Luis Ortega specializes his activities to educate difficult horses, using swimming in the open sea to win the confidence and the respect of the horse. Currently he breeds sport-horses, using water technique to train high level horses.
Luis Ortega Swimming with Horses
This is just fascinating I have never seen anything like this before. Mathieu Louis at work during the concours international de débardage in Paliseul, July 27, 2011 in the ” Men on the word” Belgian draft horse , Cheval de trait Belge Belgian draft horse.
I was speaking to an acquaintance recently, and was describing one particular friend of mine, and explained that she was one of “the best horsewomen I’ve ever met.” To this, my newly acquainted friend replied, “Yes, I know so many horsewomen. The riding lifestyle is so cool. It’s really ‘in’ right now.”
It was one of those comments where you kind of dig your toes in the the little holes in the soles of your boots and smile blandly… and move on to the next topic of conversation.
You see, the rest of the world just doesn’t get it. Yes, there is a lifestyle we live that appears attractive, but the reality (or perhaps the smell of it) is certainly less so. So I set myself to characterizing what I think makes being a ‘Horsewoman’ different from just a rider – or what popular culture seems to term ‘equestrian’ (yes, it’s that word that makes all of us who have a bigger barn wardrobe than ‘good clothes’ wardrobe gag a little big behind our smiling teeth).
I started where I always start by seeking the advice of my old friend, Webster.
1: a woman who is a rider or a driver of horses; especially: one whose skill is exceptional.
2: a woman skilled in caring for or managing horses.
3: a woman who breeds or raises horses. First use: circa 1578
Equestrian: (n) one who rides on horseback. First use: 1774
And voila, there it is. I couldn’t have put a finer point on it if I tried. There’s no shame in not knowing how to hook up the chains on a goose-neck trailer. Or why you buy the small hole hay-nets. Or why you have bottles of Listerine in your barn and make stealthy midnight trips like a ninja warrior with the winter rugs to the local Laundromat (and yes, you pay to do one, maybe even two rinse cycles thank you very much). You know how to use a chain over the nose, under the lip, and never met a horse you couldn’t twitch. You are the one everyone calls to come help when the vet or the farrier shows up, and you’re the one that can spot a sprung shoe just by listening to the horses being brought in from turnout. You can look out the kitchen window and know when they’re sick, in heat, lame, feeling good, or just plain cold. And you love every part of knowing all that. That makes you a horsewoman and if Webster is correct, there were a lot more of us around a long time ago.
Enter the age of Equestrianism. I know many very accomplished equestrians. Some of them even go to the gym to be better at the sport. Some of them are very good at teaching the sport to others. The true riders spend hours in the saddle, and work very hard in their lessons, they school and ride and the most elegant specimens are straight out of a Ralph Lauren ad. They don’t have the desire to dip foal umbilical cords in iodine, or scrub water tubs daily. They aren’t interested in nutritional rations because it comes with the board. And that’s okay – it truly is. Because the days where people chose rural existence or city living are largely over . . . because, for the most part, the few horse farms that manage to still exist amongst the subdivisions given names to “Colts Chase” and “Farm View” are valued more for the lifestyle they allude to than their actual production value. Those of us who can choose to completely immerse ourselves in the lifestyle and make it our livelihood are becoming fewer and fewer. The proof lies in that there are far more recreational ‘riding’ (equestrian) farms than actual breeding operations that produce the horses that become riding horses.
Now, don’t misunderstand my attempt at humor for belittling anyone for not stacking hay because they have a 9-5 job, or who enjoys passing a hot sweaty horse off to a groom to hose in the summer because they have to dash to make it to the bus stop. Besides, it’s an expensive hobby, so who wouldn’t? I just find the interesting and probably quite dramatic change from ‘livelihood’ to ‘lifestyle’ for the woman who is associated with horses. Apparently, that change started somewhere around 1774 and now, it is presently the ‘in thing.’ Go figure.
I asked my dear daughter, the 7-year old Goldilocked princess who still puts on her Elsa dress early on a summer morning and runs around whinnying to each of the members of our herd in the “back yard”, maybe just because she can. . . I asked her what she would like to be. Would she like to be an equestrian and a rider? Or a Horsewoman who would know enough how to rider and to take care of her own horses?
And the sage wisdom of the first grader didn’t disappoint.
“I would rather be a horsewoman.”
“Because, even if I get a bad score at a show, I would get to go home and spend time with my horse, just him and me, and ride when there’s no one to watch, and take care of him all by myself and know what to do when he’s hurt.”
So says the kid who laughs at the Barbie horse whose saddle buckles around his flanks instead of the girth.
I like to ride when no one is watching, too. A lot.
Eliza Puttkamer-Banks (Trinity Dressage) is a dressage trainer, competitor and instructor with a diverse discipline and breed background. Originally from the Midwest, Eliza married her husband Stephen and moved to England, and then returned to the USA to New Jersey, where they have settled and are parents to a horse crazy 7 year-old daughter, Paige.
Remember Mathieu Louis from ” Men on the word” Belgian draft horse , Cheval de trait Belge Belgian draft horse. Here is a story on him I wish I could translate but the images tell an amazing story of a real horseman.
The tank top horse specializes in skidding of softwood volumes (not cut into logs), very well developed industry in Belgium, and allows for greater appreciation of small timber up to 90 cm. circumference of 1.50 m. off the ground. Skidding with horses is the skidding phase of moving the timber from their point drop after slaughter to the edge of the road or to where they can be supported by mechanized means skidding. This is often a perfect addition and very profitable mechanization when skidding distances do not exceed 70 m. for the horse and the hauling machine to the place of storage is relatively long.
Directed and animated by Rebecca Manley
A small girl is crying because there is a hole in her stomach, suddenly a mysterious horse appears and things begin to change…
I animated this film primarily using sand on glass on 35mm film. I then made cakes, dresses and the model house and animated them stop-motion. Compositing was done in After Effects by John Taylor, and the film was produced by Chris Shepherd.
This is so nice, she is singing her hit song “Looks Like We Made it”
When I first saw you, I saw love.
And the first time you touched me, I felt love.
And after all this time, you’re still the one I love.)
Looks like we made it
Look how far we’ve come my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew we’d get there someday
They said, “I bet they’ll never make it”
But just look at us holding on
We’re still together still going strong
(You’re still the one)
You’re still the one I run to
The one that I belong to
You’re the one I want for life
(You’re still the one)
You’re still the one that I love
The only one I dream of
You’re still the one I kiss good night
Ain’t nothin’ better
We beat the odds together
I’m glad we didn’t listen
Look at what we would be missin’
I’m so glad we made it
Look how far we’ve come my baby
Hey everyone I just got an email from a friend downunder! Ang produced the following video and it looks super interesting it is featuring the renowned Australian equine scientist and researcher Sharon May-Davis Sharon is in demand around the world as a lecturer on subjects such as horse anatomy and biomechanics and as seen in this video the palpable equine muscle. Visit Horse Fix Australia Facebook page here. Thanks for sharing this with us Ang 🙂
Every day thousands of unwanted pets languish and die in Animal Shelters in the United States. If you are seeking companionship maybe you can find a place in your heart for a animal companion.
Some images I captured at the Bedgebury Park Equestrian Centre, A mixture of unguarded moments between owners & there horses showing that look which only last for a moment but says so much. Thanks to Chris Cozens for being able to use this amazing music.