One of the things I love to do is capture stories. And this story is truly special of this team of nearly 20 years.
Hillary was in a horse 4-H club and when she first met Prize. Prize was a green 4 year old and Hillary was the one (after riding horses for a couple years first) who trained her under saddle. They were a team for 6 years and with the permission from Prize's owner (the 4-H leader), Hillary took her with her to Oregon State University.
Once Hillary graduated from college, Prize was given to her. Now she had her very own horse for keeps. Prize is 23 years old now, and loves to go on trail rides and low key competitions. And during their peak show seasons, they were quite the team, even taking Grand Champion Showmanship out of 101 competitors.
It was my pleasure to capture the bond that they share at a place they love to go trail riding at, McIver State Park. I was a gray Oregon day, but that didn't slow them down.
Let me introduce you to Miranda and her three horsekateers, mustangs to be exact. Yes, each of these horses were once wild and roaming the countryside of Oregon or Nevada with their own herds and they have the BLM freeze brand on their necks to prove it.
Miranda has an amazing bond with all of her horses, but True Grit, aka Rooster, is her true heart horse. He is the golden boy who performs dressage, jumps, and of course can be ridden bareback or western. And who doesn't love any horse that's named after John Wayne. ;-)
I'm excited to show you my favorites from our golden horse equine session this week. But first, all the names! In the photo above from on the left is Elizabeth, aka Lizzy, she's the only mare in the bunch and is a sassy girl. In the middle is Rooster. And on the right is the newer addition to the family, Mr. Big, who is very big and easy going, and not to mention a gorgeous red roan with a Roman nose. The trust and partnership these four have is just amazing and it shows in all the photos!
I'm just in love with these photos of Goldie, who is an off the track Appendix (Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred) mare turned barrel racer, and her owner, Alyssa. The little field behind her barn was just perfect for our photo session. I'm excited to share with you some of my favorite images from this equine photo shoot.
It’s the morning of your photo session with your horse and he’s all clean and hanging out in his stall munching on some hay, and it’s finally time for you to get ready!
One of the most important things to do is to manage your time. Figure out how long it will take cleaning your horse and getting yourself ready, and add an hour. You might think that’s being over cautious, but it’s for if something comes up that you weren’t expecting. And if you complete everything on time, then you have some time to rest before your photographer arrives.
Let’s just say that you don’t add an extra hour and you’re running behind and you’re not ready when the photographer arrives. Sure, your photographer will most likely wait for you to finish getting ready, but they are scheduled to be there at a certain time to start and a certain time to stop. That stop or end time doesn’t get pushed back if you’re running late. If you’re doing an evening golden hour session, the photographer won’t physically be able to extend their time because the daylight will run out. And even if it’s a morning or afternoon session, your photographer could have another session they will travel to.
Yes, I was one of those horse crazy girls that you might have heard of. I collected Breyer Horses instead of Barbies. I looked out the window on road trips and imagined myself galloping on a horse, jumping over fences, keeping my steed along side the car.
And one summer when I was eight years old after day camp, my mom took me to a miniature donkey farm to meet a pony named Star. He came home with us and I renamed him Stardust, since he was dusty in color and his star was tiny.
Now it’s the day before your session and there’s a lot to prepare so that you can have a stress free night and get plenty of sleep.
It’s time to polish your tack. Don your work clothes and get ready to get dirty. Give all of your tack a good once (or even twice over) by rubbing oil into the leather, shining all your chrome, and don’t forget to clean your bit. Also, make sure to gather up everything you will want or need for your photo shoot, maybe a towel for wiping up slobber, lipstick for touch ups, an extra lead rope, your nice halter, objects to get your horse’s attention (like keys, plastic bag (but don’t scare him with it), toy, whip, etc), and water bottle, and put it all into a bag or bucket.
Like I mentioned in my last post, you don’t want to procrastinate. Set aside the time you need to get everything done before hand. And don’t be shy to ask for help from a close friend or family member if time is running short. And don’t forget, the last thing for the day would be getting a good nights sleep. Once all the prep work is done, then you can get some rest without worry.
Its the the morning of your session and the first thing you want to do is your hair and makeup, but you need to hold off on that because your horse needs some attention first.
I hope you stay awhile. This is where I will talk about my paintings, processes, photography & adventures, post processing, social media, and more.
© Western Rose Studios 2014 - 2018
Artist, Photographer & Educator