This One is for Galen and Ann – Two Friends Departing

Portrait of Galen and Ann

Portrait of Galen and Ann

As those of you who know I am enthralled with Galen and his friends (see previous blogs “Galen and Friends” and “Galen and Friends, Part 2“), it is with sadness that I said goodbye to him yesterday. Ann is moving east to Virginia and cannot take him with her because she will not be in a proximity to keep him nearby, among other reasons.
So, my trip yesterday wasn’t one that I relished doing but one, instead, that had to be done. It was, for all intents and purposes, the last time I expect to ever see Galen. What a fine horse he is…and what a fine woman Ann is as well.

My Two Friends

My Two Friends

Had it not been for Ann, I would never have known the incredible beauty of horses, other than seeing them in a book or some other 2-dimensional form….certainly not “up close and personal” as I have in the last couple of months! I also would never have known how to let a horse know that I am a friend and can be trusted, as a part of the herd. Learning how to do that was something I had never known and am grateful in my knowledge of it now.

Trotting in a December Wind

Trotting in a December Wind

In order to refresh your memory (or for those who don’t already know), here is Galen’s lineage, told in Ann’s words (from the first blog about him):
“His heritage is pretty special and with horses, that is a part of their story. Galen is a Hanoverian and Thoroughbred cross. Hanoverians are the great German jumping and dressage horses carefully bred and evaluated for temperament, trainability and athleticism and Thoroghbreds -frequently used as racehorses which originated in England in the 18th Century. Galen is a cross of two champion lines including Canada’s famous Northern Dancer and Germany’s Prinz Gaylord. Well that’s a mouthful for a big red “moose with a tail”. Ultimately, what it all means is that he is gentle, trainable and athletic with a bold heart and look of eagles. All things prized by horsemen. Even if his feet are the size of soup bowls.”

Galen - Champion Bloodlines

Galen - Champion Bloodlines

The last few months have been a very special time for me in simply the process of getting to know Ann, Galen, and his friends at Lynchland Stables in Timnath, CO.
The first time I was up there, I accompanied Ann around Ft. Collins in search of cotton wraps for Galen’s injured hind leg; we found what was needed at a store that had closed but let us in despite that fact. Later the same day, I met the rest of his friends at Lynchland and took several pictures of them, which you will find in my first blog about all of them. On that first trip, I didn’t shoot a lot of pictures of Galen but got a lot of the other horses instead.
On my second trip, however, I shot many pictures of both he and his friends though most of my photos were of him jumping and running in a corral. That trip proved to be one that I will never forget….because I connected more completely with all of the horses, through Ann’s guidance.

Although I saw my friend, Paint, yesterday, he was being ridden by a young girl who was getting lessons, so I was unable to rub him under his chin and actually say goodbye to him. However, as he was trotting around the corral, I was able to shoot this of him:

Paint - One Last Time

Paint - One Last Time

When Ann had led Galen to a corral to get some exercise, he trotted and cantered around it as she gave him commands. While he got his exercise, I took several photos of him. I’ll be honest and straight-forward in admitting that, quickly, I found myself with tears in my eyes because I knew this would be the last time I saw him. With that in mind, I shot as many photos of him as I could…as if taking them would make him always be here. What they will allow me is to have him in my heart forever. When you simply think of that, you will know that he always will be, whether I took a thousand photos of him or a hundred or just a couple!

Into the Wind

Into the West Wind

Afternoon Walk

Afternoon Walk

In Motion

In Motion

In Motion Too

In Motion Too

Having met him just 3 month ago and knowing him for the short time I have, I honestly feel as if I have known him for years. What I think I will most remember about Galen is what a gorgeous being he is….friendly, charming, funny, feisty….but most of all, simply unforgettable!

Galen

Galen

Going back to the first time I met Galen, in late September, here are a few of the photos I took but haven’t put on the blog before:

Snacktime

Snacktime

Assessing His Hoof

Assessing His Hoof

Comfort

Comfort

This blog wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t cover Galen’s “hairstyle” so here are a few, as well:

Tuft and Curls in the Afternoon Sun

Tuft and Curls in the Afternoon Sun

Mein Times Two

Mein Times Two

All Duded Up For Saturday Night

All Duded Up For Saturday Night

Windswept

Windswept

I realize this has been probably the longest blog I have written but it has been well worth it.

Simply in the Knowing of Them

Simply in the Knowing of Them

Galen and Ann on A Saturday Afternoon in December

Galen and Ann on A Saturday Afternoon in December

As can be expected, it has been very difficult for me to write this blog (and yes, tears were shed in the writing of it). I will miss both Ann and Galen a great deal. While I know Ann will be on the east coast, it will be more difficult to track Galen in his new life, especially when he makes his move to Illinois. I doubt I will be able to catch him when he moves to the equestrian center in Ft. Collins but who knows. With any kind of luck, I will be able to visit Lynchland Stables to continue photographing my friends there.

The Two of You

The Two of You

This is the last photo I took of Galen:

I Will Never Forget Your Eyes

I Will Never Forget Your Eyes

Photo Drawing of Galen

Photo Drawing of Galen

Good luck to both of you and may your (and our) paths cross again…

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6 Responses to “This One is for Galen and Ann – Two Friends Departing”

  1. What a great job!!!!! I love it!!!! Thanks Sam for being such an inspiration for me… Tim

  2. What a wonderful new dimension in your life!

  3. We also love our horse friends and I’ve enjoyed these photos.

  4. These are beautiful images and your story is very moving. You have an open and sensitive mind which makes it possible for you to understand how a horse “works, thinks and feels” and you managed to get much of it in your images as well. That’s definitely a gift to be both happy about and grateful for. Thanks for sharing the images and the story with us!

    All my best,
    Staffan

  5. […] have been going back into my photos of Galen because…well, I like the subject for one thing but also, I miss him. This photo is, perhaps, […]

  6. Hello Sam. I’m a friend of Staffan and I found a link to Your blog on his page.
    There is a really good book about horses if You want to read some more about them. It’s the biography of Monty Roberts, “The Man Who Listens To Horses”, ISBN 0-345-42705-X. It is a bit old, published back in 1996, but if You try online at Barnes & Noble they might still have it. Among other things, it explains the “Join-Up”-process, when the horse itself makes the choice to join-up with a human and become his or her friend. It’s not so much about “horse-whispering”, it’s more about understanding the body language of a horse and what kind of signals You give back to the horse with Your own body language.
    As I understand it, You are residing in California. I believe Mr Roberts have a ranch somewhere in California, The Flag Is Up, were he holds clinics about how to get a better understanding of horses. I don’t know if you have to be a horse-owner to participate in those clinics.
    Really nice photos You make, I have never seen a slice of lime like that before (as on Staffan’s blog, January 28th entry).

    Regards, Mr Bo (from Sweden but living in Dublin, Ireland since 2003)

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