The Mysterious and Magical Power of Horses

I have always enjoyed photographing horses.  If I am driving somewhere and come upon a pasture or farm with horses, I cannot help but stop and spend some time with them and ask them if I may take their portrait.  (Yes, I actually ask, and they let me know, without the need for words, if it’s okay with them).  I never feel like my portraits of horses do them justice but that doesn’t stop me from trying.  They are so majestic and beautiful, and I may be photographing them a long time before I feel like I have portrayed their strength, grace, love, and healing presence.

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I have photographed horses in many locations, both locally and when traveling.   One time, while on vacation in Maui, I stayed in a small, rented cottage with my significant other at the time, and Oprah owned a home and many acres of land across the street.  Her horses were there and we stopped to see them every day while out walking.  They were always happy to see us and would come over to the fence to greet us.  We never saw Oprah but, that’s okay.  The horses were beautiful stand-ins. . .

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It’s interesting to me that I am so drawn to the presence and energy of horses and find them so healing.  I did not grow up with horses and I have yet to ride a horse.  To be honest, a horse’s back looks awfully high off the ground and I have a bit of fear surrounding actually riding one.  However, I am very drawn to being with them, and residing in their presence.  They are powerfully healing.

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Prior to moving to Seattle, I lived in a more rural area where I would see horses quite often.  There was a period a few years back, when I was going through a very difficult time, where I would head out to a certain pasture in the area and see the two horses that lived there.  They were my healers during that time.  They always came over to say hello and, sometimes, one of them would gently tuck his head up against me so tenderly and just stay there for awhile.  Such love.  The dynamic duo, themselves. . .

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Recently, a friend of mine gave me the gift and honor of photographing her with her horses.  Both she and her horses were so warm and welcoming toward me and very patient with me hanging around for quite a while, making photographs of them.  The love between them runs deep.  It was such a beautiful thing to witness, and I hope it comes through in the photographs I made. . .

The first three photos are with her horse, Lucy.  Lucy is 26 years old.  She is incredibly loving and so beautiful.  I feel a combination of gratitude and sadness in her presence, the sadness only because of her age and knowing that she is getting up there in horse years and will cross to the other side sooner than we humans would like to see her go.

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Next are photographs of her with Lucy’s son, Kingston.  Kingston is incredibly majestic and full of love, along with a ton of personality.  As you can see in the third photo, when she hugs him, he leans in and hugs her back, like a big ol’ dog.  ha!   . . .

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Horses certainly do have a sense of humor, too.  Apparently, they even tell each other jokes. . .

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“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.”  –  Winston Churchill

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“We have almost forgotten how strange a thing it is that so huge and powerful and intelligent an animal as a horse should allow another, and far more feeble animal, to ride upon its back” – Peter Gray

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“No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses” – Herman Melville

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Thank you for stopping by (and for making it all the way to the end of such a long post!  I hope it was worth the trip for you.  :)

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