I met the Golden Child on my first day at a photo shoot in Mexico.
When you have your own horses the way I do, you know they spend most of their lives grazing or snoozing with brief bursts of activity when your camera is inside, with flat batteries and the card still attached to the computer. When you do have a camera they resolutely do nothing, or come up and try and sniff/ eat the lens. Whilst this can make for a fun social media post, occasionally, it’s not a lot of help when you want to capture the power and grace of the moving animal.
So you have to set it up. The best thing I can do at home, where I have limited helpers is change something in their environment. Move them into a new paddock, move someone into a paddock next door, introduce a new herd member. This creates a short flurry of movement, so you have to be ready for it.
The beauty of traveling the world for organised photoshoots is you have helpers who know what they are doing setting up for you and you only have to worry about your camera. This is why you will see so many fabulous photos of Camargue horses running through the waves for instance, the guys there know how to cater to equine photographers and the photographers love the experience.
Sometimes though you have to be the first to do something and that was the case the day I took the photograph I created this from. Our intrepid organiser had brought us to a new location in Mexico. A holiday ranch where the horses and the wranglers' job is to take guests out on trail rides. Not let the horses loose in the paddock and get them to gallop around whilst we took photos. Quite a lot of hilarity ensued but not too many photographs taken as horses took off for home and had to be brought back, all of which took time. The Golden Child was thus golden in colour but also in opportunity as he was rather new to the herd himself. So, whilst the largest mob of horses took off for the yards they are fed in, he initially followed them but then came screaming back again to the couple of horses who were tethered. Not just once but several times. He was also a promise of things to come as both wranglers and horses soon worked out a system that gave us some wonderful opportunities over the week.