First Hunt - Astley - With Cheshire Drag Hunt

Sat, Jan 11 2014 12:34
Today I photographed my first hunt. Many thanks to all at The Cheshire Drag Hunt for allowing me to photograph the day and to Brian for letting me to tag along in the car.

The full galleries can be seen at http://horseplayphotography.co.uk/Galleries/Events/Astley-Hunt-January-11th-2014/index.html


IMG_1371
A beer before perhaps?

IMG_1373
Hounds Away

IMG_1384
Photographers waiting

IMG_1385
Leading the way

IMG_1387
You shouldn't have parked there

IMG_1415
Fields of joy

IMG_1416
The line up

IMG_1454
Concentrated

IMG_1473
Easy

IMG_1476
It's not my fault you got so mucky, honest

IMG_1479
The hounds wait

IMG_1483
Let's go again

IMG_1485
Getting through the turnstiles

IMG_1491
Is anybody out there?

IMG_1494
What you looking at?

IMG_1497
Over we go...

IMG_1524
I can fly

IMG_1533
Smoking skyline

IMG_1537
Fancy being hunted by hounds today?

IMG_1547
Im gonna get him

IMG_1555
Hold on tight

IMG_1569
Returning

View Comments

Carneddau Ponies Collection with Gareth Jones and the Llanfairfechan Farmers

Wed, Nov 13 2013 02:59
The collection of the Carneddau Ponies is a centuries old tradition carried out by generations of the families who farm the hills. The ponies are collected and checked before being sent back out to roam freely atop the magnificent mountains. The Welsh Mountain Ponies are a breed that go back to Celtic times and possibly further. This is a studied rare breed and needs rare breed status to help protect them. Check out my day in photographs.


Carneddau-Ponies-0788
Gareth Wyn Jones and the team of local Farmers from Llanfairfechan preparing to ascend the mountain.

Carneddau-Ponies-0792
Briefing for a BBC Documentary

Carneddau-Ponies-0798
Leading the round up

Carneddau-Ponies-0803
Will Observing the roundup

Carneddau-Ponies-0811-3
The next generation

Carneddau-Ponies-0817
The first approach of the Carnaddau Ponies

Carneddau-Ponies-0820
We see you

Carneddau-Ponies-0821
Liam spotting

Carneddau-Ponies-0822
A journey, a landscape

Carneddau-Ponies-0825
Aged paths

Carneddau-Ponies-0830
Herd together

Carneddau-Ponies-0832
Stunning natural beauty

Carneddau-Ponies-0844
Quad roundup

Carneddau-Ponies-0849
Runaway

Carneddau-Ponies-0853
The bike crew

Carneddau-Ponies-0861
It's all down hill from here

Carneddau-Ponies-0864
Wild horses roaming the plains

Carneddau-Ponies-0880
Followed the same path

Carneddau-Ponies-0892
To the field

Carneddau-Ponies-0899-2
Hustle

Carneddau-Ponies-0917
Then or now

Carneddau-Ponies-0920
Returning to the farm

Carneddau-Ponies-0924
Gareth happy with the days collection

Carneddau-Ponies-0935
Pony

Carneddau-Ponies-0937
Protect me mommy

Carneddau-Ponies-0939
Hardy

Carneddau-Ponies-0940
Fresh Pastures

Carneddau-Ponies-0942
Look at my beautiful mane

Carneddau-Ponies-0946
Together

Carneddau-Ponies-0947
Contrasts

Carneddau-Ponies-0969
Colours

Carneddau-Ponies-1007
Wild things

Carneddau-Ponies-1019
Cute pony

Carneddau-Ponies-1026
Everything in this field in black and white

Carneddau-Ponies-1034
Handsome rogue

Carneddau-Ponies-1043
Roundup up for a check up

Carneddau-Ponies-1047
Still Observing

Carneddau-Ponies-1048
Now directing

Carneddau-Ponies-1049
In the ponies go

Carneddau-Ponies-1061
To have a check over and get their hooves inspected

Carneddau-Ponies-1053
All together now

Carneddau-Ponies-1056
Come on little one

Carneddau-Ponies-1063
Barefoot hooves

Carneddau-Ponies-1068
Our turn next

Carneddau-Ponies-1078
Finding our ponies

Carneddau-Ponies-1102
The round up team

Carneddau-Ponies-1106
These ponies

Carneddau-Ponies-1107
Four furry ponies


View Comments

Appleby Horse Fair 2013

Tue, Jun 11 2013 10:10
Last Friday I visited Appleby Horse Fair for the first time. I was not entirely sure what I was expecting to find at the Fair having only ever read newspaper reports, which are often purposefully negative. I wanted to see the horses and get a glimpse of the festivities of a culture i know little about.

