Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Supper time for the Remuda

One of the more pleasurable chores at the ranch is feeding the horses. Can you imagine feeding from the horses point of view. They see the cart coming full of alfalfa and grain twice a day and the excitement begins. When I feed the 3-year-olds they try to pick out their own flake of alfalfa, and often succeed. They pull it out and I put their scoop of grain on top. The most exciting group to feed is the remuda of mares with foals and the three yearlings. There is lots of competition and inspection of each portion put before them. They always think that the others got a better flake of alfalfa and more hay than the others. They only ones that really got a better flake and more grain are the mares, and they will effectively defend, yet take time to check out the others take, just in case. All it takes is pinned ears and a shake of the head and the yearlings move over and make room. The yearlings often fight amongst themselves. The chocolate dun is particularly defensive about her feed and will often kick out at any of the other two who approach. It is always advisable to keep an eye on this filly and make sure you don't get in the cross fire. Click to see a selection of photos of the remuda.

Friday, May 26, 2006

McKinney Hills watercolors, Big Bend National Park, Texas.

During Fall of 1984 through the early Summer of 1985 I was doing Geology Thesis field work in a remote eastern side of Big Bend National Park. I spent up to 4 days at a time in the field and often did watercolor paintings in the evenings after I finished.
Mckinney Hills ViewThese two watercolors are of a prominent ridgeline from three different points of view. The top section of the painting in the upper right is a view from the North west as I approached McKinney Springs. The Lower section of the top painting and the painting to the left are looking at this ridgeline from the interior of the McKinney Hills. I have several additional watercolors in this Adobe Album. The painting of the bare tree and pedernal was done in Northern New Mexico, the other paintings were done in my thesis research area in Big Bend National Park.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Walk Through Art

After mailing orders from last week I headed to the "New" Northpark Mall in Dallas. This is the same Mall I grew up visiting on a regular basis. I saw the same tile planters with the sloping wall and kids are still running up and down the slope. This mall is like a northern annex of the Nasher Sculpture Center, but without the $10 admission fee. It is chock full of "REAL" art, by artists including Andy Warhol. The sculpture above is by an artist whose name I forget (will update when I remember or am reminded) but I see his work at the Dallas Museum of Art on the Ross Street Plaza. It is really fun watching folks walk through it and stop in the center and look up. This is a great way to get folks to notice art. If you can't get them to the museum, take the Museum to the people.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

ACHA Weekend Proofs Posted and Orders Submitted

I have now submitted orders taken at the ACHA Weekend show and have posted all of the proofs at AmericasCutter.com. In addition I have a photo gallery of Circuit winners for the weekend. The photo above is Melanie Tiepermann showing Sons Matilda to win the $2,500 Circuit award.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

ACHA Weekend Cutting at Nueces Canyon Ranch

I just returned from a great 3 days at Nueces Canyon Ranch Resort near Brenham, Texas. I stayed at their wonderful Inn and photographed the Annual ACHA weekend Cutting. If you are a cutting horse enthusiast in Texas, this is a must visit location. It is owned by the family of Trainer Constantine Caloudas and includes a great cutting pen with many stalls and places to park large rigs. For those traveling without horses there is a 12 room Inn with very nice rooms. Take your cell phone as there is no phone service in the rooms, and don't plan on watching TV. There is TV but reception is poor. There are too many things to do to be watching TV anyway, this is a retreat, not a continuation of your home life anyway.

Saturday Night a Louisiana Cutter hosted a real Cajun crayfish boil (with over 400 lbs of crayfish) with all trimmings (Red Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, cooked onions, and smoked sausage). The cutting horse show was over at about 5pm on Sunday and I was on my way back to Dallas after a stop at Starbucks for provisions. I will post a photo or two tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

ACHA Weekend at Nueces Canyon

I have confirmed that I will be at the ACHA Weekend (May 19-21) at Nueces Canyon for 3 days of Cutting Horse Photography. Just as I completed 3 days at Brenham for the Bluebonnet Stakes barely 2 weeks ago I am back to South Central Texas for 3 more days of cutting. This time however there will be more grass-roots amateur and non-pro cutting as opposed to mostly limited age events.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cutting Horse Pastels

In addition to Equine Action Photography I also use images in artwork. This is an example of one of my pastels from a photo taken of Hickory Molly Mac at a Texas Cutting Futurity. I have many other pastels, Conte, and Charcoal drawings some of which may be seen here.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Ranch Rodeo and Ranch Work

Double Mugging event at Rafter J working cowboy Ranch Rodeo
Not much time to post over the last several days. Most of the time I have been working at the ranch mowing pastures, horse keeping, and other assorted ranch chores.
Saturday morning I took a little time to go by the Rafter J Working Cowboy Ranch Rodeo. The photo to the left is of a team in the double mugging event.

