|Dennis M 1064
Upload & Sell: On
Glad I could finally help a little. I'm pretty inept as it turns out on digital photography, but I know horses. I can also talk about them ad nauseum. I will eventually do a photographic study of Wild Mustangs, my greatest passion. So, studying the behavior of the horse, as well as its history (since the dawn horse), will hopefully allow me an easier access to them in their natural habitat.
You did a nice job of capturing emotion in the second photo, but that assumes you are an average horse person at best, and don't notice the horses ears are pointing away from the model. He is being nice, but saying, I'm checking out my exit, should you make me uncomfortable. So, she is more into it than the horse.
I would recommend a nice halter (I only use rope halters, but if it has to be formal and you have a good horse, a handsome leather halter is nice), as well as a nice, good quality lead rope. This horse has a bit and bridle. We know she didn't ride him, wearing that lovely dress. Also, the horse knows that the bit and bridle means we are going to be going for a ride, so the horse can't quite settle down and relax. These are confusing signals. Like, loading your sled dogs Chatmac in the truck, and then just taking him out for a walk down the road. He's going to be thinking about his sled in the truck, not enjoying the walk.
As far as the relationship thing with the model and horse, they need some time to get to know each other. She should show up early, and in some barn cloths. She can brush hi, rub him, and get him to see she is to be trusted, and liked. Treats work with dogs, but can create a situation with horses. They can become pushy, nippy and a bit of a handful. I would avoid it.
I know a lot of "horse people" that can drive a horse nuts in a heartbeat. Never depend on the word of the model that they are 'good' with horses. Make sure the horse owner or wrangler keeps an eye on things, and doesn't worry too much about offending anyone, should they feel the need to step in and correct a developing issue or behavior pattern.
I was just trampled by my own draft horse a few weeks ago when I was trimming her feet. The gelding warmblood decided to turn and bite her because she pinned her ears at him. Totally my fault. She is the alpha, but that didn't actually stop him from trying his luck. I should have kept him away. Fortunately, she realized I was on the ground under her, and froze in her tracks to keep from really injuring me. She ignored the last advance from the gelding, to protect me. Horses are incredibly smart, but they will panic first, think second.
Keep it fun and very relaxed.