For this trip I was travelling on the back of my Dad's Motorhorse. After a rather uncomfortable ninety minutes sat pillion we arrived at Appleby.

Appleby-Horse-1040702

The first thing to say about Appleby Horse Fair is that I was amazed at the conditioning and quality of so many of the horses. With Cobs a plenty the striking Paints were almost all looking exceptionally healthy and happy.

Down by the river Eden the skilled horseman rode bare back and free, enjoying the gaze of the many Travellers and tourists watching from the banks.

Appleby-Horse-5182

I have attended many Clinics and Shows and been able to view and learn to understand the importance of the relationship between horse and owner and how this is the most important aspect in learning to work together. I have learnt a little about dressage and plenty about natural horsemanship. The Gypsie and Travellers were certainly showing their horses this fine day.

Appleby-Horse-5196
Appleby-Horse-5051

One of the things i really enjoyed seeing was the horses being bathed and the gentleness with which they were washed down.

Appleby-Horse-5000

The main attraction of Appleby is perhaps seeing the horses swimming. Guided down the ramp to the river the horses i saw would usually just walk in to the water.

Appleby-Horse-4994
Appleby-Horse-5036

Once in the water the fun would begin and the many Gypsies and Travellers riding there cobs would be the focus of many a camera. Some of the photographers even got into the water to involve themselves in every photograph. Congrats guys, you must be the most photographed photographers ever.

Appleby-Horse-4995

Appleby-Horse-5058

Appleby-Horse-5019

Appleby-Horse-5153

There was much to see on the roads too as the Gypsy Cob Drivers were out in force.

Bentley-Appleby-Horse-1040746

Appleby-Horse-5311

And then there were the miniatures. This chap little one was particularly adorable.

Appleby-Horse-5200
Appleby-Horse-5201

From what I saw at Appleby it is a fun and festive gathering of a community. Whilst I was only around for a few hours I sensed a great atmosphere and was greeted regularly by the friendly folk i saw.

I would highly recommend anyone visits this traditional gathering of the Gypsy and Traveller communities.

You can view the complete gallery from Friday by visiting http://horseplayphotography.co.uk/Galleries/Events/Appleby-Horse-Fair/
View Comments

Robinsons Equestrian Bailey's Photo Shoot

Sun, Jun 2 2013 01:44
After a hard days work on the Robinson's Catalogue Bailey gets to have some playtime.


documentary-482documentary-479-Editdocumentary-455documentary-447documentary-445documentary-442-Edit

View Comments

New brochure

Tue, Nov 27 2012 08:37
I have created a new brochure to advertise my horse photography. Please share. Any comments also appreciated.

View Comments

Ears Forward

Wed, Aug 8 2012 06:32
The first time I photographed horses was when studying for my photography degree. I was picking up various bits of work but started working regularly for an events photography team, covering all the major shows including The Royal Welsh and other regional majors. My introduction to photographing horses was simple and basic to say the least. Point the camera with a fast shutter, track the horse and push the button. Then, when a horse was standing, photograph him and make sure that he is smiling. Rigid, formulaic and painful but apparently those were the pictures that sold.

When I began photographing horses again, post degree and for myself, I started to understand a little more about the equine world. I started to notice the differences in approach and opinion between the various different horse lovers that nestle on yards of all manner and description. I have worked with equine professionals of all descriptions from racing trainers to natural horseman and I have observed the dedicated individuals who work every hour to pay for and create the happiest life for their horse.

So my approach to photographing horses has been influenced greatly by people and professionals. I have looked at George Stubbs, the greatest equine artist, and asked what it is that he achieves that is so unique, so powerful and so correct. It is a simple answer as he concentrates first and foremost on the horse. My work concentrates on the horse and the relationship they have with their environment, their owners and other horses or animals. Stubbs would paint the horse first and fill in the background later. The background is only important in horse photography in terms of detailing the environment, the location and at times the moment. I concentrate on the horse.

I have looked at the much celebrated horse photographer Matthew Seed and the various other photographers who copied his fashionable style. Some powerful imagery created and well lit, but not natural, makes for often striking images without a connection. I like Matthews work, it has often given me a point of reference, but i cannot help but feel somewhat distant from it.
View Comments

Robinsons Equestrian

Tue, Jul 31 2012 04:35
I have recently started working with Robinsons, the UK's number 1 Equestrian Provider. I was approached to provide my photography as Robinsons understands that photographing horses correctly is essential to displaying their products.

