The Elegance of Horses

There's something about horses that mesmerizes me. The ferocity, the movement, the power... an entire situation of chaos being controlled by a bridle and a saddle.

I recall visiting the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan and seeing that Hayao Mayazaki spent many an hour (day? Week? Month? Years?) creating animations of horses and their movement as he watched it on a screen. This affected me profoundly for my own vision. While the application is different (I'm capturing specific moments through photography instead of trying to capture and animate the intricate movements of horses), I feel that horses represent a bit of a starting place and a centering place for me: Amidst the chaos and the uncontrollable situations of horses and riders jumping, I have to watch them carefully, calm myself down, focus and just shoot... and get it right.

This all came about when I started attending the horse riding show they have at the Vancouver PNE during the Summers here. On this particular day (in 2013 I believe), it was pouring rain and thus difficult to explore PNE and enjoy the rides (I get a bit sick and dizzy on them nowadays... I miss my youth days.......). Attempting to find shelter from the rain pouring onto my jacket, I found the farm area where people showcased cows, chickens, bees and honey and the like. After further walking, I found myself into horse jumping arena where riders and horses were attempting runs and jumps among obstacle courses.

Shot on a Nikon F90x with a 50mm F1.8D prime lens. Ilford HP5 400 probably. For the record, I only had 36 shots (or less) so I was definitely not motoring through these shots. I was waiting until it all came together and then... *click*. Missed? Hit? Couldn't tell. Next one is coming. ... waiiiit.... waiiiit.... *click*, *click*... That felt good... Here's another one. OK, focus, breathe.... now hold... track it in camera... *CLICK*