Joey P was kind enough to indulge me with a short photo session, and he patiently wore a Christmas wreath and Santa hat with no complaints. He is in good company, since I spend quite bit of time each December photographing horses, ponies, and donkeys wearing all sorts of festive costumes.
"Sarah, the 2012 calendar hangs in my classroom. My students are the ones who make sure the right month shows. I have 60+ autistic, behavioral kids who rotate thru my pre-vocational program (assembly, packaging, sewing and woodworking).
One young man who doesn't speak very much stood up unexpectedly yesterday, walked to the back of my classroom, and touched the calendar. 'Donkey,' he said. 'Jesse, how do you know that is a donkey?' I asked. He touched the picture again, pointing to the ears,'Ears.' I said, 'His name is Jefferson and I am going to visit the farm where he lives tomorrow. Would you like me to take a picture of him for you?' Jesse smiled and sat back down.
His teacher came to pick him up at the end of his session and I told her I wanted to show her something. 'Hey, Jesse, can you do something for me? Can you find me Jefferson's picture?' He looked at me, stood up and walked over to the calendar. 'Jefferson,' he said as he pointed to the picture. His teacher said, 'Wow, you found the horse!' 'Donkey,' Jesse told his teacher. His teacher looked confused and turned to me with the question I was expecting... 'How did he know it wasn't a horse?' Jesse touched the picture and said, 'Ears!' His teacher didn't know the difference, but Jesse knew.
He has never looked at the calendar before, but I pulled out the 2013 calendar and he smiled. Those calendars, your pictures, are a new addition to my little toolbox of reinforcers I use to get my kids to do their work. The kids know I have an arsenal of fun, interesting and yummy goodies to pick from for 'helping' me. Thank you for not one but now 2 calendars my kids love to look at."
Zephyr, another resident at Helping Hearts, is available for adoption. His dam ran through the ring at Camelot Auction while she was pregnant with him. He was born at Helping Hearts in March 2011, and should mature to about 13.2 hands. I was very impressed that a youngster like Zephyr had the patience to pose for his photos in his wreath and hat.
|Silver Gem and Anouk Busch|
Of course, posing perfectly is not the only thing that horses do during my photo sessions. Some of them prefer to eat the props (pictured above).
|Miss Tuesday, aka Stormin Miss|
And others, like Mary the Morgan, appreciate the lights and holiday magic all around them.
Horses and Hope 2013 Calendar
Last year, with the help of Gina Keesling of HoofPrints, my debut calendar contained over 100 photos of auction horses. Thanks to the support of horse lovers all over, it raised over $40,000 for One Horse At A Time, helping hundreds of horses in need directly, and untold others indirectly through increased public awareness. Now that we have one calendar's worth of experience to draw upon, the 2013 version promises to be even more exciting, even more creative, and as always, inspirational and positive.
Please click on the links below to read read about the horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules in the calendar:
A Visit to Project Sage Horse Rescue
Electronic Press Release: 2013 Calendar