Riders of All Ages

Though most sports have an age of peak ability, English riding seems to be wide open to riders of all ages (though the cost of riding horses can remain a separate barrier.) Today, I wanted to look back at some of my portraits from past horse shows. First, a shot of young Hanna Rose Egan at the 2014 Kentucky Summer Classic.

The Young Competitor

I’ve heard that dogs and their people start to look similar, but I’ve never heard an equivalent edict for horses and their owners. Perhaps that should be reconsidered in light of this portrait from the 2014 Lake Placid show.

Horse/Man

Indoor Ring with Hay

When the weather outside is frightful (pardon the cliché), an indoor ring is good for two very important duties: (1) keeping the hay dry to feed the horses and (2) riding. This photograph has symmetry highlighted by the very bright windows; when a very bright light source shines through a lens (and it’s particularly noticeable with this prime lens), it creates an image of itself on the inverse side of the center of the image. In this particular case, that inverted image appears over the pony, indicating that the pony is across the inversion point from the window.

Indoor Ring with Hay

Riders at the Rail

At the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Summer Classic has wound down and Pony Finals are about to begin. This particular arrangements of trainers, riders, and well-wishers was arrayed at the the warm-up ring, and the gradient of shadows beneath the tree branches brought to mind some modern take on a Renaissance painting: linear, repeating patterns and strong, horizontal lines.

Riders at the Rail

Scenes from Kentucky Horse Park

For my 500th Decaseconds post, I’m bringing you some photos from the Pony Finals at the Kentucky Horse Park outside Lexington. The weather was fully as humid and sunny as the southern Midwest is fabled to be at the end of July, and these three images capture the different aspects of the place. This first image, of the model, captures the form and uniform (so to speak) that rigidly controls the event.

Pony Finals

This image, on the other hand, shows one of the folks working behind the scene. Given his surf-ready hair, blue wayfarers, and general air of authority, I call this image “Bro-thority.”

Brothority

Finally, I love this shot for the looks on the riders’ faces as they exit the ring—done, for just a moment, and proud or defeated or ambivalent but, at the very least, relieved.
Riders