I am often asked how I get such close up shots of the wild horses that appear on the blog and in the WHOAS calendars. I do have a few theories on that.
The first is a good camera and great telephoto lens. I shoot with a Canon EOS with their fantastic 70-200mm image stabalizer lens along with the two power extender. When I am on the back of my horse taking pictures, oh thank goodness for the stabalizer lens. Of course my dream lense is the Canon 400mm, 2.8F with image stabilizer, the only problem is that I have to win the lottery to afford the $7000.00, it cost. Oh my!!!!! One day though, down the road, expect to see even better photo’s.
The second is like your own dog or horse, the wild horses can sense if the person approaching them is a threat or is giving out negative energy. They will react quickly to that threat and leave the area on the run. Watch your dog or horse, if they do not like someone, there is a reason. If you are excited or scared they get upset also. The wild horses are no different. I truly believe that they can sense that I mean them no harm and they can sense the positive energy I feel, when I am blessed to be around them.
I feel no fear or apprehension when I am with the wild horses and will always try to get as close as I can. I have had them come extremely close to me and even had a herd of twenty one thunder by me on both sides within feet. I always just feel gratitude not fear. That I think is my biggest ally in capturing the images I do.
I love all animals and especially the wild horses and the spirit of freedom they represent to me. That is why I work so hard to protect and save them. I also hope that through my photographs I will be able to show others how beautiful they are. They too then, can help all of us to get the wild horses better protection.
The third way I get close is with my faithful and loveable trail companions Badger and LeLou. Both are Akitas and are always with me whether on horseback or when I just tour in my vehicle. They enjoy being out there with the wild horses as much as I do. Badger especially is a curiosity to them because of his grey and white coloring, which is similar to the wolves, the wild horses live with. The dogs are so use to horses that they just look at them and then come and sit with me while I photograph the horses. Upon seeing the dogs the horses will come at full gallop on occasions, to see what these strange animals are that mean them no harm.
It is fascinating to watch them as the whole herd comes in to see us . They will then whirl and run off but will always come back in closer for another look. Just fascinated at the creatures that just sit there. I talk to them softly the whole time and their ears are always twitching at the sound of my low whisper to them.
At times some of the young ones will come in extremely close trying to smell our scent and detect what we really are. At times the odd one will sniff at my boots or camera until the herd mare or stallion tells them to come back. I really do have chuckle when I am fortuante to witness this happening. Some of the expressions in their loveable big brown eyes are so adoring to me, there is such a gentleness and softness in the eyes, of these truly wild animals.
Then there is always the stallions who will always let you know when they think I have had my chance to take enough photo’s and will try to bluff me to leave. They will do their bluff charge snort and blow and then run off again. They will always just turn and and do it all over again and again, until full of gratitude I bid them goodbye and the dogs and I make the first move to leave. Darn I love those wild horses.
All these photos were taken on my last trip out which was just this past weekend. There was no one to come with me and so off the dogs and I went. My day was filled with much joy as I was able to get the horses of four herd in close to me.
I was also able to visit with Linda, Tim and “Lucky”. The little girl has grown so much and is still getting her milk twice a day. I was privilaged to be able to give her the morning feed and wow can that girl pound it back. She is such a friendly and cute young filly with her long coat for winter and her manicurred hoofs.
Again thanks to all who support WHOAS and our efforts to save your Wild Horses. Our 2011 Calendars are out and going quickly already. See the previous blog of how to obtain you copy of this great fund raising calendar.