Off the Shelf – Tony Stromberg’s Spirit Horses

Off the Shelf – Tony Stromberg’s Spirit Horses

Off the Shelf – Tony Stromberg’s Spirit Horses

I have a deep love of horses. It started when I was a itty bitty and my dad and I would watch westerns. He would tell me of his own horse he owned back in Belize, named Granita del Oro. I thought that name was soo fancy! She was a black beauty as my dad described her and they had many hunting adventures together.

Watching all the old westerns featuring Clint Eastwood and John Wayne with my dad, I would daydream about riding off into the wild west on horseback!

During my younger years, my earliest memories were of riding a mule at Knotts Berry Farm. Then, we moved to Riverside, CA before it became a big city. I would jog along the neighborhood each morning and visit with the horses the neighbors kept on their properties.

Many years fast forward, to 2005, I’m married and Rick and I move from Canada to the beautiful PNW. It was this year that I would meet Indy, my QH mare and my life with horses would be the start of a beautiful journey in self discovery.

Little did I know that building a bond with my horses, we now have three; [Indy, Rain and Cimarron] would tie in with my other love, photography. I enjoyed learning everything about horses, from horsemanship to one of the most peaceful activities…just being with them.

Photographing my three horses became just as much a part of the riding experience. I’m continuously learning so much about their characteristics by just being an observer. I see their truth, transparency, strength and vulnerabilities. Their grace, their beauty and their relentless inherent will to survive.

One of my influences for horse photography is Tony Stromberg. Stromberg is a fine art equine photographer based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He holds various workshops throughout the year and has published several books.

In reflecting on getting my blog up and running, I have been going through my bookshelf this past month. Stromberg’s Spirit Horses caught my eye this week. Since flipping through the pages, I’m really feeling the need to photograph horses!

Many people are familiar with Stromberg for his Fierce Grace photograph. This b&w print has adorned the walls of many equestrians worldwide.

Fierce Grace

One of the reasons I love Stromberg’s photographs of horses is because they are wild. Horses are in their natural state of being free! There are no posed photographs, just the freedom to run and be as they are. This is how I love to photograph and capture my horses, running, bucking being as themselves. My hope is to one day attend a Stromberg workshop.

For now I will enjoy Spirit Horses all over again along with the movement of hooves that my “tres equus” give to me on a daily basis.

Below is a little gallery of photographs from recent photographs my horses have given me!

With flowing tail and flying mane,
wide nostrils, never stretched by pain,
mouths bloodless to the bit or rein,
And feet that iron never shod,
And flanks unscarr’d by spur or rod
A thousand horses – the wild – the free -Like waves that follow o’er the sea,
Came thickly thundering on.
Lord Byron(Mazeppa – 1819)

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