and wisdom has proven to be a catalyst for positive change and an important partner in my healing journey.

And it’s all because I was a little girl with a passion for horses.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

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©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

Flying Change

Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story

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Dallard and Hershey

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As we all know the trajectory of a life can change in a split second. You might call it a flying change.

Yesterday I was watching my new friend Dallard and his horse, Hershey, have a lesson with our coach, Stefan.

In this precise moment they’d just executed a lovely flying lead change (when a horse switches canter leads in mid air, thus a “flying” change), while Stefan pointed them in the new direction.

The remarkable thing about this image is the backstory.

Dallard purchased Hershey, a half-Thoroughbred/half-Hanoverian gelding, in June 2005 for his wife, Karen, six months after her diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. She was not a smoker.

In his own words: “She competed him once at an RCRA (Royal Canadian Riding Academy) Ice Breaker to complete a bucket list item. She was absolutely thrilled. I was Hershey’s groom for those three and a half years and I fell in love with him.”

When Karen died on July 18, 2008, Dallard couldn’t bear to part with Hershey and so started to ride, even though he’d had no previous riding experience.

Dallard is 70 years young.

Hershey is an angel.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

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Shout Outs

Wind Against Current

Travel Stained

snaphappi

Which Way Now 101

Hellisjones

 

The Thrill of Competition

competition

International show jumping at Spruce Meadows, Alberta

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I love to watch show jumping.

It’s a high-energy spectacle featuring high-powered equine athletes and their skillful and talented riders while they negotiate a tough series of colourful obstacles within a set time limit.

The soft pounding of hooves on grass or in the sand ring; the flutter of the horses’ nostrils as they anticipate each jump; the incredible synchronicity between horse and rider and the thrill when a favourite combination gets a clear round ~ I love to be a part of this.

However, watching energy requires energy, and I have found recently, as I manage the effects of adrenal fatigue, that the thrill of competition resonates at too high a frequency for me. I can only take in these high-energy competitions in small doses.

Last week we attended the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, an annual tradition. Usually we buy tickets to the evening equestrian competition, but this year we passed on that as I’m still not well enough to indulge in an exciting evening’s entertainment. It’s too bad because I really love to watch the parade of beautiful horses in the driving, jumping and dressage competitions.

Instead we took advantage of the free day time jumping competitions. This way I could enjoy the thrill in small doses and, as there was no extra cost involved, we could leave when we wanted without feeling we’d wasted our money.

As far as participating in equestrian competition is concerned those days are probably behind me. If there’s a nice, relaxed dressage schooling show in the area Bear and I might have a little fun with that. We’ll see how life unfolds. My health dictates the terms of my participation so for now, at least, the thrill of competition belongs to others.

It is what it is, and I’m okay with that.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

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More Competition

Life in the park | Bright Moments Catcher
Competition | The Magic Black Book
Boy vs. Dog | It’s a wonderful F’N life
Checkers | A mom’s blog
Competition | Colline’s Blog
Mah-Jongg: Drama in the home! | alienorajt
Daily Prompt: Game | Chronicles of a Public Transit User
Its All About The Game | Life Confusions
Daily Prompt: The Perfect Game | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV … Horse Play

In this series of images for the Weekly Photo Challenge  I’m highlighting my horse, Shakespeare, during a training session.

I’m not afraid to look at the horse a little differently. To me there is beauty from every angle, and playing with these angles gives me a lot of pleasure and, often, some great images.

Please enjoy my point of view …

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy 🙂

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Shout Outs

Sitting on the Porch

All that I am. All that I ever was.

Miki Kuwabara Photography

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©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

Gaucho … Argentina

In Fall 2009 we had an opportunity to visit Buenos Aires for a week. Business for Lloyd; play time for me.

One of the excursions on the partner program took me to a polo estancia outside of the city.

I, and the other partners booked into this day trip, were royally treated by our hosts to an elaborate meal of grilled meat known as asado, as well as copious amounts of Argentine Malbec wine.

After lunch the estancia’s gauchos demonstrated their equestrian prowess by playing horse games for us. This gaucho and his horse are resting momentarily from their exertion.

Since I know what it’s like to take a breath with my own horse between bursts of activity, I can really relate to the sense of resting and waiting this image evokes. Note the horse’s ears are turned backward — possibly wondering what the heck I’m doing, but more likely waiting for a cue from the gaucho.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Pilgrimage … Spruce Meadows, Alberta

Being rather fond of horses I make a point of experiencing the local equestrian scene, if there is one, wherever I travel. When I’m in Alberta this means a pilgrimage, if you will, to the mecca of Canadian show jumping, Spruce Meadows.

Spruce Meadows is a world-class equestrian competition site located south-west of Calgary and geared specifically to the exciting and skill-testing sport of show jumping. During the competition season, which runs spring through fall, the venue, hailed as one of the finest in the world, attracts the best horse and rider combinations from around the globe to compete for top prize money and the prestige of being ranked among the top competitors in the sport.

Founded by Marg and Ron Southern, Spruce Meadows sits on 400 beautiful acres and was officially opened in April 1975. Since then it has attracted millions of visitors, in part because of its goal to offer affordable family fun. It’s not unusual to see parents and children enjoying the beautiful grounds and exhibits, and participating in activities like the annual “Name the Foal” contest, which is associated with Spruce Meadows’ active and respected Hanoverian breeding program.

My needs are simple. I just want to see the beautiful horses and check out the tack shop and other shopping opportunities — maybe I can add to my barn jacket or fleecy collection. And, of course, I take out my camera and capture whatever catches my eye.

Packed stands in the International Ring on a Sunday afternoon during the 2011 National tournament, June 2011.

A horse and rider (whose names escape me, sadly) tackle the Derby bank leading to the jump in the image below.

Thanks for visiting …

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012