Confessions of a Horse Show Photographer

amanda-sylvia:

1. Dressage/Eventing riders - use your corners! Standing at one end of the ring, I can see that 95% of you are not actually riding into your corners. I can see.

2. On that note, if you actually make your circles round, you may score better! Round if not a square. Or an octogon. Or a trapezoid. Or a triangle. I’ve seen it all. If it has corners, you’re not doing it right!

3. If you make no effort to even attempt to get your horse on the bit, don’t be upset that your pictures don’t look as nice as the lovely round horse who IS on the bit. Trust me, it doesn’t please me to take pictures of your horse with his mouth twisted open, evading the contact. But I can only work with what you give me, people.

4. Dress the part. Jesus people, would it kill you to even groom your horse? If it’s a schooling show I personally don’t much care if you braid or don’t braid. But if you want to look like the professionals in your photo, you’re going to have to look like the professionals in real life as well. If you choose to wear beat up old field boots, a coat that’s too big, and leave shavings in your horse’s tail, I don’t have an issue with you personally, but don’t be upset that you don’t look like the person who braided their horse, shined their boots, and wore a coat that actually fit. 

5. RIDE YOUR CORNERS.

6. Jumpers - please don’t die. A lot of you are really scary. I mean really scary. You realize it’s often counter-productive to ride your horse like a bat out of hell with little control, running him into every jump and not getting out of his way over the jump, right? Your horse doesn’t look happy in his photos when you do this, I can promise. Take that as a sign, will you?

7. You’re telling me that my pictures make you look fat. You’re on a horse. If you think you look fat on a horse you have two options: get a bigger horse or get a smaller ass.

8. A picture is a mere moment in time. Everyone has some moments where they don’t look their best. That being said, if you have several “mere moments in time” and you think you look like a terrible rider, chances are that you might actually be one.

9. To be honest, I LOVE it when your horse misbehaves. As long as no one gets hurt, it is way more exciting to take pictures of a rearing, bucking horse than it is to take pictures of the same Training Level dressage test for four hours. I wont post the pictures, but if you ask me for them I’ll surely provide them for your viewing pleasure. Some of them are hilarious.

10. Please. Please please please. Ride your corners.

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