Though “one day, one photograph” is my typical style, the images from my springtime trip to the Kentucky Horse Park (mostly taken while hanging around at the warm-up ring) make a charming slice-of-life set.
Let’s start things off with The Plaid Horse‘s publisher, Dr. Piper Klemm, with Sundae.
While the warm-up ring is ostensibly a place to practice prior to showing, it also often the location of impromptu meetings and morning strolls.
Piper Klemm on Sundae in the warm-up ring.
The warm-up is also a place for horses to shake out some energy and get any necessary attitude adjustment.
Dapples mean a healthy horse.
That preparation time made for positive results in the ring. Trainer Emily Elek congratulations Reuben.
It’s bath time for a sweaty horse done with showing.
Compress-air-powered airbag vests are increasingly common on younger riders.
Early in the morning, the golf carts waited in lines outside the barns—mimicking the positions of nearby horses in their stalls in the barns.
Cell phone videos of warm-up make an exceptionally valuable tool for improvement.
Reuben very occasionally sticks out his tongue and I find it funnier than I should.
A close overlap between conversation-walk and warm-up-canter in the warm-up ring.
Piper on Reuben.
The pattern of planting boxes reminded me of the pacing of strides riders seek to find approaching a jump.
Junior rider Lexi Miller relaxes between rounds.
As a child, I was deeply interested in the idea of islands—these isolated, well-defined chunks of land that were separated from everyone else. My favorite LEGO sets were those modeling pirates marooned on desert islands. I wonder what my childhood self would have thought of living in a town with an uninhabited island at its center?
Tennessee posts have previously been the domain of my Decaseconds co-author, but a recent visit to see him in Johnson City meant that I was able to photograph some of his regular haunts for myself. Our hike to Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains revealed some pretty spectacular natural settings.
Perhaps it’s a childhood spent on the trails around Mohonk Mountain House, but whatever the reason, I’m a huge fan of stairs along trails. This drone’s-eye view of Heritage Park’s trail in Canton shares some similar trail architecture.
This uninhabited island sits at the center of Canton, New York. While it’s currently a park, the ruins on the island indicate its past as the site of water-powered mills that processed the products of the surrounding farmland. I’m still discovering more of its history, but I’m fascinated by the process that could lead an entire section of a town to be abandoned.
I didn’t see this particular rider’s round in the dressage portion of Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Eventing, but based on the look on his face, I’m assuming it didn’t go as he’d hoped.
At Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Eventing, the dressage portion of the competition takes place in this tightly constrained box that, rendered against the footing of Rolex Stadium, looks like some surrealist dreamscape.
A trail, complete with cool stairs and abandoned ruins, on an island in the middle of town is something my childhood self would have been absolutely over the moon with. From a drone’s eye view, I think that sense of magic is effectively captured.
Kentucky Horse Park is an almost unreal expanse of stables, rings, and fields. During Three-Day Eventing, those fields are converted to a cross-country course.
This image is my submission to the Spring Photo Contest being run by Grasse River Heritage; the river and its associated park are its subject. I delight in being asked to work under requirements—in this case, both a subject and a time of year—because I feel it focuses me. I get to achieve something specific, which adds some delightful pressure to flying my quadcopter around the island.
The look of a mogul at the show—Publisher of The Plaid Horse, Dr. Piper Klemm—has changed a bit in 2021. The Bane-esque jacket for an unusually cold day at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Eventing was combined with a Clarkson University mask (perfect for promoting her summer courses.)
This week’s theme on Decaseconds is apparently athletic fields. In the suburban Chicago grid, little park oases like these are a delightful break from the monotony.
Much like Manhattan’s Central Park, Prague’s Petřín is (in part) a demonstration of the will and effort required on the part of a city to maintain green spaces. Once they become part of the city’s identity (as in those aforementioned cases), they exist in a space orthogonal to modern real estate development.
When it comes to equines (and their riders), I’ve generally found that attitude is inversely proportional to size.
Anyone who says animals don’t have individual personalities has been spending time with the wrong animals.
Walking across the heat-shimmered horse park with a blue ribbon, the ultra-long shot maybe puts me in mind most of… the Mandalorian? That makes Reuben a very large Child.