Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fun Before and After Pictures

So, I have been doing a lot of reading about photography and a lot of Photoshop tutorials. It seems like every one has a cool different way to make pictures pop, smooth skin, lighten dark exposure, or just sharpen your image. There are actions out there everywhere. And it's hard to choose between them all. I have tried many different ones. A lot of them are great, because they take a lot of time out of your work flow.

But I found a really cool plug-in for CS4 that I am so very excited about. It look about 20 minutes off my editing time! I just wanted to show a quick before and after picture of a Senior portrait shoot I did the other day. Here is my before picture. It is straight out of the camera. It's dull and her skin is a bit splotchy. And the angle I had her hat made her cheeks look a bit full. I should have asked her to push her chin out a bit. I am a beginner and I do make a lot of mistakes. But anyway, enough about all my mistakes. So, I ran a plug-in in Photoshop and this is what I came out with. I am so excited! Do you wanna know why? Because my after picture took all of four minutes to create!! When before I got my plug-in it would have taken me a good 25 minutes to brush her skin, then sharpen her eyes, then do a color boost. Now, I click about three buttons and I am done!! I am so very excited I just had to tell everyone!! Plus before and after pictures are fun to look at! It always amazes me how different they look. Oh, and I also made her cheeks a bit smaller in the After picture, which is a trick I am LOVING!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Quicky

I am just about to head outside to work with the horses. I was going through pictures today and I ran across this one of Cowpokette and Belle. When ever I see it it just makes me laugh! I can hear Belle saying, "this IS my happy face!" No matter how hard I try, Belle just never looks happy!! Well, it makes me chuckle when I see it, so I hope you get a kick out of it too. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lunging Day 2

Day two went a bit better than Day 1. Josephine was a joy to work with. I added a little bit of a trot to see how she would do. She did fine. I was a bit worried she would want to get a little wild but she didn't. She trotted off nicely. Like a lady. She stops really well too. She pays attention to what I want her to do. I really like that about her. The opposite direction was smooth sailing. It helps when I have a round pen. I think when we get it down in here I will venture out into the arena. She is such a good girl. It makes my job so much easier! Josephine also sets up really well. She is very light in her cues. We worked on trotting off at a stand still and she did well. At first she was like, "What is this lady doing running next to me!" But she got the hang of it. I love how quickly she picks things up. Her half brother, Ozzie, was the same way. I hope she is easier to ride than he is. I just really like her. Maybe because she is mine. I am a bit biased. :) Then my photographer got board with me and Josephine, so he wandered around a bit. It gave me a chance to switch horses around. Belle, the lazy bulldog. Mercedes, the filly. Who also lunges already!! Smart little girl! My photographer. Now onto my challenge horse, Luna. I didn't give her any room to be a brat today, I went straight to the rope, aka come-along. Luna started off great! She remembered what happened yesterday. It took her a little bit to get out and away from me, but she got it. She is just soooo sloooowww. It's like she moves in slow motion. To get her to move I had to act like a fool. You can't use a whip with her, she just doesn't care about the sound. I keep telling Mr. Cowboy she might be deaf!! LOL!! Because the bull whip NEVER scared her. She would actually come up to you while Josephine would run like a wild woman. But I know she's not deaf, she is just dull. Mr. Cowboy was done taking pictures by the time I had Luna out. I was lucky to get the ones I did. She was a good girl. She only tried to turn around a few times. We even worked on trotting off from a walk next to me. She thought I was stupid. But I got it done. She now trots off next to me. Showmanship here we come! Well, she is more of a brick house type of horse, but she can still do showmanship. I think Mr. Cowboy is going to kick my tail in halter classes when it come to these two girls. But I know I will beat him in lunge line!

Oh, I also brought out the tarp today. They both let me put it on them like a blanket. They didn't care. They even walked all over the tarp like it was nothing. Smart girls!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Good Yearling, Bad Yearling.

This evening I worked the yearlings. I have been reading about other bloggers playing with their yearlings so I figured I better get out there and get something done with my two girls. Well, Josephine is a sweet heart. She is very smart and very respectful. She gets a bit nervous but nothing that I can't convince her other wise. I ask her to move away from me and she does. I ask her to lunge and she does. We just walked today, but she did really good. Then there is the other....brat. Rude, rude, RUDE! She made me so mad. She would not lunge. Luna kept wanting to come into my circle. She would try to run me over. I would go to whack her and she would act like it felt good. She is BAD. Josephine=easy. Luna=hard work. It's strange because I can sack Luna out with anything and she won't move. She is good like that. I think she is really too dull. Kinda dumb.( And that is not blood on her head, it's some minerals the girls have to lick on.) Even though I felt like knocking her over the head a couple of times. I had gotten so mad at working with her I had to walk away for a little bit. Then I came back with my rope. I took off her halter and made a rope halter out of my super long wonderful fix everything rope. In college we called them "come alongs". I just know it works! That little filly didn't know what hit her. Before when I would ask her to "whoa" she would just walk over me. Now I had some leverage!! She stopped. Luna acted a bit surprised. Then she refused to walk forward. So, I ran out from my rope holding constant pressure and asked her to follow and she reared....I expected that...but she then walked forward. That filly is HARD headed. She finally realized that I was the boss and she was the follower. We finished up with a couple nice walking, smaller, lunging circles. Luna is just a tank. When she gets scared she just wants to run you over, but not any more! Whuahahahaha!! My "Come Along" and Luna came to an understanding. We ended on a good note with some shedding and rubbing down. I tossed a saddle pad on her back and she didn't budge. She could care less what I do to her as long as I don't ask her to move. I can see where we are going to be coming riding time.

