Category Archives: equine horse photography
I’d like to take a moment to announce a bit of a blog takeover. We have exciting news. We are down to the last month of pregnancy for our horse, Stormy! We want to share this with all of our readers and social media followers! We are currently setting up to stream LIVE video of Stormy through Marestare.com You can help us watch her and identify when she is going to be ready to deliver, AND you can watch the birth LIVE! We are currently setting up with MareStare and have two video cameras ready. My son, Barrett, will be helping us with the tech issues and setup, but I’m very excited to get this show on the road!
For those who haven’t followed up until now, we decided almost 2 years ago to breed Stormy Girl Surprise. This is my daughter, Erynn’s, horse. We bought her quite a few years ago from our riding instructor, Trisha, at Muddy Creek Meadows. Stormy was meant to be shared by the family, but Erynn quickly bonded with her, and that was that. Stormy was not always an easy horse to work with. In fact, I’d have to say she’s never been for the beginner. She has her quirks…. but she has grown to be quite a big part of our family. Quirks – yes…. She loves to run. Even 10 months pregnant, when Erynn hops up on her bareback, she waits for a cue to run (which of course Erynn is discouraging just to remain on the safe side). This image here is at Erynn’s first fun show where they took off at a full gallop – of course, we did not want her at a full gallop, but see that smile on Erynn’s face? We were done for at that moment.
Stormy is an all around athletic and versatile horse. She is currently 18 years old and is probably about ready to settle down to being more of a pleasure horse. She has shown hunters, jumpers, western pleasure, western gaming, as well as hunter paces, judged trail rides. She has shown locally in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Erynn has a wall in her room covered in ribbons.
Settle down? Who are we kidding – she will always be this Stormy, our rearing Stormy *sigh* but as you can see – this image was shot in August, and by Erynn’s relaxed body, you know she expected this to happen. Erynn manages Stormy’s excitement very well….. Here, she is pushing her forward, so she doesn’t pop up too high. Stormy was pregnant here, but only by about two months.
In the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing all kinds of things about Stormy. Come back in a day or two. We will be setting up the video cameras and discussing this foal’s sire, figuring out the genetics – what color will this baby be?, and I will even post the “official” maternity photos. Stormy is due May 14th-29th; however, this Monday marks the 300th day. That means that she can potentially give birth safely any time from then on. Most horses will deliver between day 320 and day 340, so it’s time we start keeping a close eye on her and look for signs of impending labor.
Please join us in this adventure. We are so excited to be sharing all of this with all of you!
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Hello all, we are wrapping up the summer, and have some major changes coming (I probably said that already I am sure… ;))
Would like to followup on Stormy Girl Surprise, my daughter’s horse that I told you about here…. We found out the gender of the baby tonight.
Stormy is officially 65 days pregnant. Horses are pregnant for 11 months, so we have 9 more months to go. The baby is currently the size of your hand.
Dr. Hess barely had the ultrasound in, before I could even get the video camera going, he said, “It’s a girl!” Wow…. Erynn has a ton of names ready for a boy, so this one threw us… she has a lot of thinking to do, but has plenty of time.
If you are curious to see what an equine ultrasound looks like, here’s a bit of what we saw… What you are seeing is the baby is lying on it’s left side. Head is on the right side of the screen. It appears the front legs are kind of curled up. She picks her head up and lays it back down several times. At one point, you see her lay her head down and the skeleton shows pretty good and she looks like a pterodactyl.
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My daughter, Erynn, is a part of the Airville PA 4H group. Last year, if you remember, her first year on Stormy showing Western Gaming, she made it through Counties, then made it through Districts, and then went to States. Well this year, we had already planned that she would not be showing Stormy due to working on breeding her. Now that Stormy is pregnant, although Erynn is still riding her, we didn’t want her to endure the stress of making it to states as she probably would have again.
So Erynn decided to use her other horse, No Brakes, this year. No Brakes is a tiny horse (Icelandic Cross) with a ton of power. He has that name for a reason. Unfortunately 4H does not offer Jumpers as an option. Erynn loves Jumpers and she has taken both Stormy and No Brakes to jumpers shows. (There is a big difference between hunter and jumper – hunter is about the classic hunter look and “proper” details and form. Jumpers is kind of like gaming for the hunter. Jumpers is about speed, height, and power.) Erynn hates hunter, but figured that was the only thing she could compete with No Brakes in. He is not a hunter pony by any means.
