Monday, July 29, 2013

Angelina Jolie Rides Side Saddle

I came across this awesome video of Angelina Jolie riding in a scene for the movie Tomb Raider.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ponies to the Carnival Grounds

By Kitson

This (very amateur) video that I shot yesterday pretty much sums up the fun and excitement of pony penning. The little one on three legs was all fixed up by this morning's auction.
One of the foals auctioned off this morning at the Chincoteague Pony Penning.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pony Penning Day

By Kitson

A few pictures from the pony swim Chincoteague today. It stormed like crazy as the ponies were set to swim at slack tide (the moments between high and low tide), but a little business from Mother Nature did not hold back the Salt Water Cowboys from driving the ponies on...
Before the storm, a Saltwater Cowboy rides his horse, a mare named Lady, through the marsh for a cold drink.

The cowboy's horses from the other side arrive on Chincoteague via party boat.

This was right before I put my camera away -- we got drenched - ponies and people.

An hour later, parading down Main Street to the carnival grounds. Now the sun decides to come back out!

Tight quarters for two stallions leads to ... disagreements.

Where are we Mama??

The kick zone...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pony Time

By Kitson

It’s always pony time at the Island Theater in Chincoteague, Virginia.
Chincoteague never hustles or bustles quite as much as it does on the eve of the annual pony swim. Yesterday at day break, the saltwater cowboys moved the ponies from the northern corral out to the beachfront and south along the Atlantic to join the ponies in the southern corral. Today, the line at the Island Creamery for marsh-mud flavored ice cream snakes all the way to Maddox Boulevard and carnival-goers rush to buy their raffle tickets for a chance at winning King or Queen Neptune -- the first foal to come ashore

Come 7:15 tomorrow morning, I’ll be sitting on a pier waiting to watch the ponies swim the channel --something I've looked forward to pretty much my whole life.

Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time: Book Review

Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time
Missy Tait-Zeller

Do you miss reading horse books like the ones you read as a kid?  You know, ones with plenty of horse in them, not just where the stable is a setting for all kinds of human problems?  While her book is not really for horse-besotted children--too much danger, excitement, family discord, a little bit of cross-dressing and some commentary on handsome men--Missy Tait-Zeller has written a book for true horse-lovers called Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time.

While the protagonist, Serena, is an accomplished rider and Westerner who "mourned the loss of the buffalo," she is also a mother, wife, and the owner of Rim-Fyre, an uncommonly well-behaved stallion.  He is just as much a character as she is.  Here's a passage that illustrates their closeness:  "Feeling like she needed to move around and go talk to Rim for a few minutes, she stood up and tossed a few more branches on the fire. . .It took a few seconds before Serena could discern Rim-Fyre grazing nearby.  He lifted his head when she began walking toward him so he met her half way, placing his muzzle in her hands.  Serena ran her right hand under the long heavy mand on the left side of his neck and felt the warmth of him in the cooling evening air."

This is an exciting story--time travel, the West, and well-chosen epigraphs from authors like Neil Gaiman--but the true understanding of horses, and how those of us who love them feel connected to them in ways not bound by time or space, is what truly carries Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time.

Chincoteague Pony Penning or Bust

By Kitson

Today, all that stands between me and the annual pony swim in Chincoteague, VA is that darned scary bridge. Just last Friday, THIS happened, which has been keeping me up at night. I'll be heading out from DC midday, and hoping traffic heading toward the Eastern Shore will be light. Once I get there, I'll head over to the carnival grounds where I"ll find out what time the press bus is leaving to watch the pony swim on Wednesday a.m. Can't wait! Here are some of the ponies I'll be scouting with my camera... marshy updates coming via the SweetFeed by the boatload.

Sergeant Reckless Honored at Quantico

Sergeant Reckless, the equine Marine, now has a statue honoring her at Quantico.  And, as often happens, the kids' section of my hometown paper explains the story best.  Click here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cedric Hearts Polo Mints

By Kitson

Did you know that showjumper Cedric's favorite way to pass the time on all of his many international flights is nibbling little white polo mints? This is one of a few little-known facts about this international super-star that I learned  while interviewing some of Cedric's entourage last week for a children's book I'm working on. Yum! I'm guessing Cedric's a cruncher, not a sucker.

Soledad O'Brien and Her Daughter Love their OTTBs

By Kitson

Check out this nice article about news reporter Soledad O'Brien and her affection for her horses.