Between Dressage and Jumping--Antebellum Farm Show August 2011
Here's an intimate moment in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a little farm show. The man (trainer, husband or boyfriend?) has both hands up undoing the knot of the show stock dickey. The rider, having finished dressage is now preparing for the next step in her Combined Training Division. She's got her formal black jacket in her left arm. Her attention is focused on the jump course. Notice how her spine and balance curve ever so slightly to the right and look at how the horse echoes and amplifies her body. His ears are submissively rolled back towards his rider. He stands on three legs, motion arrested, ready to go but relaxed. The rein between his mouth and his rider's hand is slack.
The horse is aware of the man on the ground; it's one reason why he stands with that hind leg trailing. The guy on the ground is only wearing tennis shoes; he's in range of being stepped on but seems obvious to the danger. The trust goes all ways between our three subjects. Each has a job to do; each is working for that common goal: to get that woman a ribbon!
I like this photograph because the trio at the center form a classical composition. They look like a model for some heroic equestrian statue. The horse is lovely, sleek from grooming and happy in his work. His rider's legs embrace him. Whatever his relationship to her, the man on the ground is helping the woman in the saddle. One can see that there's considerable activity in front of them with the jump course set out in the field. Just behind them is the dressage ring, a wash rack, a busy barn, me at the pickup truck running the show office and all the usual pandemonium.