The who is who of the Danish Western world is meeting at the Danish Quarter Horse Championship at Kumlegaard this year. Me and my camera were right inbetween.
Maybe you already know I am coming from a whole other end of the equestrian world. My field is the Academic Art of Riding. But this does not protect me from the kind of magic that comes with the Western world. Action-loaded reining classes, beautiful show outfits, and shiny horses. I have fallen for it. How lucky am I that this was already the third time I got booked as the official show photographer for a Western Championship? I had a very inspiring and interesting time, standing in the ring and observing the event. While doing that, I was learning a lot about a world, I didn't know the first thing before. Let me share my newly learned knowledge with you, and introduce you to the world of showing with pictures from the Danish Quarter Horse Championship 2023.
Western Riding is divided into different disciplines. Some are ridden, some are in hand, and even a discipline on the longe is included. Within those disciplines, the exhibitor can start in different levels, divided into breed, age, gender, and many more.
Reining is a Western riding discipline where riders guide their horses through a precise pattern of fast spins, sliding stops, and smooth lead changes. It showcases the horse's agility, responsiveness, and ability to perform intricate maneuvers with precision. Also it looks like lots of fun!
Western Pleasure is a relaxed and elegant riding discipline where horses move at a slow, smooth gait, demonstrating their calm demeanor and obedience. The goal is to display a horse's comfortable and enjoyable ride for both horse and rider. You will maybe not get anywhere fast, but for sure very very comfortable.
Ranch Riding is a Western discipline that simulates the practical skills needed on a working ranch. Riders guide their horses through a series of maneuvers that display the horse's versatility, including walking, trotting, loping, and backing, while maintaining a working ranch-style appearance. Who needs a quad anyways?
Showmanship is a Western horse show class that assesses a handler's ability to present a horse in its best possible way. Handlers are judged on their horse's grooming, presentation, and responsiveness to cues as they lead their horse through a pattern that highlights the horse's conformation and manners. It is truly all about the details!
Halter classes in Western horse shows focus on evaluating a horse's conformation and overall physical attributes. Horses are led and posed by handlers to showcase their build, musculature, and balance, without any riding involved.
Trail is a Western riding discipline that tests a horse's ability to navigate through a course filled with various obstacles and challenges, such as bridges, gates, poles, and logs. Riders aim to guide their horses through these obstacles smoothly and with precision. Photographers hint: The bridge is a great photo-spot!
Western Horsemanship is a riding discipline that assesses a rider's skill in controlling and communicating with their horse. Riders are judged on their ability to perform specific maneuvers, such as turns, stops, and lead changes, with poise, balance, and finesse. It truly shows a great communication between horse and rider.
A whole new world
Let me be honest. I will not become a Western show rider. I couldnt even remember a pattern. But, and that is for sure, this was not my last western show as a photographer! Actually, the next one is in just a few weeks.
You want to read more about my way into the show world? Check out my article about the Danish Paint Horse Championship 2022.
Hej, I'm AnnaThe horse-girl behind the camera
Welcome to my world of equine fine art photography! This is me - Anna, a German living in Denmark, loving horses, dogs and Lakridskugler. Always ready to try creative ideas, explore beautiful locations, or finding the beauty in your daily life. Read more about my work.