Tranquil summer fields beneath a vividly hued sky make for a perfect Kentucky landscape.
Old and New Kentucky
Rays from the Barn
Drones open up all kinds of new perspectives, but these vantages don’t always have to be extreme or dramatic. The equivalent height of an aerial work platform presents just the correct geometry to get these rays from the setting sun to explode from the roof of a recently renovated barn outside Lexington, Kentucky.
First Ride on Taco
One Horse Spices Up the Whole Scene
Horses at Home
Rain Before Kentucky Summer
The day before July’s Kentucky Summer horse show was a rainy one—but there was still work to be done.
Naturally, though, we’ll start with a picture of Will taking a break from that work.
Piper hangs out with her horse, Reuben, while he has a snack.
Slick the Corgi is just excited to be here.
Piper gears up for a ride in the rain.
Look at that grin! Even in the rain, Piper’s having fun.
The deep greens make for some dramatic shots.
Emily Elek, Piper’s trainer, observes her warm-up from under a tree. The pony with her is working on his social skills.
The rain paused and the wet raincoat could come off; the smile remained.
There seems to be an understanding.
The trip back to the barn makes some great long perspective shots.
Margaux Barn (One of Many)
A Visit to Albion Equestrian Center
Albion College’s Equestrian Center sits on 340 acres near the outskirts of campus. In addition to fields and paddocks, the manor house of the land’s previous inhabitants sits on a nearby hill, overlooking the goings-on.
The facility has a lot of hay storage.
Inside the facility, the region’s Pony Clubs were holding a rally. This particular pony looks pretty surprised to be finding themselves in the wash stall.
Horses Among the Preparations
From the Shack to the Moon
We’ve finished Kentucky Summer at the Kentucky Horse Park and I thought it was time for a mega-post of my favorite shots from the week.
A lot has to happen around the barn to get the horses and ponies ready to compete… But everyone needs a break from time to time. The ponies seemed interested in Will’s snacks.
Will’s family dog, Slick the corgi, joined us in Kentucky this year.
Rider Lexi Miller was out schooling ponies in the shadow of the Rolex Stadium.
Maya Thomas likewise had her ponies to school. I really like this pony’s mane, which prefers to stick straight up.
Piper Klemm was jumping Reuben in the schooling ring. Her trainer, Emily Elek, looks on from the background.
Lexi relaxes around the barn on a step ladder…
…Or on a trunk.
Piper heads out on Reuben for a class.
A father and daughter have coffee-and-phone time in the morning.
This horse’s whiskers were caught perfectly in the morning light.
Piper tightens Reuben’s string girth, a signature of Balmoral.
In a parallel to the “dogs look like their owners” trope, I like photographing cases were riders match their clothes to their horses. Unsurprisingly, this seems to happen most with gray horses.
Back at the barn, boots need last-minute polishing before heading to the ring.
Will wait to ride. The step ladder gets a lot of use for both climbing onto horses and waiting to do so.
This horse is drying after a bath; the curly mane is a sign that braids have recently been removed.
Julia Rossow, here watching action in the schooling ring, is an assistant trainer at Balmoral.
That schooling ring can be an exceptionally chaotic place.
Following an under-saddle class, the winner is called forward to receive her ribbon while the rest of the large field watches.
A Gucci belt is quite the warm-up accessory.
Piper gets some training advice from Emily Elek.
David Vega is an incredible horseman; Piper was honored that he made it to the ring to watch her show.
Hard work pays off with a wall of ribbons.