The Horse

09/12/2020
Hamish Niven

Capturing the beauty and power of the horse

Playtime

Horses are the most incredible creatures; powerful and strong, yet gentle, kind, sensitive and soul mates to many.
We use them for work; we ride them for fun, they are raced and chased for vast sums of money and prized stallions and their progeny command sums that seem obscene to many.

The passionate get up before its light; going down to stables, to yards and fields to feed, clean and ride. Sharing knowledge and teaching others of their love for the horse.
A creature that nature over-engineered to carry the weight of a human safely on her back.

Photographing the horse

The horse has been a partner to humankind for many thousands of years, and they are loved and worked in most corners of the globe.

I have been so fortunate to have lived with and photographed horses for over a dozen or so years. I've seen the tenderness the mare shows to her newborn as she encourages it to stand and feed.
I've watched foals gain strength and become brave enough to gallop away from mum, then tumble and gallop back to their security and safety.
I've sat quietly in a field of foals, watching as their timidity overcome by curiosity and they have to get closer to this strange thing sitting in their space.
I've watched the uncertain young horse backed for the 1st time.
I've seen the tears and joy as a loving owner backs their beloved friend for the last time.
I've seen as much dedication and care by vets, blacksmiths, trainers and riders in the racing yards as in private yards and village fields.

I've watched the exuberance and energy of 2 colts at play; controlled kicks, speed and jumps, bucks and farts as they play so precisely. A dance of feet that have no intent to meet the body of his playmate.

I've watched horses take their riders over water and jumps, tight turns and the strength and beauty of dressage.
I've cheered on the racehorses and jockeys competing for the most prestigious races.
I've seen the way the pride and joy the rider has for her horse on completing a clear round.
I've watched the plucky horse carry her rider over jumps and water, unafraid and confident in her abilities.
I've stood in the awesome presence of a stallion - power and strength combined with magnificence, poise and assured confidence of natures great athlete.

Below are a few images from years of watching and being around these wonderful animals.

The young colt in his paddock
The young colt in his paddock
Working her horse in the arena
Working her horse in the arena
Thoroughbred Stallion
Thoroughbred Stallion
Sales catalogue shoot
Sales catalogue shoot
Racehorses at Newmarket - hamishNIVENPhotography
Morning training for the racehorses at Newmarket
Working out on the beach
The expanse of beach is a great place to gain strength, endurance and power. The black and white reveals the muscle and form, the texture of conditioned horse, the control and poise as the groom puts the horse through his paces.
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