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I really enjoy making pictures of a horse running, but even more of a snow horse. This is Allegra, a young horse who greatly loved running through this twenty-eight inches of deep, fresh powder snow the morning after it fell overnight. She went round and round the paddock circling me closely in the sunshine, enjoying herself like a school kid on a snow day!
Allegra showed her stuff while going around me in circles at a full run, living up to her name. Being a camera ham, she kept her eye on me the whole way through the shoot on every pass. She stopped right beside me a few times, breathing heavily, only to take off in circles again. On one stop, I got a big sloppy horse kiss on the side of my face, too. Yes, I love you too, Allegra!
It takes special weather conditions to make a picture like this one. Powder snow is best, it trails after the running horse like flying smoke. Strong morning sun is also needed to light everything well from reflected light, not to mention provide a good shutter speed of at least 1000 or 1250. When deep powder snow falls and the sun shines the next morning, that’s the time to be out in the pasture with a camera and some willing subjects. The effort always takes a few horse people helpers, too.
Unfortunately, those weather conditions for photographing a horse running in winter snow like this don’t come often. The picture of Allegra’s sire in Freedom #12388 was created seven years before there was another opportunity to photograph his by-then grown daughter in the image here. I feel lucky to have a number of good snow horse pictures on this website, but these two are in my top ten. I love the action shots and the snow flying as they run.
Most horses really enjoy themselves running in the snow. Being that horses are exactly like people, new snow is fresh and exciting for them just as it is for us. This is a picture of a happy horse if I’ve ever seen one!
Location: Willow Hill, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
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