The secret code how to communicate with a horse
When Victoria called me and asked if I also photographed larger pets, it wasn't clear to me at first what she meant. I replied that I had already taken photos with cheetahs and wolves and how big their pet was. She laughed and said she would like to have photos with her horse.
A few days later we met at the stable where her horse was kept and I took the opportunity to make friends with my animal model. So I introduced myself, like I do with humans, and told the horse what I had in mind. I don't know if the horse understand me but I saw Victoria talking with her horse and so I did the same. Then it was time to load the horse on the trailer but it initially had other plans and did not even think about climbing the trailer. Only when Victoria talked to him well for a while, it moved his hooves in the horse trailer. There must be a secret code how to talk to horse, I thought.
Later she told me that she is a trainer to teach people how to communicate with their horse. Because many problems arise due to a lack of communication, both in humans and in horses. We drove together in a column about 40 kilometres to the shooting location. The idea was to take some pictures on a beach galloping through the shallow water. So we chose a small beach on the banks of the river Weser because there aren't as many gorgeous beaches in Germany as there are in Ireland. You have to be happy with what is there.
I had already looked at everything in advance and also calculated the position of the sun so far that we were at least two hours in advance, until the light was as I would like.
Victoria was already adjusting her horse gently to the new, unfamiliar surroundings while I spread my equipment on a tarpaulin. I granted Victoria and her horse enough time to get used to the strange surroundings and for us to perform a few test runs. Everything seemed to go according to plan.
The sun slowly lowered and we practiced the first directions and speeds in the sand. Now it was up to Victoria to get her horse used to the water. She walked with him in the shallow water, then deeper and deeper until we had the water level about knee-deep at horse height.
Her horse trusted her and everything was ready for the shoot. In the distance, however, I already saw the evil to come on us.
We had perhaps ten more minutes. A steely colossus continued to feed on us inexorably. The horse raised its ears and already felt the vibrations of the diesel engines with its hooves. It turned the head in direction of the ship and slowly moved backwards out of the water. From here I thought that was it, there will be no second chance.
Meanwhile, the coal freighter had reached the beach section. The resounding throbbing of the engines was a completely unknown sound to the horse. Victoria's horse shied away and did not even think to return to the water again.
I had everything carefully planned out, but I had not taken into account the river Weser's shipping traffic. It became increasingly cooler and the light became noticeably darker. When the ship was out of earshot, Victoria led her horse to the water again. She is a horse whisperer, I remembered, and I had faith that she would make it happen. First, they kept going up and down the first steps along the beach. Then slowly into the shallow waves. It worked. Suddenly she gave me a sign and rode off. I grabbed my camera and was ready. We still had ten to fifteen minutes of usable daylight. Everything now depended on horse and rider. Victoria led her horse as previously discussed and we were able to shoot some more motifs until the sun disappeared behind the dike on the other side. Fortunately, no other ships came along the river Weser.
Since that day I have learned that Victoria's Secret is not just a lingerie brand, but also the secret of how to build a relationship and trust with a horse and communicate with such a sensitive animal.
Thanks for taking the time to read. If you like to have some photographs with your horse, just give me a call or complete the form here.