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 Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014


Threshold to Achievement

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Standing on the threshold can mean a lot of different things. The threshold of a new career; new role in life; new home … and on.

For my interpretation I have opted to show a sequence of images depicting the threshold to achievement. A specific task lies ahead and before one can move on the task must be completed.

These images were taken at the Spruce Meadows Masters, Calgary, Alberta, a few years ago, and show an equine athlete and his showjumping partner mid-course negotiating one of the more challenging obstacles ~ the Derby Bank.

Here goes …


 On the threshold

At the top of the Derby Bank the brave pair prepare to cross the threshold …


 On the threshold II


 Boldly they go …


On the threshold III

Touch down!


On the threshold approach

But there’s more …


Over the threshold

A picture perfect leap over the threshold and then on to complete the course.


Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014


Shout Outs

The Gravel Ghost


Uncle Spike’s Adventures

The Thrill of Competition


International show jumping at Spruce Meadows, Alberta


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


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