There are tattered notebooks everywhere in my home, my bag and my car. Scrawled inside are ideas for photographs, lighting setups, locations and subjects. The Lusitano stallion Zefiro has been on the list for nearly two years and on Sunday I at last had the opportunity to photograph him. He is truly magnificent. Click the ‘Continue reading’ link below the photo to see more of the day’s events.
This is Eleena Kennedy, owner of The Classical Ride. You couldn’t meet a nicer woman and her work with these horses is remarkable. She specialises in classical dressage. You may have heard of the famous Lippizaner stallions – that’s classical dressage. It’s amazing. Really amazing. Why it’s not more popular here in New Zealand is anyone’s guess.
The first location we went to looked really promising. Fabulous trees that I thought would be perfect for a photo I’ve had in my head for ages. Unfortunately it proved not to be the case but I’m excited all the same because now I know exactly what I need in order for it to work. Watch this blog!
The photo above was taken on the riverbank at the bottom of Eleena’s property. Recent floods had caused the river to break its banks and the debris caught in the trees made much of the area unsuitable. Luckily there were pockets that were still okay. Isn’t this light wonderful! Ze was so well behaved. We had his girlfriend Moose standing just out of the picture – that’s who he’s looking at in this picture. Sweet. And on that, a huge thanks to Michelle Gollagher who patiently held Moose quietly in each location as asked, without ever complaining. Legend.
Even with mares and foals in the next paddock, Ze had a obligatory sniff of the air but kept doing as Eleena asked.
After the riverbed photos we hit the road to the quarry. Yes, a quarry – another thing that’s been in my Ideas notebook for ages. I couldn’t believe my luck when Eleena said there was one at the end of her road. She very kindly arranged with the manager for us to visit when nobody else was there.
Again, Michelle held dear old Moose quietly just out of the frame and Eleena is crouching down beside Ze. And there he stood – quiet as can be and naked as the day he was born. Just the most amazing temperament. This is one of those images that needs to be printed big. Really big. I have an idea for a medium that’s a bit different too – not just plain old paper. Can’t wait!
Before we headed away Eleena was keen to get this shot for the owners as a bit of a thank you. Did I mention that she can make him rear up on command? Pretty clever.
This is my favourite shot of the day. As we were leaving the quarry I noticed the sun just starting to hit the toi toi. Here comes the glow! Eleena popped Ze in the gap and this is the result. One of my all time favourites I think.
“Are we nearly done?”
Not 30 mins before, the light at this river was gorgeous. Of course the trouble with beautiful light is that it doesn’t last. I did manage to get the black and white shot at the beginning of this blog though, and Ze had a really good play in the water. Again, no bridle or halter – no problem. Amazing.
You can see the lovely bond these two have in this photo. He follows her like a dog.
Eleena popped Ze’s traditional bridle on then worked him at liberty in the paddock back home.
Beautiful evening light.
And finally, Ze running free in his paddock at home. Such a noble face. I might print this one big too.
Until next time… please do feel free to share this blog if you’ve enjoyed it, or leave a comment. I love hearing from you all. And if you’re interested in learning about classical dressage, get in touch with Eleena. A little bird told me that Ze may be standing at stud soon too. Baby Zefiros – gorgeous!