Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kelly & Symon and a Journey into my Fractured Psyche

Last month I did a photo shoot for a lovely young woman named Kelly and her horse Symon.

This shoot brought back all the years I spent in love with horses.  Horses were my very reason for existing.  I lived, breathed, ate and dreamed horses.

Every birthday I would get a new plastic horse to add to my massive collection (that still have to this day). My grandfather made me a barn for all my plastic horses from a heavy card board box.  We painted it red and cut out doors & windows.  I played with that box for years.  I drew horses, painted horses, read about horses, even wanted to marry a horse and live happily every after on a Kentucky horse ranch.

Once when I was in the 4th grade I actually told everyone in my class during "show & tell" that my dad owned a horse ranch in Kentucky.  Each Friday after school I would board a plane and fly to our horse ranch. I brought several of my Breyer plastic horses to show everyone and to illustrate my whopper of a lie.  To me, it was the truth. I had a healthy fantasy life albeit a tenuous grasp on reality.  I forgot that we lived in a extremely small one stop light town.  My brother heard about our ranch during recess, my parents later that evening.  Dinner time was an uncomfortable affair. 

I needed a fantasy life to retreat into after that fiasco.  I was teased about that until high school graduation.

The shoot was at the stable where Symon was boarded on his vacation, prior to going back to his trainers barn.  The corral was less than photogenic but we worked with what we had.  Unfortunately I ended up doing some heavy post processing (textures and layers) to most of the images as an attempt to salvage them from less than desirable back ground.  All in all I was happy with the results.

Hopefully we created some memories for Kelly to look back on in the future. 

Now she has pictures for her future daughter to take to school and share at "show & tell".  She can talk about a special horse her mom loved.   I hope no one teases her.

Every girl should have a horse

A horse can be a friend,  steadfast companion

 A confidant and keeper of secrets

A horse doesn't care if you are a young girl retreating from her life into an alternate reality - one that only exists in her head. 

A horse doesn't call you names, or pin you to the ground, take your pants off then run away waving your pants over their head to a cheering crowd of evil children.  All the while leaving you sobbing, sans britches, behind the baseball back-stop. A horse would not make you walk in your underwear across the play ground only to find your britches hanging from the nearest monkey bars.  Where are teachers when you really need them? 

No, my fantasy horses kicked those mean kids asses.

The horses on my Kentucky horse ranch loved me unconditionally

The only time they tried to mess with my britches was when I had carrots in my pockets.

I would ride my horses across the hills then right into the school yard.  We would lasso my tormentors...drag then over the square-ball court, bash their heads up against the tether ball pole, then string each one of them up on the monkey bars without THEIR pants.   We would stand there pointing, neighing and laughing while they screamed for help that never came. 

My horse was my hero.

My best friend

Too bad he was plastic.  But he had a really cool name.  Black Beauty.  Original huh?

Now you know the true extent of the pathology which haunts my every waking moment. I am happy to tell you that I have had several years of therapy and can see monkey bars on the playground without disintegrating into a weeping sobbing mess of dirt, grime and saline.  It was ugly, oh so ugly.

Be glad you didn't see it.  It would have scarred your corneas.  Future organ donation rendered impossible. 

Occasionally I find myself revisiting the Kentucky horse ranch in my mind.  My husband likely will tell you that is where he thinks I go the times he has found me rocking and sobbing in a corner.  Teenagers have a way of bringing back the trauma's of youth. 

There is nothing quite like a girl and her horse

Nothing quite like it at all...


julie said...

*silenced* by your post... Totally get what your saying.
And those pictures? Truly awesome!

MTWaggin said...

Lovely, just lovely.

gvmama said...

I was one of those lucky little girls. My horse was my sanctuary.
Your photos made me reflect.

KPR said...

Carolynn, the artistry behind these photos is amazing. What a lovely young girl, a very lucky horse, and an awesome photographer to capture what it all really is. Nice nice job.

Karen said...

Wow........and then I cried:(, and then I smiled near the end.
I was lucky enough to have a horse from my mid teens on, and remember thinking that when people let me down, my horse was still there, warts (issues) and all.
That was my first reaction to your post. I'm sure I'll come back later and wish I had written something else, but I wanted to let you know how it affected me, while the tears were still on my cheeks.
And absolutely BEAUTIFUL photos. Wow!!!

Danielle said...

Beautiful pictures... I was the same way as a kid, only I was lucky enough to have a horse. I saved all my model horses and the barn my dad made me for my kids. I hope they have as much fun with them as I did.

Emma Rose said...

You have outdone yourself. Simply breathtaking.

Sarah said...

gorgeous. really amazing photos. that could have been writing that! funny, i was the same way growing up except i wanted to live at spruce meadows and be a show jumper :)

kdienstm said...

I love the tag of "post traumatic pants disorder". I'm wondering how many hits you'll get with those search terms:)

Monique said...

I'm so glad you are in a place where we could share with you. Thank you for letting us.

Mama Dash said...

what a beautiful moment. we are lucky to have shared in it through these pictures.

Erin said...

I love all of your picturea, you are very talented.

An English Shepherd said...

Lovely, lovely pictures :-)


Versailles Rose said...

Totally understand and had been right where you were in those years. =P

I loved horses, still do, but I never owned one and never will. However, I did own one of the most wonderful dogs that ever breathed. Pepper made up for a lot of things in my life.

BCxFour said...

Versailles Rose - I read on your blog that Pepper slipped away. I was heart broken for you. I tried to post a comment but it wouldn't let me. (Don't let that mean comment get you down...it was most likely a spammer and coincidence). If you would, can you send me a several of your favorite pictures of Pepper? I would like to do something for you. You can email me at bcxfour at yahoo dot com. Hope to hear from you soon!


Greenhill Farm said...

Dear help you! What a terrible bunch you went to school with! Bet they don't have a Ranger to cheer them up!

I love horses too, and have quite a few plastic ones of my own.

The Thundering Herd said...

Your photos of the horse remind me of the beautiful paintings by Judy Larson.

RYKER said...

OMG, those photos are stunning! And what an amazing team!
I am awe struck!