Good photographs that show off not only the athletic talent and skill of a horse but also its personality and spirit make all the difference when attracting potential buyers. My fab friend Zeb Fry, of Little Kentucky Farm, met me at Poplar Place Farm for a photo shoot of her new sale horse, Stella Luna.
Stella is a five-year-old (at the time of this post, anyway. She foaled in 2006) Thoroughbred/Trakehner mare and I LOVE HER!!!
I had already heard wonderful things about Stella, but this photo shoot was the first time I’d met her in the flesh. Zeb and I lamented that maybe she should just keep Stella for herself. If only we could keep all the horses we love!
Stella was a wonderful subject. From the time she stepped off the trailer, she was cool and collected. She was curious, but calm.
I think she really loved the attention. She was patient while we constantly readjusted her for the right conformation shot and hurried to catch the moment while the sun peeked from behind the clouds. She posed like a star. Stella loved the camera, and the camera loved Stella.
Stella consistently impressed Zeb and I with her level-headed attitude. We walked out to the cross-country course, which was Stella’s first time seeing the sights on a course. Again, she was curious, and she looked, but she never spooked, bolted, or otherwise mis-behaved.
We headed straight for the large water complex, and Stella’s eyes widened at the giant wooden fish at the crest of the hill above the complex. That is what she is looking at in the photo above. Giggling, I walked over to the fish and patted it on the back, then leaned against it. Satisfied that this was not a pony-eating fish fence, Stella visibly relaxed and moved on.
Stella was always mindful of where she put her feet, but she willingly trotted into the complex and made a few rounds trotting and cantering in each direction.
One of the awesome Poplar Place maintenance men, Dennis, drove by on the tractor and waved hello. Stella, as you can see, stood quietly while we chatted. We moved significantly closer to the tractor than shown in the photo below. Zeb and I were both so impressed with Stella’s good behavior. We were falling more in love with her every minute!
After the encounter with the tractor, we headed back to the arena by the barn to do some flat work.
Stella has lovely natural movement, but she also benefited well from walk breaks. With each rest, she went back to willing, happy work, and we caught brilliant moment after brilliant moment.
We did not do any jumping on this particular day, although having multiple photos of a sale horse in each phase of eventing would be ideal. Since this photo shoot, Stella’s flat work has improved, and she has proven herself to be a natural jumper. I have a soft spot for chestnut mares, and Stella stole my heart.
Find out more about lovely Stella at the Little Kentucky Farm website. If you are also in the business of buying and selling horses, consider contacting myself or another professional equine photographer in your area to schedule a photo shoot of one or more sales horses. Purchasing adequate images is significantly more affordable than paying for another few months of the farrier and feed. Check out my photography website here. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.