Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The horses of Jamaica Bay Riding Academy, Brooklyn, NY

This was an adventure for me. I had never gotten the opportunity to shoot horses until I went to the Jamaica Bay Riding Academy in Brooklyn, NY. I had also never gotten to ride a horse before. Until this day. This freezing cold day back in January (forgive me for the backtracking, but I just started the blog, and I have to share some of my previous shoots). I guess I didn't notice how cold it was until we started riding outside around the stable and onto the beach. Yup. Horse-riding on the beach in January. And my horse was supposed to be the gentlest horse of the 50 or so that stay there, but he didn't like me so much. Or, he didn't like the cold temperature and chilling winds. So, at one point, he just turned around and ignored my oppositional pull on his reins as we headed back to the stable. I wasn't going to object, seeing as how I had lost the feeling in my hands and feet, and also for the simple fact that he was much, much bigger than I. So, no objections here, horsey. Back we went and hot coffee was waiting.

Lucky for me, I shot a couple of rolls of Fuji Neopan 1600 speed film prior to riding. This is my favorite black and white film, as I love grain and texture. It was also perfect for shooting the horses inside the stable on an overcast day; a lower ISO may have required the use of flash, which wasn't an option because any flash would have spooked the horses. And there were lots of 'em. I am all about respecting the strength in nature and beings that are larger than I, so keep the peace I will. Check out these shots.



I love this shot. Horse all saddled up and ready to go.


Cute little girl and her mom doing a bit of pre-ride grooming.


They were quite curious about me...


Mikey, the host of my trip to Jamaica Bay Riding Academy, is amazing with the horses. He even chose to ride one that had thrown him two weeks before! Now that's some love and spirit.


This horse had so much personality and took a liking to being the star for a moment.


The owner of the whole she-bang in the background, and his beautiful, prize horse, posing just for me.


Just gorgeous.



This good-looking guy was getting ready to go for a ride around the corral.



They even have a program for handi-capped children to learn to ride. This young boy has to use a wheelchair to be mobile, yet they put him up a horse to ride. Simply amazing and wonderful.


The onlookers, cheering on for their riding friends' form.


Oh, the paparazzi was spotted!



What an awesome experience this was. Such a different culture that I never got to experience growing up. I had a great time, despite the cold, and I may just have to try this again sometime. I hope you enjoyed the ride :)

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