As a horse photographer I understand that the nature of a horse, its behaviour and wellbeing, are determined by both the environment and people with them. A horse is very aware, alert for its safety and inquisitive for its dinner. Photographing horses for a catalogue over an intense period of time in an alien environment with new and threatening people is very different from the relaxed natural work I normally do.

30034 CFBBlackDP-26
30034 COLOURED FLASH BRIDLE
51797 TOBurg-162
51797 180TURNOUT RUG BURGUNDY
View Comments

Inspirational Days, with Robyn and Dylan

Tue, May 29 2012 05:44
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing an inspirational little girl, Robyn.

Meeting, grooming, riding and having some fun with Dylan was the order of the day. Having never met Dylan before Robyn had been hard at work cleaning and grooming him long before I arrived.

We introduced Dylan to the camera. Robyn needed no reminding she was being photographed as her radiating smile lit up an already bright summers day.

Robyn was visiting Dylan at Crows Nest Farm following a charity auction to raise funds for the Stick 'n' Step Charity. http://www.sticknstep.org/

sticknstepheader
untitled-322-2
untitled-468
untitled-431
untitled-417
untitled-319

View Comments

Parelli with Sharon Crabbe - At Liberty, Willow Moss Farm

Wed, May 23 2012 05:57
Last Sunday, 20th May, I attended the At Liberty Parelli Clinic run by Sharon Crabbe and hosted by Claire Green at Willow Moss Farm, Scarisbrook. Many thanks to all involved for a great day of photography and education.

For those who know little about Parelli or question the practice I believe that by visiting some of the photography on the
Parelli pages of my website you will be able to see the effectiveness and enjoyment gained from the Pat Parelli school of Natural Horsemanship.

These first two photographs show perfect harmony between horse and partner. The bond and togetherness is clear to see with a mirror image of formation and concentration.

parelli-769
parelli-739



The next two images describe the concentrated connection between horse and partner. The photographs describe two methods of communication and how with a little understanding a horse will listen to your every word and respond to the simplest of gestures.


parelli-702
parelli-676



The most important thing in a horses life is often its owner, its partner. By developing a mutual respect and understanding and by working together not only will a horse come to you as a friend but stand by your side with equal respect.


parelli-789
parelli-806-2



Sharon Crabbe is a Licensed Parelli Professional™ 3-Star Instructor. Sharon runs her clinics with a warm and friendly manner and offers a direct and honest appraisal of the practised Parelli ways.

Check out Sharon's website,
http://www.sharonjcrabbe.com to find out more about her work. Sharon can help if you are struggling with catching, spooking, rearing, bucking or maybe have difficulties with trailer loading. If you have problems riding out alone or are worried in the company of other horses. If your horse is biting, kicking, striking or or just won’t stand still and if you have confidence issues on the ground or in the saddle. Sharon can help improve the relationship with your horse and help you develop the kind of bond all horse lovers want. Check out my Parelli pages to see her in action at the clinics, spotlights and play days we have both attended.


parelli-800

View Comments

Katie Nattrass features in Professional Photographer Magazine

Wed, May 16 2012 02:29
In the June edition of Professional Photographer my portrait of "a horses head" has been retouched by the brilliant Katie Nattrass.

Katie has done a fantastic job creating an entirely new image from my photograph. Whilst this is no longer the horse I photographed it truly is a great example of digital art by a highly skilled professional.


nattrass

nattrass2

View Comments

The Art of Plaiting with TPW Grooming and Clipping

Mon, May 14 2012 04:59
The more I work with Kirsty of TPW Grooming and Clipping the more i realise the skill and dexterity required to to get a horse looking at their best.

These photographs really show the Art of Plaiting.


IMG_0197
IMG_0178
IMG_0207
IMG_0208
IMG_0217
IMG_0222
IMG_0248
IMG_0379
IMG_0375

View Comments

Crows Nest Farm with TPW Grooming and Clipping

Mon, May 7 2012 10:06
)IMG_1588
IMG_1584
IMG_1594
IMG_1597
IMG_1598
IMG_1602
IMG_1606
IMG_1628
IMG_1635
View Comments

TPW Grooming and Clipping

Wed, Apr 25 2012 05:58
Last Sunday I met with Kirsty from TPW Grooming and Clipping www.tpwclippingandgrooming.com as we are now offering our services in joint packages. Watch this space for details of our photo shoot and grooming services.

