Horse decorated for Breast Cancer showAs anyone who’s read my books knows, I like horses. The sports I’ve competed in involve horses or dogs. Not that I was a real competitor; my coordination has never been good – but I do know a bit about horses. At one time, I rode in jumping and dressage classes. And when I get a chance, I still go to horse shows.

Mostly as a spectator and would-be photographer, these days. Once I was pretty good at catching horses over jumps with my Nikon. It actually took pictures when you pressed the button. My digital camera doesn’t.

Oh, it has a “burst” mode, for taking photos in rapid succession, but that’s not good enough to catch a horse over a jump without a lot of luck. One of my burst mode sequences is shown below, so you can see the time lag between the images.

Still, the show provided plenty of opportunities. For one thing, it was the “Jammies Jamboree” – the riders were supposed to wear pajamas. (G-rated.) And since it was to benefit the Breast Cancer Detection Center of Alaska, many of the horses were decorated appropriately.

Horses jumping

Pairs class. The idea is to have the horses take the jumps together.

I did get a few shots that actually caught horses over the jumps, rather than landing or taking off. Most of the jumps were pretty low, compared with what I remembered. (I have to admit that while my horse Challenge could have jumped anything in the show, I probably would not have gone over the jumps with him. I generally got a better rider to handle him in classes with impressive jumps.)

Horses in the bridleless class

Look, Ma, no reins! This horses in the bridleless class mostly had headstalls, but no reins were attached.

bareback jumping

The winner of one of the toughest classes was riding bareback.

And I actually got to ride! Granted it was a lead-line teddy bear race (the horse was strange to me and I have no sense of balance these days) but I just might start riding again. If I can find a somewhat narrower horse, that is!

Sport (horse)

Sport, who was kind enough to take me in the teddy bear race. He’s a big horse, and I don’t just mean wide!