Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Magazine Worthy

A local buddy of mine runs a regional outdoors magazine and has been asking me for months to write a horseback piece for it. Writing about horses on this blog is one thing, but writing an article for a general audience of non-horse outdoors folks for a magazine is a completely different challenge. The magazine editor didn't love my meager ideas for a piece either. Ultimately, I passed along the creative writing torch to my friend Chelsey and opted instead to just provide photos for the article. 

Most of the photos I provided were culled from past adventures I've shared on this blog. Riding around in gorgeous West Virginia makes it easy! However, I knew that I would need to have a few more high resolution DSLR photos to share (the other photos were all cell phone shots that can't be blown up too big). Prior to the due date for the photos (last week), Kate and I planned an evening ride to the edge of Dolly Sods to get what we hoped would be good sunset photos. 

Other than forgetting my stirrups in the midst of packing, the rest of the evening was perfect. The weather was in the low-mid 70s, the amount cloud cover guaranteed that we'd have gorgeous photos no matter what happened, and the area I chose to setup and capture shots was completely vacant of other people. Getting my camera packed and schlepped out there wasn't as bad as I'd feared either - in fact, I'm hoping to plan more staged photoshoots in beautiful local places this fall. 

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The shooting began with me getting photos of Kate. I knew there was a chance of one of the photos making the cover of the magazine, so I figured I'd focus on getting some nice options of Kate for that.
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Yeah, kinda hard to believe we get to call this home. 
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Qdle and her happy ears makes me so happy.
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Once I had a suite of shots of Kate (far more than I'm sharing on here today), I popped on my two horses for some photos. I rarely get photos riding them - especially hi res ones - and had to take this opportunity.
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Even if my stirrups (set for Kate that I was too lazy to change) were a little long for me lol
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Q and I have no future endurance ride plans. In fact, I've retired her from it. We're gonna make our own rides and come up with some incredible ride photos.
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I really need to crop this closer, but honestly I hadn't noticed until I was pulling images in for this post, but my huge grin in this shot is kinda awesome. Grif was bounding through the grass and taking it so seriously despite being SO EXCITED. He makes me laugh.
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Hi. I'm Liz and I'm a complete goofball. Almost always. Especially when riding. Even when riding without stirrups and with a big backpack full of camera gear (obviously the latter is not pictured here).
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My most favorite part about horseback riding in remote places? Getting to enjoy the view while moving out over terrain. It beats looking at my feet all the time!
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All of the heart eyes for this grey hunk.
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So fun fact, I've never stood on a single one of my horses until this moment lol. I've only ever stood on one other horse (maybe two??) before and only opted to do that because she was a big draft cross with ZERO go and ALL whoa and it seemed like the safest time to try it. Grif was a little uncertain (note his ears lol), but he was such a good egg. 
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Grif taking a moment to enjoy the view.
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Q stared off into the distance for the longest time. I think she was hearing hikers heading out of the Sods.
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Quizzical ears and giggles
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So once we got one-on-one shots, Kate asked if there was any way to get us both in the shot running together. I popped the camera on the tripod, set up the shot, and set a timer with intervals. And it worked out super well. It helps that Grif is trained to go to the tripod and stand and wait will I mess with settings! 

This shot was the favorite of the magazine editor and will be the cover shot for the fall edition of Highland Outdoors.
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Personally, this was my favorite of the two of us!
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Out at the turn around point for our shots. North Canaan Valley below us, Timberline housing development on the slope down to the Valley. And Dolly Sods extending back behind us and out of the shot to your right.
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Happy girls. Happy horses.
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Cantering off for the next round of interval shooting amidst plenty of giggles.


  1. 😍😍😍😍😍
    Oh. My. Gosh. LOVE

  2. These are AMAZING! That's exciting the one is going on the magazine cover!

  3. What an amazing opportunity! And the photos are gorgeous!

  4. Beautiful! The scenery, the horses and the smiles.

  5. What a fun project and gorgeous photos! As for your stirrups being too long... I think they actually look really good in that photo! You have a nice dressage leg there. Thanks for sharing these with us :)