The Truth About the Glamour of Having A Horse

A while ago a friend and I got to talking about “image” and how to people that don’t have horses, owning a horse often seem glamorous. After all, we get to work with these beautiful animals everyday, how can that not be glamorous!? That’s the image of horse people that people often have. In fact, I would describe my own photography as pretty glam, and probably contributing to that overall “image”. I think it’s because of this that I often have non horse people ask if they can borrow a horse for equestrian photos of themselves. 

When I photograph people with their horses, I’m trying to immortalize their bond. But I’m definitely also trying to do it in the prettiest way possible, in a photo they’ll love to display. And I truly hope that the connection between human and horse comes through, but there is so much more to than relationship then you see in my photos. I’m showing you the dressed up version that’s been edited and cleaned up. 

What you don’t see in my photos is the hours spent mucking stalls, the sleepless nights watching a colicky horse, the early mornings prepping for horse shows.  You don’t see that virtually every single rider I know spends more time grooming and taking care of their horse than they do riding them. You don’t see that it took years of riding to be able to safely sit on that horse bareback for a pretty photo. 

So while I hope my photos are “pretty” and “glamorous”, don’t be fooled, loving horses isn’t glamorous and behind the scenes it often isn’t pretty. I hope that beyond the surface beauty, my photos make my clients feel something. I hope that they look at those photos of them and their horse and see the love between them, and remember all the good rides AND all the tough times. 

So in case anyone was wondering, loving horses is no where near as glamorous as my photos might lead you to believe. But I can tell you it’s worth it. 

Believe it or not, I don’t really have many photos of the unglam, behind-the-scenes work of working with horses to go with this post, so instead, here’s a few bloopers from my session with my own horse, it all of our photogenic glory. Cause for every good picture, there’s always one where the horse is trying to walk away from you, fighting the bit, or just generally not cooperating with all of our beautiful, elegant visions of horse photography.