To my delight, I was able to bring together two of my most beloved obsessions recently: Horses and Photography.
I went out a barn to photograph a young girl and her horse a week or so ago. I wandered into the tack room, and became lost in my own nostalgia. I inhaled deeply, soaking up the strong, textured aromas of the leather and the horses combined.
I closed my eyes and could see my 9-year-old self running around a tack room very similar to this one, within the barn I rode at for many years during my childhood.
Although they were not my intended subjects of the evening, I began firing off shots of the tack: Saddles stacked in haphazard order on top of each other…bridles all hung in row. A granddaddy of a western saddle, complete with beautiful, delicate tooling and about an inch of dust clinging to its weathered surface.
I got a kick out of the tangled mess of halters being held to a wall by a single nail. I know what it is like to try to retrieve the one you need without causing all of them to fall to the floor.
And then, the girl that I was there to photograph – the equestrian – went through the process of getting her own saddle ready to be used. She pulled it off the rack, brimming with pride. Apart from the horse, the saddle is a rider’s most prized possession. As I watched her, I recalled my first saddle. The care I put into keeping it in pristine condition. The pride I felt in being able to call it my own.
I could have spent the entire night in that tack room. Not necessarily photographing it – just…being there.
*More of the outcome from this photoshoot can be found on my new online portfolio WordPress site: View Finder