Ace Ventura, American Azteca

A friend of mine unexpectedly lost her much-loved horse, Ace, to severe colic this week. This post is in  his honor.

Ace was rescued from a local livestock auction when he was a yearling. His rescuer asked around and managed to find out a bit of his history and his breeding. Turned out his sire was an Andalusian and his dam was a quarterhorse, so she set out to acquire the necessary documentation and get him registered as an American Azteca. Lacking some of the finer details such as specific birth date, she arbitrarily gave him April 1 as his birthday and named him Ace Ventura. He not only lived up to his name but also his assigned birth date, and never outgrew either! He came to live with my friend when he was around two years old, I believe.

Ace was a beautiful, kind and charismatic prankster, and far too intelligent and athletic for his own good. My friend really had to “up” her horsemanship skills to keep up with this special horse, but his antics always kept her laughing, and he proved to be a solid and reliable, and much admired, trail companion.

Ace’s person and I met through our shared enthusiasm for Iberian horses. My own much-missed Oporto was a purebred Lusitano, Portuguese cousin to the PRE (Pure Spanish horses, sometimes known as Andalusians), and at the time we met there weren’t many Spanish and Portuguese horses around where we live. So the loss of Ace has really hit me hard, too – he felt like extended family to me. It almost feels like the end of an era.

We’re going to miss you, Ace…

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Equine impressions

Time for some more creative blurs. This pair of images was captured while visiting a nearby equestrian centre. I intentionally moved the camera while shooting in combination with a slow shutter speed to achieve the effect. I particularly like how this technique can produce ‘ghosting’ in parts of the image.

Waiting at the gate

donkeys-6563-

I featured this adorable donkey foal in a post last summer. Here’s a different image of her with her dam. They were waiting at a cattle grid/gate when we arrived half way up the mountain in the Haute Savoie region of France, fairly close to Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Christmas leftovers

orange cat sleeping on wicker chair

While we are still only a month past Christmas, here’s a an image to warm a cold – or for us here, a grey – winter day. Once again featuring Ricky, from my Cats in the Sun series. Yes, I’m playing with my software again. Or maybe I should say still playing?

 

Artful Cat

Another milestone for my blog – today it cracked the 500 subscriber mark! So another big thank you to every one of you who follows mythical horse on a regular basis, as well as to everyone who comments and likes my posts. I’m blown away that so many of you enjoy my images enough to keep looking for more! 🙂 It’s opened up a whole new world for me, and I’ve learned a lot in the 9 months since my first blog post last May. You all have given me the confidence with my photography and processing to further explore creative avenues that I really enjoy but which had received mixed reviews from friends. Thank you for changing that!

Right now I’m really into playing with my software, so expect to see quite a few creatively processed images in the next few weeks. Today’s image is a rework of one of the images I featured in my Halloween post, one of my cat’s eyes images that I felt needed a little more exposure. A neighbor’s cat that was lounging on the front step.

Black cat portrait, digital art

 

Patience

crop view of horse and rider

This is an image of a horse and rider waiting their turn at a classical riding workshop. I captured this image a few years ago and it’s languished in my photo library ever since because altho there was something about it that I liked, the background in the original was really not attractive and the exposure was a little off. At the time I didn’t have Lightroom or NIK or some of my other go-to software that I use now. So when I came across the image a couple of weeks ago and casually played around with the exposure settings, then let NIK loose on it, and then added a custom bokeh background, I was rather surprised by how much I suddenly liked the image. I love how the light catch’s the horse’s eye. You may need to view the larger image to see it.

I’m posting it today to remind me to make up a print for the rider in question. She’s going to love it!