For now I wanted to show Kirsty getting to grips with the mighty Jack, a section D cob who just loves strutting his stuff.
IMG_0702
Tidy that tail

IMG_0711
Gentle around the eyes

IMG_0761
Shiny


View Comments

Manor House Stables - in training

Mon, Apr 23 2012 03:01
Last week I visited Manor House Stables to observe the horses in training. Many thanks to Tom Dascombe for enabling me to see his stable of thoroughbreds being put through their early season paces.

IMG_0020
Tom Dascombe (Trainer) and Colin Gorman (Assistant Trainer) observe the early morning gallops

IMG_0016
Andy Jackson (Head Lad) exercising Brown Panther


IMG_0036 IMG_0040
Preparing the stalls

IMG_0062
Switcharooney checking out what is going on

IMG_0173
Taking the plunge

IMG_0195
Spa therapy

IMG_0050

IMG_0319
Cuban Tash on the Gallops

IMG_0332
View Comments

Manor House Stables - gotta love horses

Tue, Jan 24 2012 10:53
Last Thursday I visited Manor House Stables, the racing yard of trainer Tom Dascombe. Andy Jackson, Head Lad, gave me a tour and educational introduction to the highly competitive world of professional horse racing.

IMG_3423

At 645am I arrived at my sat nav destination. I had been invited along by Tom to demonstrate my work and get an insight into the working of the yard.

Reading about Manor House Stables it soon becomes apparent that it is a highly professional and well invested operation. Boasting a new state of the art aqua complex, all-weather Safetrack gallops and a sports science team of their own the traditional horseman's methods of training are being combined with cutting edge medical and technological advancements. Have a look on the Manor House website www.manorhousestables.com and follow Tom's blog http://www.manorhousestables.com/mhsnews/ or twitter http://twitter.com/TomDascombe to discover more about just how advanced this operation is.

IMG_2896

Much of my work with horses is done on livery yards with the horse and owner engaging with one another and their home environment. I look to describe the relationship and portrait the character. At Manor House as a guest and without a working brief I wanted to try understand the mechanisms behind the success that this racing yard has had.

My expectations were far removed from the austere regimental conveyor belt i had conjured.

IMG_3169

I found Manor House to be one of the most welcoming and friendly yards I have visited. The horses trained at Manor House are high calibre thoroughbreds given the best facilities and medical care money can buy. And yet money can't buy love.

IMG_3388

I cannot comment on the detail to making Manor House a success as I do not have the knowledge of racing, training and business. I do know that the best care a horse can receive is when it is loved and has a strong relationship with its owner. On a chilly January day the bright smiles of horse and rider trotted on by. "You gotta love horses to work in this game" said Andy Jackson.

IMG_3308
View Comments

The new blog for Horseplay Photography

Sun, Sep 18 2011 02:14
It is difficult to know exactly where to start with a blog like this. As I have been photographing horses for a good few years now there are many things that could have been shared and yet haven’t.

stacks_image_228



So I think a few thoughts on photographing horses is a good place to start. On the front page of my website www.horseplayphotography.co.uk is the following quote:

"I can always tell which is the front end of a horse, but beyond that, my art is not above the ordinary."
Mark Twain

The photograph is not one of mine. It was taken on the 14th July 1918 somewhere in France and is of my Great Grandfather Sydney Bowler and his trusty war horse Bob. Unfortunately for my Great Grandfather the end of the Great War in 1918 meant a fond farewell to Bob. This photograph is on loan from my father. To him it is a precious record of his family heritage, it is his Grandfather serving King and Country proud with his trusty friend Bob.


This photograph was taken almost 100 years ago yet due to hidden memories of time it can be replicated today in a studio or location. What cannot be replicated is the way this photograph connects to my family. The photographs that I take look to capture the things you cannot see but feel.

Having studied photography at Manchester School of Art my work is creative and distinctive. The photographic art that I display to you is what I see, it is my style of photography and not a commercial formula of prescribed imagery. I look to capture the essence of the horse through the method of observation and to describe them through the understanding I am given. The photograph of my Great Grandfather with his horse Bob describes beautifully the relationship between horse and owner. It is a snapshot of time full of respect and cooperation. Befitting of its regimental manner the pose is strict but the magic of the relationship is clear. I believe that the importance of the relationship between horse and owner can be seen in my work and like this photograph holds a magic of its own.
View Comments
Check out some other posts...