One of these days I’m actually going to save all the bad photos from one of my track trips, and post a whole entry of track out-takes. I haven’t yet because I wouldn’t want it to interfere with any interest… But I’m getting quite a collection, so perhaps sometimes soon, when the horses are in new homes, I can post a whole bunch of those goofy shots of overlarge noses and strangely posed feet.
I have noticed with my track pictures that half the time they look angled – the background isn’t straight. As someone who has complained about “tilted” pictures before, I sort of hate myself for this, but I suppose it can’t be helped when you’re leaning against someone’s car (that’s parked in a ditch) to attempt to get far enough away to fit the whole horse in the frame.
In the past we’ve had some complaints about the photos on the CANTER sites, and I always feel obligated to explain the conditions we are dealing with. First, the ground is surprisingly not level. To aid with runoff and drainage, the pavement between all the barns is angled slightly, so that rainwater is all directed to the ditch/stream that runs between the backside and the road. So finding an actual level spot is not so easy, and if you put the horse on a level spot, chances are that you are not standing on a level spot.
Lighting can be tricky as well, because once you’ve found a decently level spot (and keep in mind, you can’t go very far – you have to stay right by whatever door the horse came out of) chances are it’s half in shadow, or the sun is not cooperating that day. Or it’s too close to noon, so the sun is shining straight down on the horse and most of the body is shadowed. Or, it’s raining or snowing and you can’t even get outside in the first place.
Then you have a racehorse, who is used to only going out to exercise or see a vet or to ship somewhere. Even an essentially quiet horse will come out with head straight up in the air, and dance around a little. Really, it’s surprising to me that so many stand quietly. But oftentimes the standing/posing can be quite an adventure. Added to that, track folks don’t necessarily understand how to ask the horse to stand, and often hold the heads as high up as they can (the mistaken belief that it makes them look bigger, which is better). And as many track workers don’t speak English so well, sometimes trying to communicate what we need them to do can look like a very bad game of charades.
So while the conformation pictures can sometimes come out laughably bad, I always make a point of taking cute face shots. And since I have nothing much else to talk about today, thought I would post a few. So many cute horses at the track!
I love Thoroughbred faces. They’re just so expressive, and I want to snuggle them all.