Josephine and Luna are night and day personalities. Josephine is a joy to work with, Luna makes me break out my bag of tricks. It's going to be interesting working more with these two. I told Mr. Cowboy that Luna was all his come riding time. I'll have to see what tomorrow brings, I will see if anything from today sunk into Luna's thick skull. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's a Dirty Job, But Someone's Gotta Do It!

This past weekend the kids went for a ride with Paw Paw on his four wheeler. Let me just tell ya, they had a blast! The Cowpokes got REALLY dirty. They were all proud of their mud. There wasn't not a single bit of skin on Big Cowpoke that wasn't muddy. Little Cowpoke was pretty nasty too!! The Cowpokes then had to act out some super scary scenes for me. They are both very good actors. They are always acting out beating each other up. That is something my sisters and I never did growing up. Boys are so different! They were just plain dirty! But they did have a wonderful time! Paw Paw had some fun too. Cowpokette was the least dirty out of all the kids. She only had a few little spots on her face. I thing they had a great start to their Saturday! I used to LOVE going mudding when I was in college. Oh the memories of being muddy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Orphan Foal

Back in February, during one of our really cold spells, a neighbor from down the road came to our house. He wanted to know what to do with a new baby horse. You see, about 11 months ago, our neighbor was given a black and white stud horse. And you see, stallions won't breed mares if you don't want them to...Every stallion I have ever met defiantly practices abstinence. Okay, well not really, as you know that stud bred the mare and then they gelded the stallion. Then they got rid of the gelding because he was aggressive. Hmmmm........

Well, now this four year old mare has this baby and it doesn't seem to be doing well. The baby won't drink and the mare won't let it and it's about to rain cats and dogs and then drop to 30 degrees. The owner of the mare doesn't have a stall or dry ground for the mare and filly. So, they were laying out in a super muddy mess. It's been so muddy here for everyone, so that's not their fault. It was just sad.

If that baby was going to stay there that night it would have died. So, my father in law took the horse trailer over and picked up the mare and baby. Then, the mare turned into the dead beat mom. She wouldn't let the filly suck. We would hold her up against the wall and the mare would try to bite us and push us around. Good thing my father in law and husband are big boys!

Needless to say after four days of trying the baby was lethargic and skinny. If it had been my baby it would have gotten a bottle from day one, but it wasn't and the owners are not well off at all. So, I finally decided I was going to call them and tell them the filly was going to die unless they got her some milk. But I didn't have to call the owner showed up with some milk and a bottle.

When we separated the mare from her baby she could have cared less. She didn't make a single sound. All of our mares would have freaked out if we had done that. The baby just laid on the ground for a bit shivering. The guys then tried to get the filly to drink. She didn't want anything to do with it. You can see how small she is. She looked like a pony foal. It's sad when all of our mares are standing at the fence and they want the baby! They were sniffing her and nickering at her. It was so sweet. The filly had a strange head. It was all swollen and big. She walked around nickering for her momma. And she didn't get anything in return. Poor baby. She even walked over to our mare that has a baby right now and tried to nurse. She was just so hungry. She is a sweet girl though. She would come over to us. She would nudge around for some milk. She wasn't scared of us at all. She was just hungry. But she wouldn't drink out of the bottle. So, I suggested pan feeding her. You can kinda see how skinny she was in that picture. For a one week old foal, she is way underweight. Finally, success!!! She was so hungry. She drank it all up! I warned the owner about not spoiling her. I told him that when she got a bit older and stronger to get her a goat to play with. I told him not to treat her like a dog. Horses don't play nice. The owner was all excited about him and his five year old daughter "training" this baby. I know how much trouble I have training babies and I know what I am doing.....I couldn't imagine trying to train a foal and not know a thing. But, I am glad the filly got some food and as far as I know she is still doing fine. I haven't gone to see her but my father in law did. He said she had a nice round full belly.

And this happened while my computer was getting fixed! I am telling ya, so much has happened! It was quite an adventurous week.