At the end of photographing a dressage schooling session for a friend, her dog came running to us as if to say, “What about me!?” She posed, she played, I think she enjoyed every minute of it. I think I’ve discovered I enjoy photographing dogs nearly as much as horses.
I had a busy couple of weeks with local pony club competitions and summer camps. It was SO MUCH fun and brought back lots of happy memories. Being able to interact with the riders, their parents and the coaches while I was photographing was just awesome. Watching the smiles on the kids faces and hearing them cheer on their fellow clubbers just nearly made me tear up (seriously, I ‘happy’ cry verrrrrry easily). Some of the older clubbers were very strong riders and I expect to see their names at some major competitions in the next decade. With all the accidents that have occured in Eventing the last few years, it’s good to see young riders being taught the basics and becoming very competent equestrians.
Some of my favorites from the various events:
Oh I wanted to be 12 again and go for a ride on this great pony!
A hug from 'mom' after the jump
I'm a sucker for the broad blazes and pink noses
In the shade between rounds
Beautiful background for a beautifully ridden jump
About to splash!
Hair like Lady Gaga - only better
Compass Rose Farm hosted CDCTA‘s Combined Test and Dressage Schooling show 6/19/10. It was hot! But I’ll take that over being rained out. I wanted to jump into the judge’s ‘booths’ (cars with AC on) but photographing two dressage rings at once kept me running back and forth for six hours. The dust made for some interesting affects on the photos… and some gross affects on my hair and face. A shower has never felt so good.
The program listed over 100 rides and I had over 750 photos to come home with. I was so impressed by the number of happy, smiling riders I saw throughout the day! Most horses were incredibly well behaved but the few that saw boogey men in the corners of the ring certainly tested their riders’ patience. I loved how the riders were encouraging to their horses and didn’t seem disappointed or aggravated (despite the glaring heat).
A few of my favorite photos from the day:
Looking for low-cost weekend activities for the family, for yourself or for a creative date? Of course I’m biased, but equestrian events and venues are a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors away from your typical neighborhood scene. Here are my suggestions for several local options.
Frying Pan Farm Park - Kidwell Farm, wagon rides, horse shows most weekends
Morven Park - gorgeous setting, horse shows most weekends, carriage museum tours, Museum of Hounds & Hunting, Civil War Living History Program (select dates)
Twilight Polo at Great Meadows – unique date night! every Saturday evening May 22 through Sep 11, bring your own picnic or purchase food on the grounds
Upperville Colt & Horse Show – June 7 – 13 only, oldest horse show in the nation, lots of vendors, beautiful setting
Foxchase Farm – several hunter and jumper shows throughout the summer
Kidwell Farm at Frying Pan Farm Park
A friend of mine took her young mare to the horse’s first show this past weekend. The day itself went perfectly – nice weather at the show grounds, lots of helping hands and best of all, a relaxed and confident horse. It was fun for me to see the work my friend put in over the past year result in ribbons in both classes she entered. Patience, careful progressive training and lots of love paid off in a horse that completely trusted its rider in a new situation.
The pictures from the day captured a very photogenic mare (she seemed to enjoy posing) and a very happy rider enjoying every moment. I think these two are going to have some great days ahead for them. Congratulations Tina and Addie!
I went to watch a little bit of the Friesian Horse Show at Frying Pan Park this past weekend. Friesians seem to be the one horse that all people, horsey or not, consider beautiful and somewhat majestic. I’ve heard many husbands tell their wives that if they were ever going to ride a horse, it would be a Friesian. They have a history of being ridden by kings and in wars but are also known to be gentle and personable. You’ve seen them in movies such as “Mask of Zorro,” “Interview with a Vampire,” “300,” “Chronicles of Narnia,” and “Lord of the Rings.”
The Friesians have such a presence about them that it’s easy to get some really expressive photos. Their bold trot kicks up the sand and the canter looks powerful even in a freeze frame. I snapped a few pictures while the riders were doing their warm-up for the dressage classes. I also struck up a conversation with a lovely young rider and her mother.
Their horse, Gys, was of course beautiful but it was his sweet personality that really made me smile. While he was taking a break outside of the arena, I snapped a picture from behind him. I thought it might turn out as a nice shot but was really pleased when I got home to really have a look. It’s now one of my favorites and was so completely random. For me, it shows the gentle side of the Friesian that is often overlooked by their strength and power.