Category Archives: Nature & Outdoors

Horsing Around in Solvang

Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

One of my New Year’s resolution is to blog consistently.  Since It’s already the 20th, I’d say I haven’t started out too well, but as the saying goes, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.  So I’m starting now with recent events and I’m going to slowly post my pictures from the last two years.  My trip to Italy alone is going to be a number of posts, considering how many pictures I took.

Morning fog in the mountains, Buellton

Morning fog in the mountains, Buellton

Last weekend, I drove up to Solvang, a cute Danish-styled town near Santa Barbara, for a Horsemanship class at the Monty Roberts International Learning Center.  I’ve always loved horses and wanted to learn how to ride, but for one reason or another, it never came about.  Now that I’ve decided to start riding lessons, I figured I should learn about the care of these beautiful animals but also how to handle them humanely.  Monty Roberts has been known as the original horse whisperer for years.  I remember his book coming out back in the 90s, but I never read it until I signed up for the class.  Now, with all my years of energy work, his philosophy about horses makes complete sense to me, and I wouldn’t want to be at a stable that didn’t follow his teachings.  Now I just have to find a riding instructor that follows his principles.

Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

With little horse experience, it was really interesting to see how my energy affected the horses.  Animals don’t lie.  They can read your energy and can only see the truth.  Humans mostly go with the verbal cue.  Horses are the ultimate prey animal and can only read your energy.  Every single movement means something, but more importantly your energy and intention is picked up right away.

Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

After watching our instructor Petra take Bugatti around the pen (and after he finally got to roll in the lovely dirt after his exercise), we were given the chance to go into the round pen and spend time moving a horse with our energy.  I would love to just spend time with a horse in the round pen learning the subtleties of the language of Equus and having a conversation with these magnificent beauties.  You learn so much about yourself and how you’re perceived.  Horses are teachers and healers and it was an honor to spend time with them.

Bugatti and Petra, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti and Petra, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti and Petra in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti and Petra in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti and Petra in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti and Petra in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti and Petra in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti and Petra in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Bugatti and Petra in the Round Pen, Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Solvang

Most of my time was spent at Flag is Up Farms, but I did get into Solvang on a break to take some pictures.  The town is kind of the Disney version of a Danish town, but it’s fun to walk around for the afternoon.  There’s always the added benefit of being surrounded by vineyards and lots of vino.

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Andersen's Pea Soup Inn, Buellton

Andersen's Pea Soup Inn, Buellton

Andersen’s Pea Soup Inn, Buellton

TV: Planet Earth

Planet EarthI’m so late to this party, I’ve missed it by a decade. I’ve been watching all the incarnations of the series Planet Earth (2006) on BBC America. I remember it coming out but never got around to watching it. It’s simply amazing. From Blue Planet (2001) all the way through to the most recent series Frozen Earth (2011), which tells you how long I’ve been out of the loop. Because I’m watching the BBC America ones, the fabulous David Attenborough is the narrator. The American versions had Sigourney Weaver and Oprah, and they changed the script to have more American phrases. I prefer David Attenborough and all the Britishisms, even though I have to mentally convert all the metric measurements. I just saw David Attenborough on The Graham Norton Show; he’s 88 and still climbing mountains, going on all these adventures and filming them. I want to be doing that at 88. Hell, I want to be doing that now.

The photography in Planet Earth is incredible. If you haven’t seen it, you should. I was thinking this would be better to show to kids than some children’s programs and something I would have been more interested in as a child than cartoons or Sesame Street. Nature shows to me are really travel shows. Every time I see a new place, I want to go there. I’ve added many new trips to my list from this series.

California Sunset

We don’t get many beautiful sunsets in Los Angeles.  Normally, we lack the clouds required for a brilliant, fiery display.  Tonight, however, the sunset looked like something created by Maxfield Parrish.  I wish I’d had my camera with me, but my iPhone did a good stand-in job.

 

Sunset_1 Sunset_2