Saturday evening I was able to carve a little horse riding time. There is nothing like sunset ride in the cool spring air watching the young horses playing in the pasture and watching the changing skies.

I am still waiting on word for the ACHA Weekend in South Central Texas.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bluebonnet Stakes is complete

Bluebonnet Stakes is over and the Open Classic Winner is Aggies Twelfth Man ridden by Roy Carter and owned by Missy Gardner. Everyone had a tough time in the finals as the cattle were on the wild side and any settling was quickly undone by cutters flushing the herd. I was continually having to stop and wave back cows as they flushed straight away from the cutter. Cutters in the last two or three classes of the day had the hardest time showing their horses.

My return trip to Dallas was quite nice. I left Brenham about 6pm after a brief stop at the only Starbucks within miles. The trip through Navasota to Madisonville was quite beautiful with green rolling hills and lots of wildflowers at the best time of the day for light. I wish I had time to stop to take some photos. I will be back in the area in only 2 weeks for the ACHA Weekend at Nueces Canyon.

I spent all day Monday preparing proofs for my website and finally got the links unkinked about midnight. All proofs are ready at www.americascutter.com. I have sent all orders placed during the show to the lab and will submit all orders sent
after the show in batches of 4 or more. Tomorrow I will be at the ranch mowing grass that I just mowed last week but will be back home on Thursday to pick up and mail orders.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cutting From the Photographers Point of View

Well, I have wondered what the photographer saw when he pointed that camera in my direction. We spent all day trying to escape those cutting horses only to be waved off by the photographer who for some foolish reason was not behind a cattle panel with banner.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bluebonnet Stakes - Day 1

Cosmo FloToday the first go Open Classic (5/6 yo) and Derby (4yo) classes were held. Cosmo Flow with Kathy Daughn riding was the top horse with a score of 147. Hickory Indian Squaw with Roy Carter riding was top horse in the Derby, also with a score of 147. Hickory Indian Squaw

Tomorrow the Non-Pro Limited Age events will be held after the the Open, Non-Pro, 10,000 NH, and Youth Classes. I was photographing inside the cutting pen right below the video stand. I really am not a big fan of shooting in the cutting pen as I have to keep an eye on the cattle running in my direction. As the day wears on the cows tend to escape the cutter by running straight away ... in my direction. I am having to continually fan them off with my hat.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Trip to Brenham, Texas

I finally got off to Brenham by 2pm after doing laundry and running errands. The trip was uneventful with one stop at Starbucks in Waco. I had a nice trip through rolling green hills. I saw fields of 20 inch corn stalks and lots of goats. I really prefer these blue highways over the interstate and the associated construction. I did encounter a few sections of construction though, but no delays. I was aggravated by a semi that was tailgating a few times along a 50 mile stretch. I am staying at a nice Comfort Suites Hotel with wireless broadband. Tomorrow morning I head over to the Washington County Fairgrounds about 7:30a and get all my strobes and display table set up. The Cutting horse show starts at 9am with the Classic (5/6 year old horses). Please pray for a overcast day so I do not have to deal with the extreme backlighting I encountered last year, but spare me from a storm. Do I ask too much?


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Bluebonnet Stakes

Tomorrow I head to Bluebonnet Stakes in Brenham, TX (yes home to the famous Blue Bell Ice Cream) for 3 days of Cutting Horse action. It sure would be nice if we had some heavy clouds so that I won't have the backlighting common to Washington County Arena. Bluebonnet Stakes is a limited age cutting horse event for 4 and 5/6 year old horses. There are Open and Non-Pro events which will be run one go plus finals. There will also be a Youth Scholarship Cutting on Sunday. I will be photographing all classes and will post images at www.americascutter.com soon after I return.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rafter J Colt Starting Challenge Photos Posted

I have now posted the Rafter J Cowboy Church Colt Starting Challenge Photos. I have put each trainers images in their own folders and have inluded a summary of photos
at the end.

Steve Smith

Jenny Jess

Jenny Jess

John Crow
John Crow
Update: Johns' wife purchased this horse at the conclusion of the event.
Read more about John and his win at www.wetforkranch.com

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