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German Riding Pony



German Riding Pony is what you get when you cross a pony stallion or a pony mare with a full grown horse, usually a warmblood horse, such as the breeds known as...
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German Riding Pony is what you get when you cross a pony stallion or a pony mare with a full grown horse, usually a warmblood horse, such as the breeds known as Hanoverian, Westphalian, Rhinelander, or Trakhener. Many are bred right here in the USofA. They are quite athletic, like most large breed performance horse types, they are just doing it in a pony suit with the gaits (movement) of a large horse (not pitty-pat gaits.. these guys MOVE OUT!)! Usually they are no taller than 14.2 hands tall at the withers (that area that would be right in front of the saddle). (one hand is 4")

This particular pony is a 14.1 hand buckskin colored gelding (aka "missing the family jewels! LOL). Buckskins have a golden body, with dark black legs to the knees and the hind leg "hocks", and they also will have a black mane and tail. This particular pony has what we in the horse industry call, "Chrome"! That means he is accented with, 4 white 'socks' and a big old white star on his face, and a white 'snip' on his nose! His color, and the palomino color (think Roy Rogers horse called "TRIGGER"). These colors are the most highly desirable in the resale department! ;)

This shot of "SF SPIRIT DREAM" (aka nicknamed "COSMO") was captured with him in the almost high noon time of day. Not an ideal time to shoot photos of horses, as you should be using early morning sun or late evening sun (depending on the color of the horse!).

CAMERA DETAILS:
Aperture Priority
ISO 160
F-4.5
1-320 sec
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FriezeFrameFotos
 
FriezeFrameFotos September 03, 2020
THANK YOU SO MUCH to Viewbug Editors for awarding this shot the LEGENDARY AWARD! I'm honored to have been recognized, and I will continue to share my creativity on this wonderful platform!
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Behind The Lens

Location
I own a small farm in south Florida that has a 3 stall barn and 4 little pastures, and an arena for riding, as well as trails in the neighborhood. This photo was taken on my little farm in the paddock (small pasture) for my German Riding Pony. A German Riding Pony is what you get when you cross a pony stallion or a pony mare with a full grown horse, usually a warmblood horse, such as the breeds known as Hanoverian, Westphalian, Rhinelander, or Trakhener. Many are bred right here in the USofA. This little guy is registered in the GRP studbook with the name of "SF Spirit Dream", but he has a nickname and we affectionately call him "Cosmo"! Germany Riding Ponies are quite athletic, like most large breed performance horse types, they are just doing it in a pony suit with the gaits (their movement) of a large horse (not pitty-pat gaits that look like pistons moving up and down.. these little horses strut their stuff and the good ones have great reach with their legs and cover ground quite well!)! Usually they are no taller than 14.2 hands tall at the withers (that area that would be right in front of the saddle). (one hand is 4")
Time
This shot of "COSMO" was captured with him at almost high noon. Not an ideal time to shoot photos of most horses, as you have the sun directly overhead and that makes it nearly impossible to show definition of the muscles! Most horses, depending on their color, should be photographed using early morning sun. However, keep in mind, that early to late evening sun can cast warm red tones onto the hair coat of your horse. So don't shoot a black horse in the evening or his hair coat will not give you the blue/black look, but it will look washed out or have red tints to it! Grey, white, and bay (brown with black manes and tails), or chestnut (shades of solid brown) horses are fine to shoot in the evening, as the even sun will add "glitz" to the hair and a hint of spun gold tones to the hair coat!
Lighting
I had noticed that "Cosmo" was just quietly standing in his paddock facing west watching a young girl ride her horse down the canal trail path that neighbors my property. His ears were perked up and he was quite curious and attentive to the horse and rider. The sun was actually in the wrong place for shooting, as it was near noon and the sun was almost directly overhead! As the girl turned around at the end of the canal to traverse back past my farm, I saw that Cosmo was not moving, but he did turn his head around to follow her as she went past his paddock. Luckily I had a slight inclination he might do just that, so I had my camera handy, and from the patio at my house, about 60' away, I was able to set up and capture this shot!
Equipment
As a young girl, I had 35mm Nikon, Minolta, and Pentax cameras. These were hand-me-downs from my Dad, who used cameras to photograph work on geological sights. As digital cameras came into our lives, I started out with a (non DSLR) Sony Mavica CD 1000 (that's rather hysterical now, as it was a whole 2.1 megapixel camera! aacckk! LOL) On a side note, as an amateur photographer, I did win a huge photo contest with a photo of a Lily in my pond, that I had taken with that camera--shooting in macro mode back in the day, placing over 8000 tri-state professionals! As they say, it's not the equipment, but the EYE behind it!). Anyhow, I did progress up the ranks utilizing different Sony advancements and I currently shoot with a Sony Alpha a7S II (Mirrorless Digital Camera, with 4K Internal Recording, Ultra High Sensitivity WDR, 5-Axis Stabilization, High-Speed AF, 24mp). I truly love this camera as it also takes fantastic HD video as well, and most likely, when I do upgrade, I will probably stay with Sony.
Inspiration
I have always had a "thing" for shooting the heads of animals. I just like trying to capture a curious look, or have the head shot just tell a story, in other words, it must draw a viewer in, and leave them asking, "What's the story behind this beauty?". I like bringing out the old world soul of an animal through their eyes and that can be from sad, .. to that look of eagles!
Editing
On this photo, because it was imperative to just grab the camera, set it to Aperture mode, and quickly shoot due to the rider that caught his attention would quickly be out of sight, so I didn't take the time to set the camera to give me some good bokeh. I then brought this shot into photoshop cc 2020, used my magnetic lasso tool to go around the outside of the pony and I made a layer out of him. Then I just went to the background layer, did a gaussian blur, and adjusted the color so it was complimentary to his hair coat color.
In my camera bag
In my camera bag, I always bring my Sony Alpha a7S II, and attached to it (most often) is my Tamron 200mm telephoto lens. I also have a Zeiss 55mm 1.8 that I use for my portrait work. I love this Sony Alpha a7 II, as it's small and light, and although can get heavy after hours of shooting with a 200mm lens.. the monopod helps! The in body stabilization allows me to shoot at lower speeds too, when hand held. The only way to put it is, this camera can literally see in the dark! It's really great indoors--with NO flash! For me though, most of the time I'm shooting outside and from a distance (outside of an arena where someone I'm shooting is riding their horse). I like to have an f-stop of f/2.8 when needed so I can stop the action in multiple lighting conditions, and to be sure I have it as crisp as possible! I also have a great Oben ACM-2400 4-Section Aluminum Monopod.. which saves the day as my camera with a telephoto lens gets heavy if you're shooting for hours at a competition!
Feedback
The best advice I can give others wanting to capture a photo such as this, is to learn to have patience. Don't be afraid to wait for the best light, give thought to your composition, and don't be so rushed that you get antsy and walk away thinking you won't capture a certain look. Animals.. horses especially, are worth the wait! They are by nature "a flight animal". So you can watch their heads, and you will see their eyes and ears letting you know what interests them. They often have to raise their heads to see things in the distance. They will pause, to focus their eyes, so that gives you time to click!

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