Before I capture your story, I’d like to tell you mine….
You and I have at least one thing in common – we love our horses. And that looks different for many of us!
...the lesson horse who brightens our day...
...the lease we lavish attention on...
...the horse we own and couldn’t live without...
And some of us still dreaming about the horses who will fill our lives. And undoubtedly you have documented your relationship with selfies, show photos, and snapshots! I can ensure you will always remember this time in your life, but first let me share my own photographic journey with horses.
Sundance, my Welsh Cob mare, was my first love and everything my horsey dreams were made of.
Round and lazy, more whoa than go; she built my confidence and leg muscles. Her thick mane was the perfect handhold, her height unintimidating, and her manner completely bombproof. When I wasn’t riding, I was drawing and reading to learn more.
But as I set my aspirations on jumping, my pony was replaced with a 17hh OTTB named Sid.
Pony Club provided my first formal lessons and instruction. We jumped, my heart raced, and I grew to relish that mixture of fear and adrenaline. The day of our first cross country meet, the roar of the wind and pounding of hooves and my heart swelled together in a cacophony of pure bliss.
I enjoyed riding though high school and into junior college. But when I was accepted to Cal Poly and could not bring my horses, both were sold.
I cried. Hard.
A summer outside of Yosemite, leading trail rides at Camp Mather, was healing to my heart and gave me countless hours in the saddle. My responsibility grew as I learned to look after group after group of novice riders.
And at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA I found my people on the polo field.
My seat became rock solid as I ran up and down the arena, changing direction on a dime and reaching out to tap a ball or hook a mallet. The vast number of horses I rode was essential to my equine education.
My university instructors introduced me to a new way of working with horses and I learned about Ray Hunt, Bill and Tom Dorrance, and Buck Brannaman. This was a way of communication I wanted to learn but never knew how. The school horses provided countless hours of practice and learning.
Since college, God has continued to be faithful in bringing horses into my life. But the biggest way I learned to keep my connection to horses was combining my love of art with photography. Joining with other horse lovers and telling their story keeps me immersed in the equine world even when I can’t ride.
When I look back at my pixelated horse photos and realize it’s all I have to show my daughter as I tell her stories of my horse adventures, it makes me sad. I regret that there was no one to preserve my memories in a more tangible way. While it’s too late for me to capture those teenage memories, I can document this part of your life in ways you can share with future generations.
The bottom line:
You need someone familiar with horses to provide a technically excellent photo. Someone who will be safe at your barn and elicit beautiful expressions from your horse without causing fear. Someone who is excited about your partnership and knows the little moments that make it special.
That someone is me. I can’t wait to tell your story.