She again qualified to move on to Districts from Counties yesterday on jumping 2’6″ (they don’t let her size horse do 3′ which is a shame because he jumps 3′ beautifully – he’s a jumper, all about speed and power).
Here are some shots from yesterday….
No Brakes is well known for his constant smiling. No, this is not because of a particular bit. He does this even in a bitless bridle or halter.
When I was doing jumper shows (I’m not doing them now due to my back injury), this was my most difficult thing to do. See how Erynn in mid jump is already looking toward the next jump? That’s telling No Brakes which direction to go after the jump. This will help him get on the correct lead. When I jumped, I was still going “Whew, I did the jump and didn’t die! OMG, I’m still alive! I did it! Oh, wait, there’s another jump? Where is that again???” I was not a very good jumper haha!
In contrast, here is what a typical casual jumpers show looks like….. Erynn and No Brakes from this spring….
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Someone is pregnant in the Otte Family! No, it’s not me – it’s Stormy Girl Surprise, Erynn’s horse.
For Christmas this year, I promised Erynn that we would get Stormy pregnant. She had five babies before, but none in the past 7 years that we have owned her. She’s an older mare, about 16 or 17 years old. We really did not think it would be difficult to get her pregnant. Boy were we wrong! I went through secondary infertility, so all of the terms and such, I was pretty familiar with.
I contracted with someone to do artificial insemination but my gut instinct was telling me not to continue down that path. Erynn really wanted a Freisian Paint Stallion to breed to and we happened to find one fairly close that could be “live cover” (or live breeding). I called and found out they were not actively breeding the stallion but after I told the owners, we just wanted one foal out of Stormy that we could keep and train (a sport horse for Erynn), and would become a part of our family, they agreed to it. We were thrilled! The first cycle we bred her, was a bad cycle. We drove her four hours up to just North of Scranton PA and ended up leaving her there for a few weeks. We brought her back, and as we suspected, no pregnancy.
Dr. Hess of Hess Equine Veterinary Services locally said that Stormy was housing too much fluid in her uterus, and we had to breed just right in the hopes of possibly getting a pregnancy (for those who are interested in this process, read about the mares with fluid HERE). The outlook was looking quite grim, but we were going to give it a good go. Bill instructed us exactly what to do regarding timing (drive four hours, one breeding session, and four hours back), and then flushing her system multiple times after breeding, as well as I had to give her shots of oxytocin for two days straight.
What have I gotten us into?
Here’s Stormy as if you follow this blog or know us, you know is Erynn’s pride and joy. She has had Stormy for 7 years. Stormy is well known at Muddy Creek Meadows as she was born and raised there. Well, technically she was born at the Conewago Trail Riders camp ground as a total surprise during a trip.
I’d like to introduce the majestic Taser…. half paint, half Freisian…… He is such a gentleman. We were amazed that his owner, Molly, at 17 years old had raised him from birth and had trained him in excellent ground manners. It was like all she had to do is look at him and he would cower to her adorable petite self! It was a lot of fun to watch their relationship.
So, because we are complete weirdos, we decided to do a bride/groom picture for laughs…. yes, we did….. haha!
Notice that Stormy and Taser are complete opposites.
Stormy ovulated exactly when Bill said she would (confirmed on ultrasound) and he had set up the scene exactly as it needed to be in order for conception to occur……..we then waited the longest 14 days ever. Here’s what we have……….. a perfect little pregnancy…… We are shocked! Baby is due between May 14th and May 29th….. and you aren’t going to believe this. Erynn’s birthday is May 21st!!!!
Here’s our little Stormageddon’s first picture!
So what color will their baby be? We have no idea!!! We’ve tried the genetics calculator and there are so many combinations. Taser and Stormy are the total opposite. Here’s our chart…. The final height of the baby is in question too. I think Taser is 15.2 hh and Stormy is just under 15.0 hh. Erynn didn’t want a 17 hh horse as Erynn is petite, and she plans on training this foal from day one. Stormy has produced a 16 hh baby, and her father and mother were 16 hh. Taser’s dad was a 17 hh Freisian. So again, we have no idea what will happen. Erynn said she would be thrilled with anything between 15 and 16 hh, 17 scares her a bit… haha! But back to color, who knows! I do know that the light color is very dominant on Stormy’s side. The paint color is not very dominant on her side. A blaze and socks is pretty dominant if the babies are dark as two of her babies that were not light colored did have that. One of her babies had two blue eyes (that look like they are surrounded in eyeliner). The genetics calculator could not specify a percentage higher of one color than others. It could be a paint or it could be a solid color or even a bay. We have no idea.
