Equine therapy…

There’s something therapeutic about being in the company of a horse. They listen without judgement to words left unspoken.

Anxiety has become a copilot for many, so heading into the holiday season, I wanted to share a technique that I learned for grounding. It utilizes the senses and can be done anywhere, at any time. A panic attack can feel quite debilitating, but this exercise might help to quell the clanging of that alarm bell.

Panic attacks can be triggered by a multitude of events—a smell, words, a loud noise, something you see, or stress, to name a few. Knowing what those triggers are for you can sometimes take away that element of surprise.

The 54321 method of grounding walks you through the five senses. Begin by taking some deep breaths and focusing on your environment. For this example, I’ll use a barn. Take time to really notice your choices, don’t make this exercise a rapid-fire checklist. In your mind, mentally squeeze every last detail out of your selections.

Five Things I See: steam rising as sunlight hits weathered wood, symmetrical stacking of bales of hay, a worn leather saddle, a chestnut horse, grooming tools

Four Things I Can Touch: the metal clasp on the stall door, the satin coat of the chestnut gelding, the coarse strands of hair making up his mane, the softness of his muzzle as he snuffles a treat from my hand

Three Things I Can Hear: a radio softly playing a country song, a puff of breath from the gelding’s nostrils, the swish of a tail

Two Things I Can Smell: clover scent of fresh hay, earthy smell of manure

One Thing I Can Taste: lingering taste of my morning coffee

Don’t let the holidays become a source of stress. Focus on the people who matter most to you and if you get overwhelmed, breathe, and take a few minutes to ground yourself.

Life doesn’t always…

go the way that you planned but if you stay open to opportunities…they WILL come!

Colors answer feeling in man; shapes answer thought; and motion answers will.

John Sterling

It’s a joy to be back behind the lens after a life induced hiatus.

The week-end was one of inspiration filled with photography from both air and ground level.

The company was perfection, the subject matter thrilling, and it put me right back in my zone.

Thank you for the support and patience…each and every one of you who take the time to check in and read, comment, or share my blog post.

As I begin a new equine series…

I felt like I was looking into the souls of these beautiful horses.

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The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I’ve been given an incredible opportunity to pursue a series that has long been on my mind…photographing horses. It’s one of those win-win situations where even if the reason why I am shooting this doesn’t pan out; I’ll still be fulfilling a personal dream.

Like many little girls, I was obsessed with horses and pretended that my mustang bicycle was the most wonderful, surefooted steed that ever was. I believe that I might still love to ride a bicycle today if I could once again conjure up those daydreams!

Today I was surrounded by the gentlest herd of horses that I have had the pleasure to meet. Their docility and expressions of affection were at first a little unnerving but quickly grew into one of those moments that I will remember with a smile.

They were an inquisitive lot, nibbling on my camera pack and at my hair. Each one wanting it to be their turn as I focused the lens on another. This was a preliminary shoot to get a feel for what might work for a series of monochromatic shots but for today I chose to leave this shot in color. It had a softness to it that just seemed to capture the mood and as I shot it I felt that little shiver of excitement that I get when my camera becomes my paintbrush.

When that happens I know that I’m on the right track and I can’t wait for the next session…

My name is Sheryl: I paint with my camera.