Monday, March 31, 2008

The Spring Equinox

Spring is here...really...I'm not kidding...!!
Ok I know it doesn't exactly look like spring out there, well not in Ontario anyway, but according to the calendar it arrived on March 21st.

So what is the spring equinox? According to Wikipedia: "The event that the Sun is positioned directly over the Earth's equator..." and "There is either an equinox (autumn and spring) or a solstice (summer and winter) on approximately the 21st day of the last month of every quarter of the calendar year. On a day which has an equinox, the centre of the Sun will spend a nearly equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on Earth and night and day will be of nearly the same length."

So what did I do to celebrate spring? I found some horses to photograph of course. I was shooting this month's assignment for EPNet, which was to photograph horses and their environment or with their people or other horses, during the spring equinox. The photos had to be converted to B&W or sepia and only one photo could be entered in the competition. EPNet is a wonderful forum that is always pushing us to become better horse photographers.

Here are some of the photos I took at Spruce Lane Farm. Some boarders were riding in the indoor arena and then letting their horses burn off some steam afterwards. Thanks to Lauren, Meghan, Val, and the Stantons for humouring me!

Monday, March 17, 2008

CanAm 2008 ~ Part 2

I just wanted to share a few more photos from CanAm. Some from the breed demo:
Friesian in harness...gotta love those manes...

Friesian under saddle:

A beautiful Gypsy Vanner in harness (note to any GV owners out there looking for photography me, let's make a deal ;o) )

A nice black Percheron in harness. That breed has such lovely movement:

...and from the extravaganza:
"Bash" is a 19+ hh Belgian that holds the record for the tallest trick horse in the world. His rider/trainer sounded like an introverted Dolly Parton. Love that accent ;o)

The Canadian Cowgirls are always a big hit. Some day our own North River Riders Demo Team will give them a run for their money... right girls ;o) !?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

CanAm 2008

My sister and I made the annual journey to the CanAm show in London, Ontario this past Friday. We are always amazed at the number of friends and clients we run into every year, which seems to grow exponentially. I fear I would be a danger if I were a horse owner at this event with it's feast of all things horsey that can be bought. Happily, my only purchase was an Ariat one shouldered back pack, entirely practical and chartreuse in colour. Yes, not being a horse owner was definitely an asset. I was able to pass by the vendors with an apologetic smile and a shrug of the shoulders..."Sorry, don't have a horse..." as they pushed bridles, how-to books, horse trailers, and worming medicine at me.

We decided to buy tickets to the always entertaining Extravaganza in the evening. It was a bit rough around the edges compared to other years. The sound system went out for a bit, the lighting wasn't done well, a little girl fell off her pony when it bolted during the Haflinger breed demo, and one of the trick horses wasn't very cooperative. Nonetheless a few acts made up for it. My favourite again is the beautiful Andalusian stallion Acierto and his flamboyant owner, Laura Amandis. I think they were at their best this year. A new act this year was led by an Andalusian as well. This stunning white horse named Blanco is an equine actor, and was in 2 of the Lord of the Rings movies as Gangalf's mount, Shadowfax. He will also be in the upcoming Hercules movie. I think the crowd gasped in delight when he came out with wings on and galloped around the arena with his trainer dressed as a fairy in white. Magical!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A Girl & her Horses

Since winter seems to be hanging on by it's frosty nails and doesn't seem to want to relinquish it's hold to spring, I shall continue to post photos of horses in the snow.

Although it was a dull day back in December when I visited Nicole and her horses for a photo shoot, the soft lighting proved to be very flattering for the teen and her horses. Apache and Irish were very willing subjects and put on quite a show for the camera. There was quite a bond between the paint and appaloosa and their owner. I hope that shows through in the images. You can visit their Horse of the Week pages here: Apache & Irish .

Have a great March break!

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Winter isn't just fun for horses, dogs love it too!

Duke, a very handsome Labrador Retriever who owns the Leatherdale family, was very happy to be in on the photo shoot when I last visited their farm. He even quite obligingly wore a bright red scarf, to match the kid's outfits (although I'm sure if Duke had decided on green, the kids would have had to change their outfits).

I find photographing dogs at a run, quite a bit more challenging than horses...I think because they are smaller moving targets (unless of course we are talking about the 185 lb Great Dane at Stonegate...but that's another story). It is very helpful to have some willing children throw a stick or ball for the dog so you are free to catch the action. Duke was very animated as he chased a baseball...even diving head first into a snowdrift when the ball went astray. Enjoy these pictures of this lovely dog.