Posts Tagged ‘Horses’

Turning the Mares Out

Posted on: July 1st, 2012 by Lisa Hampton 1 Comment
Hank enjoying some green grass

Hank enjoying the green grass we have right now.

It’s no secret that I love photography.  The problem is that with these digital cameras now days, I take so many pictures I often forget to go back and look at what I’ve shot.

Today I had to go take a quick couple of pictures for our insurance agent (Hi Johnny!) of a horse trailer.  Seems like a simple enough request.

But as I went back towards the house the sun was so pretty that I found myself out in the pasture taking pictures of the horses.

Big Un, at 35 still enjoys a "fresh green salad"

Big Un, at 35 still enjoys a "fresh green salad"

Then, when I got back to the office and diligently went to upload my insurance pictures I ran across these.

They are from late in the spring when we turned a few mares out into the pasture with a stud to be bred.

The "mares"

These are "the mares", Molly, Lexi & Tink

R.W.’s job was pretty simple; drive the little bunch of ladies across one pasture and into another with Mr Studly and three other mares to make a little band.  Normally herding a few mares is not too bad of a job so R.W. chose to ride our son’s gelding that morning as he was in need of a “tune up” from Dad anyway.

Headed West

Headed West

You would think that the “girls” would go for this romantic relocation and pasture vacation.  But no!

Molly trying to duck out

Molly is trying to duck out on R.W. & Chester to o back to her beau.

Ms Molly the head mare decided that morning that she was in love with Ethan’s old gelding Big Un.  (For more about Big Un, what his job is on the ranch & how old he really is read my previous post “Babysitter“.)  

Free again and headed East.

Lexi & Tink are free again and headed East.

Big Un of course was across the fence encouraging her love with nickers and whinnys.

Sisters... could you tell?

Sisters... could you tell?

And so, R.W. set out on his quick job only to find out that once he got the mares almost to the gate across the pasture old Molly would split from the group and cut back on him back to Big Un.

Love is so blind.

Lined out once more...with the help of a little cowdog.

Lined out once more...with the help of a little cowdog.

R.W. did finally get his “girls” headed in one wad through the gate to meet their new suitor in the next pasture over and wouldn’t you know it, Molly forgot all about Ol’ Big Un the minute she met Mr. Studly and I’m pretty sure from the ensuing activity that we may have another cute colt next spring, maybe three if we are lucky.

Meeting this year's Mr Right.

Meeting this year's Mr Right.

Fickle women.

Gathering up his new harem.

First order of business: Gathering up his new harem.


Big Un who???

Big Un who?

Now, back to emailing those trailer pictures… I wonder where I saved them?


War Horse – A Cowboy’s View

Posted on: January 8th, 2012 by R.W. Hampton 13 Comments


War Horse Movie PosterWell, it’s not often that I see a movie worth commenting on, much less recommending, but the family and I drove about 200 miles round trip the other night to go see War Horse and it was well worth it.  My wife and eleven yr old are studying WWI currently in his home-school studies and had just read the book so it didn’t take much to convince us all to load up for the trip. I think I can say without reservation, the whole family enjoyed it as much as I did.  (*note to parents – it is rated PG 13)

Now hoss folks, take note; yes, you will notice that they use about six different horses to depict the equine star “Joey”.  This is common in movies and forgivable. I’ve done quite a few movies with horses and it’s almost impossible to find one horse that can pull off all the gags, so doubles must be used. 

As a ranch hand/cowboy it would be easy for some scenes to be perceived as corny but what the heck, Roy & Gene’s horses came when they whistledJoey and Albert too. We must also forgive some of the more ignorant tack and equipment idiosyncrasies that happen on almost all horse movies. On the other hand, I was impressed that they used a true to the story “European looking” Thoroughbreds and not an Americanized Quarter Horses (which are often preferred for work with on movie sets because of calmer temperaments). 

Part of the intrigue to me is that this movie follows the life of a horse born to a farm family in rural England, it moves through a boy’s youth and then with the horse into service in France during World War I. 

The countryside scenes are breathtaking and the battle scenes are graphic, intense, realistic but not gruesome or gory.  

I found it facinating that it was a war movie where there were no “good guys vs bad guys” sides taken as the horse ends up on both the English and the German’s front lines, because, as the author puts it in the book, everyone loves and respects a good horse.

It is obvious that horses of all types play a vital role in Europe during the period of time depicted in War Horse, but while the horse still played a role in warfare; tanks,War Horse Scene machine guns, trucks and airplanes were being used to full advantage also. Through the film it is easy to visualize that this is a turning point in history.

Favorite Scene:

There are many fine and exceptional moments in War Horse but this one got me, (as well as many other people, my wife tells me).  The location is a devastated apocalyptic stretch of land between the English and German trenches called “No Man’s Land”. The fighting has been long and fierce, the men are impeded in miserable trenches and the conditions can be described as cruel. Yet thru the smoke of this living hell both sides notice a lone horse badly tangled in the razor wire.  Touched by his plight white flags go up from both sides and we watch as the fighting stops in the eiry quiet as two soldiers climb out of their respective trenches and work their way towards the trapped animal and towards each other. Both men meet and after some discussion go to work together, enemies joining forces to free an injured animal out of love for a good horse. The irony is that upon accomplishing their goal they must shake hands and return their separate ways and once back to the relative safety of their trenches their brutal fighting must resume.

Now, if that doesn’t get to you, ya better check your pulse!

If you like big, old fashioned epic sagas like the Searchers or the Quiet Man, your gonna love War Horse. This movie, the story, and its cinematography harkens back to the work of Ford & Selsnick. Every frame is stunning and creates a spectacular backdrop for an amazing story. 

I hope you enjoy it and if you’ve seen it or read the book already tell us what you thought.  I’d also love to know, what is your all-time favorite horse movie?


The Start of Something New

Posted on: April 19th, 2010 by R.W. Hampton 8 Comments

Welcome to the start of something new.

As with most things new, it’s a humble start. I say that because I’m writing this not from my ranch office, but rather while I’m sitting on an overturned five-gallon bucket in our corral.

Why? Because one of our mares is going to give birth (or “foal,” as we say) at any time! So I’m here, purely in an advisory capacity this evening, to make sure everything goes as nature planned. It seems fitting, though, that while ol’ Molly is working on something new, so am I. And while I have no idea what kind of colt she’ll raise or what it will become, I’m just as unsure what my little “blog” will grow up to be.

It’s kind of exciting every now and then to head up a new trail just to see where it goes. Well, that’s what I’m doing here and I’d consider it an honor if you’d see fit to come along.

I’m gonna call my “baby” Notes From Clearview Ranch. See, my home, Clearview, sits at an elevation of well over 6000 feet. Looking north and west and south, I stand in the shadows of the mesas and snow capped Sangre de Cristo Mountains. To the east, I look out across an endless rolling prairie that I can best describe as an ocean of grass. So this “big” view gives me a unique perspective. Certainly it’s not the only view, but it is my view.

That’s sort of what I want to do with this blog; give you my perspective or view on the everyday things we all deal with in life. It certainly won’t be the only view, and may not be your view, but it will be uniquely mine.

So there you have it. Notes from Clearview Ranch is born today. As for Molly the mare’s baby? I’m still waiting!