Be prepared, folks, this is going to be the most photographed foal ever. We are going to document everything we can. I suspect some camping out at the stable will occur in the hopes of catching the birth on video. Oh, and a new fun little word. This baby? Is going to be a freewalker paint. Love it!
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I know I know…. update your blog, Jodie! I promise, I try… and then get a bit ADD and forget…. At any rate, I hope you all don’t mind, I will be sharing a lot of horse/equestrian related posts. I have a few commercial jobs that involve horses, but also, it’s spring! That means all kinds of horse-related activities.
For anyone local who has horse-loving children – I live right on the border of MD and PA (Harford County side) and I board my horses in Airville, PA at Muddy Creek Meadows. If anyone is looking for a nice horse-camp for their children that is relaxed and fun, please check them out! – Here’s a link to their Facebook Page Muddy Creek Meadows
In fact, we were up there tonight for my daughter’s riding lesson, and were able to play with the two-day old Welsh pony filly….. absolutely adorable! I will be taking more pictures later, but figured I would share these…..
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We are happy to announce this year, that we’ve expanded into more high school senior photography. As soon as possible, the website will be changed around to include much more in the portfolio.
Here’s Amber and Ping. Ping actually is related to my daughter’s horse, Stormy – they have the same father ;) ….. this was a really fun shoot. Amber is simply gorgeous inside and out. She participated in horse vaulting at the Horse Expo in Timonium this week, and I was able to be there to photograph it. I will be sharing some of those images on Wednesday.
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Okay, so I had to also add a photo of my daughter, Erynn, which had to match up with my son’s photos below. This was a bit more difficult. So last minute between editing client work and getting Erynn to her vaulting class, I decided to throw my equipment in the back of my vehicle and head over to the barn. We had 15 minutes to set up as we were losing light fast. I set the equipment up in the field, and went in to meet up with Erynn who had No-Brakes (the bay/brown horse) ready, and I ran in to get Stormy. As we started walking them, before they even crossed the street to the field, Stormy was huffing and puffing and very upset that there was something foreign in the field. Oh, awesome, this should be fun…..
As we got closer, both horses were really really upset. Neither wanted to have any part of this scene. No-Brakes kept trying to hide behind Erynn and Stormy was just completely unhappy when the light would flash. I’d take a picture, then walk around behind the horses and push them to make them go into better positions, come around to the front, take a picture, only to have to return to pushing them. Erynn didn’t know what to do except her fingers were freezing and she had to keep dodging swinging horse heads….
I really wasn’t sure if I got anything when we had to call it quits and pack up. I started looking at the pictures and did find a few that I felt were acceptable and narrowed them down even more. One thing I tried to do was make No-Brakes look as big as Stormy (he’s actually quite a bit smaller than Stormy), so with a wide angle lens and angle to camera, he actually looks bigger than she does in this picture.
At any rate, this is another image I’m in love with and can’t wait to see in my house.
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So we attended the KILE show at the Harrisburg Farm Complex this weekend. I was absolutely amazed. You typically don’t think when you live in Maryland with Baltimore so close, that not too far away in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, this stuff exists ;) We were able to see the National High School Rodeo Association have a rodeo, right where my daughter and I had just competed in Western Gaming….
This is how the show started:
Then there was the roping and steer wrestling….
So did you take notice the age of the kid you just saw?
The National High School Rodeo Association was a big part of this show. Erynn and I were waiting for the bull riding…. and we were not disappointed. These boys were ages 12 to 15 – riding bulls! If you are on my personal facebook page, you already know that both my daughter and I have attempted the mechanical bull in the past month…. we both said “no thank you” on the real thing….
Photographers: The following was shot with the Nikon D3s with 16,000 ISO….
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You cannot help but smile when you meet Jack…. this boy is all personality and no matter if he is happy or being ornery, you can’t stop smiling around him!!! It’s going to be amazing watching him grow up on a horse farm and have so much confidence! Here is Jack and his Pedro (one of the most patient horses ever).
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I thought I would share something a little different…. Weeks back, a bunch of us went to the GRAND PRIX de PENN NATIONAL I’m always amazed to watch these horses fly. My daughter is competing 3-foot jumpers at some local places, and I’m hovering between 2 and 2-1/2 feet myself. But these jumps are 5-feet jumps… just amazing….
For the photographers, I’m shooting with the Nikon D3s, 70-200 mm/2.8 lens at 12,800 ISO.
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