Equine Adventures, Day One

I spent last week photographing some of the most beautiful horses in the world, at some of the most incredible locations in California, courtesy of renowned equine photographer April Visel of Visel Photography (thank you April!).   This was a complete change of pace for me, allowing me to push my photography in new directions, explore my creative and fine art side, and simply experience something new and wonderful with other people who love photography and love animals.

Day One of my exciting week started off with a bang.  A group of us were invited to Varian Arabians, to meet the owner Sheila Varian, have dinner & wine, tour the grounds, and photograph horses as well as cowgirls riding at sunset (more about that in a minute).

First, I got to fall in love with some new foals and their mamas, and to meet them up close…

 

Next, it was on to watching a couple of gorgeous gray Arabian geldings frolic in a small paddock.  They looked beautiful both coming and going…

 

Next, we got to see a wonderful proud young stallion, all flared nostrils, rippling muscle, long neck, and high tail — he loved having his own paparazzi, and would do wonderful showy moves like running toward us and skidding to a halt in a dramatic way, like here…

 

Toward sunset, at the end of what was already an incredible day, we got a real treat.  Four talented horsewomen rode for us and showed off their skills.  Two of them are actually inducted in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Sheila Varian herself, and Audrey O’Brien Griffin.  They rode and did tricks while we photographed them in the dust and the sunset light.

Here is the incomparable Sheila Varian herself:

 

Here are the three other women joining her in showing us how cowgirls really ride…

 

This shot is of Audrey riding by after demonstrating that she can spin her horse using no hands.  Look at that smile — that is a woman who belongs on horseback!

 

Then, as the sun sank, these women rode and performed in the last light, with the dust as a backdrop, creating a beautiful blur of motion and light…

 

There was so much to take in, and it was only Day One of my week-long horse odyssey!  The next post (Day Two) will have shots from a gorgeous beach…  But before I leave you, here are two shots that I’m really proud of.  One of my goals this week was to push my artistic expression further into the fine art realm, and to access a more creative space.  Here are my first results — the first of a lovely Arabian mare, and the second a head shot of one of the gray Arabian horses pictured above.

  • TraTraci Matkoski - WOW! Absolutely beautiful and a different side of your photography talent that I have not seen before. I can’t wait to see more!

    I can’t believe that was only one day!ReplyCancel

  • Denise - Beautiful work Eden, your affinity with the subject shows.ReplyCancel

  • Karen Vinez - I admire Sheila Varian and what she has done over the years to contribute to the Arabian Horses. Thank you Sheila Varian
    Thanks for the photos you shared. I loved your photographer. I especially liked your photo dressed western!ReplyCancel

  • Holly Morrison - Beautiful work, Eden!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Weisberg - Yee haw! Every single one of these photos is amazing. It just gets better and better. That first image was a great way to start this blog post, it has an emotional quality to it. Truly spectacular.ReplyCancel

  • Equine Adventures, Day Two: The Beach » Sierra Luna Photography - […] of the first day from my week-long horse photography adventure, but I was wrong (see Day One here).  We went to a spectacular beach location called Loon Point, not far from Santa Barbara, and were […]ReplyCancel

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