A Rare Photo Opportunity

This past Sunday, I found out I had connections in places I didn’t know I had them. Seems my Dad is friends with the people who own and train the world famous Lippizan and Arab Horses. On Sunday we headed up to their huge ranch, but the trainer said the Lippizan’s could not be shown at that time when I was there, and I should call back on Tuesday as Tuesday is usually good…..so I left my number with them.
They called me yesterday when I was out and about, unexpectedly, saying I should come up to the Ranch right away. See, this is why I NEVER leave home without my gear! lol I BOLTED! When I arrived I was greeted by the caretaker and trainer. Who said “come over here, The Arabians are here!” And so, I thought “Ahhh those ARE Arabians afterall”….however when I asked, he said yes, but they are a very rare and special breed of them. He tried explaining in his broken English but it was hard to understand. All I know is that they were imported and now they raise them here. And they sell anywhere from 150-250k!!! Yowza! That is some serious cashola! Especially when ya have like 50 of them! So I followed him and one caught my eye, as I was walking past the stall, he stuck his head out and nudged me! I was like “wtf” and looked at him. When I did, he reared his head up, trotted back, and proceeded to do this lil dance lol I looked at him and said ‘what is THAT about" and he just came forward again and looked at me. The trainer meanwhile said “You wait there I go and get a Lipizzan for you!”. So I sat and paid this Arabian some company. Needless to say I had a new found best friend who liked to pull pranks and play games. What a character! he was camera shy at first, as when I held up my camera he reared back, looked at me, as if to say "WTF is THAT thing! I don’t like it! It looks like it hurts!" but after photographing him I assured him it was ok and before ya knew it he didn’t mind at all. I would sit there and be running and petting him on his nose, look away, and suddenly feel this hard pinch on my right arm! I would look back at him, and he would back away, again rearing his head, making some noise, and do this trotting jumping dace! I said “Ouch! Stop that” and he would just dance around, like he knew what he was doing all along and was telling me “Ha ha ha I got ya! See, pay attention to me!” like a lil kid lol I have never seen a Horse with so much personality ever before. And boy did he get miffed when I had to leave as the Lipizzan was awaiting!

Lipizzans…I never realized just how BIG these Horses are. They are MASSIVE in size. The trainer brought him out, all prettied up, put him in what is called a “Marching Practice Stall” and fired up the music. With whip in hand (only used for sound) I hear “Attention” and the horse starts dancing! I have never seen anything like it! Ever. What a sight to behold. This massive animal doing this dance routine, systematically, and you can tell he knows every step. Utterly elegant. I was totally awe struck by him. So much so that I almost forgot to photograph him, but I did! I was then treated to one of the smaller barns where they house some of the Lipizzan & Arabian Horses at. It was here I saw what I can only describe as the King of the Lipizzans. This pure white Stallion with the sun reflecting off him in this dark stall….I was able to spend a few minutes alone with this guy as well, and he was such a gentle giant….a huge, massive horse, that screams royalty and elegance…and I got some excellent shots of him.

So after this I decided to go play my friend “Arab the Arabian” (as I called him now) a visit again. And again he was up to his pranks and games. I just could not get over the character of this Horse! It was really something being able to spend time alone with this Horse, and I can’t really describe it, other than it is akin to a spiritual experience. He was sad when I had to leave, but before I did, I leaned forward to him, gave him a kiss in the nose, and promised him I would be back…and soon!

So I have a new best friend, some incredibly photos to share with you all, and a photoshoot like none I have ever done before. I can come back at any time, just call ahead first is what I was told. Ya know, I am gong to take them up on that offer REAL soon I think! I already miss “Arab the Arabian”…

get ready folks, I have a LOT of shots to share with ya as I have been shooting like an absolute madman! Time to get my sales up :)
—John

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