Gitana | Celebrating a Dear Friend’s Retirement

“You can’t stop time, but you can freeze it.” My brother said that to me the other day. It was a reminder to me that photography and videography is so important; it’s truly something to cherish. Change — and change in my family in particular — always makes me feel a deep ache. I think […]

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September 7, 2021

Emily Boone

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“You can’t stop time, but you can freeze it.” My brother said that to me the other day. It was a reminder to me that photography and videography is so important; it’s truly something to cherish. Change — and change in my family in particular — always makes me feel a deep ache. I think it’s because when my family undergoes change, it verifies that yes, indeed, time is passing. I’m a nostalgic old soul and processing change usually requires me to get in my feels a little bit!

A change we went through last year was saying goodbye to/celebrating our dear Gitana’s retirement. Gitana was my mom’s horse for several years, and the joy she brought to my mom was something we all loved deeply, not to mention the beautiful Warmblood herself. If you’re worried for Gitana as you read this right now, don’t fret. She’s healthy and happy and enjoying a well deserved retirement (which for most horses, means getting to meander through pastures with a few buddies, tied down only by a feeding schedule and personal whims like, “Should I scratch my butt on a tree? Should I roll in the dirt? Should I fall asleep under this shady tree? Should I cause trouble and run up the block to visit neighbors? Hmmm… what to do today.”) No, no need to worry about G. There comes a time in the lives of most working horses when they are at an age and ability that necessitates ending their “career” as a show jumper or dressage horse or what have you, but they’re still very much happy, active, and energetic. This is the point when caring owners find a retirement plan. So for these photos, we were, in the happiest and saddest way, wishing G off into a joyful retirement and documenting every little thing about her we’d love and miss. We’d see her less, but we’d know she’s enjoying something she hasn’t gotten do to much of in her life yet: just be a horse. Not a jumper, not a teacher, not a beloved pet, just a horse being a horse.

I love these photos so much. I look back at them and my brother’s quote rings a bittersweet feeling in my heart. I miss sweet G. I actually got to see her recently (see video/images below) and it was a joyful reunion. She’s so beautiful and kind, and she was such a good friend in that season when my mom got to continue to live her dream of riding horses (which she still gets to do to this day). My heart tells me that horses are sacred. They are so… almost mystically beautiful, and just their presence can bring so much healing. These photos make me feel that on a very deep level. It was really special, by photographing G with my mom, to display the magical qualities horses possess.

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