He’s on a Horse

We took Chong Chong for horse-riding in the Shunyi District of Beijing. (The event was organized by Gymboree, which he attends on almost a weekly basis.)

This was his first time on a horse. Chong Chong was a bit skittish when I transferred him from my shoulders to the saddle, but he settled in quite fast after the horse started walking. I had one hand on his leg and the other on his back as we started out.

After a few minutes, and I asked the guide if it would be okay for Chong Chong to ride without me holding him. The guide said it would be fine as long as Chong Chong had both feet in the stirrups, and his hands on the straps. And, well, that was it… off he went riding by himself.

btw, this was the first time that Chong Chong has successfully ridden a four-legged animal (unsuccesful attempts are limited to our dog and two cats).

Horse and Cart with Melons

Shanshan and I did a bit of walking after visiting the local B&Q home improvement store. As we were crossing the street, I saw this absolutely beautiful horse attached to a cart. I took six or so pictures at waist level as we were walking toward it (the 14 mm is terrifically suited for this type of work). I was trying to capture the definition of the horse’s muscles at the top of the front legs… just plain stunning. I think if you look click on the image and view the larger one which is linked to it, you might be able to see more clearly… it was a bit of work to get the detail to show as it is without whitewashing the highlights entirely.

In any event, when I was going through the photos on my computer, I liked this one the best of the six. I had been trying to just capture the horse, but really ended-up liking the totality of the picture… from the couple on the left (her in a qipao and him in more western clothes) to the woman with the umbrella (to shade her from the sun) to the san lun che behind her to the cart… even to the man on the far right who seems to be looking at me. And, of course, the mix between “modern” and, well,  not that is ever present here.

In some ways, I guess this photograph sums-up what I love about this this city.

btw, Shanshan tells me that this horse, with short stature and well muscled, is probably from Mongolia.