redroanchronicles: In Harness (in harness)
As an equine photographer in the American West, there are some facts of life that I just have to accept. One of those is that most of my opportunities to photograph equine athletes in action are going to also involve ropes, shank bits and chewing tobacco. And I'm okay with that. Honestly. It's just that deep down in my soul, at the very heart of me, there's a little voice crying out for braids and breeches and helmets and a shiny row of neatly turned-out horses.

Thank you, Lord, for the Pony Club. Blessed is the Pony Club, where the photo opportunities are made of solid gold.

I love the Pony Club. I mean, I love the Pony Club. The style of horsemanship they teach is rather more traditional than my own, but I'm constantly impressed that the Pony Club always stays true to its basic mission, which is to make these kids better citizens in the equestrian world, and to require them to have actual knowledge of horse care and behavior, rather than just riding. My fondest wish is that I had been able to do Pony Club as a whippersnapper, but since I didn't have the chance, I'm happy to lend my support to my local Pony Clubs in all of their endeavors. (For any of you who might be reading in Humboldt County, the Lost Coast Pony Club is based in Ferndale, and the new Six Rivers Pony Club is just starting up in Eureka. If anyone has an interest in either club, drop me a line and I'll send you contact details. Or for anyone in any area who has an interest in Pony Club, you can visit the national organization's website to find a club in your area.)

The adults are there to mentor the kids. The kids are there to be amazing.

The horses are there to lend a little class and respectability to the proceedings. They have that effect everywhere they go.

These Pony Clubbers, adults and kids alike, were truly a credit to their organization: the show classes ran like a well-oiled machine, the horses on the whole seemed fairly happy and well-tempered (though I'd love if flash nosebands weren't such a fashion), and I went the whole day without seeing anyone streaking by on an out-of-control horse, striking or otherwise berating a horse, or displaying any of the other forms of bad behavior that sadly I have often witnessed in events all over the west. The adults and instructors were supportive and helpful to their students and fellow Pony Clubbers without being overbearing, and the general sense of good cheer remained steady throughout the day.

If I had a dapper cap, Lost Coast Pony Club, I would tip it to you. Job well done, and you looked darned good doing it. I couldn't have been prouder unless I had in some way made a real contribution to your success. BRAVO.

For more photos from this event, check out the full gallery here.


redroanchronicles: Juno - Kiss Me (Default)

August 2011

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