Friday, November 9, 2012

Cutting Horses

Have you ever been to a Cutting Horse Competition?
These horses are so athletic...and they seem to love it!  Sometimes they just shake with excitement.
These are from yesterday and the day before at the American Royal Cutting Horse Show. Free except for the Friday night finale.
I love taking pics of this kind of stuff...but I sure need practice. The cows are moving, the cowboys are moving and the horses are moving.
Cutting started on the old west cattle ranches.  Cows/calves were cut from the herd for various reasons, like branding, vaccinations, etc. Eventually competition started to see who had the best horse.
From a photography was difficult. I wanted to get the "feel" of movement, without blur. I wanted the focus to be on the horse and rider. This was very difficult as sometimes the camera picked the subject to focus on instead of me doing the picking. There were times it focused on a fence rail or someone's hat...dang!!!  I'd click halfway (to set the focus) most of the time, but I was also trying to follow the action. I also got a lot of horse butt shots. You've got to learn when the horse is going to turn or all you get is the butt shot. I was told to keep my eye on the calf to tell when the horse was going to turn, but that was too difficult, because my eye was glued to the camera and focused on the horse... By the second day, I got it and got some fun pics.
The first day, I also was taking pics from the wrong angle. I got a lot of blurred pictures and boring pics. I came home and reviewed them on the puter and decided what I was going to change for the next day's competition.
I also got an idea for a more artistic look.  I'll post them in another post and see what you think of them.
The best shots are from the actual front...where the judges sit. 
I was not invited to sit by them.
There is a professional photographer and they get to sit there...humpf!!!
The above picture is of  BF's trainer. He's a professional and trains horses for all sorts of people. While in KC, he and his son and normally a few others, spend the 3 nights at my house. They're on the road showing so much that some home-cooked meals are welcomed.
They're up early (4ish) and don't get back to the house till real late. I cook up the meals and BF entertains... Isn't that the way it always goes???


Rubye Jack said...

These horses look so versatile. I didn't think they could lean so much. These are really great photos TM. You did a great job!

turquoisemoon said...

Rubye, Thanks! I'm learning and that's the fun. Aren't these horses incredible??? I've seen them get so low to the ground, lean, twist...they're amazing.

Jane of The Jewels said...

You certainly managed to capture the feel of movement (& excitement) of this competition! Those horses look like they're really enjoying themselves.

turquoisemoon said...

Ooh Jane, it's beautiful to watch them. One year, they took the bridle off one of the horses and he competed with no bridle. The horse did it all by himself.

Introverted Art said...

I love horses ... they are such beautiful animals

turquoisemoon said...

Ana...and they smell so good!!!

Randy said...

Nice action shots.

turquoisemoon said...

Thanks Randy...

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I think your action shots are great! You'll be sitting up there with the judges yet!

turquoisemoon said...

Debra...har har har! I don't think the judges will ever want me to sit near them.