BENEATH THE SADDLE IS A PHOTO SERIES BORN OF THE COMMUNION BETWEEN HORSE AND HUMAN.
For thousands of years horses have been used for labor, for sport, for battle, and for transport, but only sometimes have they been valued for their transcendent companionship. In this era in which many of the labors historically assigned to the horse are now performed by machine, perhaps we are more poised then ever to partake of the great gift that is the presence of these creatures in our midst, not as a means to an end but for their own sake.
For me, the horse is a teacher. Who better to teach us trust and connection than a prey animal that, in spite of innumerable risks, learns to trust the most dangerous predator of all, the human? Who better to teach us communication than a creature that carries us upon its back? Riding is that intimate kinship where we can confide in an unspoken language.
The horse has taught me a new language, a necessary one of patience and kindness. The steady devotion and firmness required to work with horses showed me where self-destruction and misdirection were present in my own life. And that same steadfast attention, in turn, heals me. It was on horseback that I learned to travel from intention to fruition, to create newly and to follow through with the possibilities I saw.
My photographs are of others who, like me, have truly been captured by the world of equine. All the images were shot on horseback. That particular vantage, coupled with the anonymity of the human subjects, invites us to identify with these riders and, for the moment that we experience a photograph, to feel ourselves in that state of communion with horse and land, partaking of the alchemy that occurs when we come together and ride.