Sometimes you see a horse photo in which the real subject is not so obvious at first glance... where it takes an intimate understanding of the subject to fully appreciate the entire scope.
Here we have a groom who knows and truly loves all the participants in the turnout: Two horses hooked as a tandem ( a challenging driving turnout if there ever was one!) and driven by his wife.
What we see here is a raw, pure instinctual action by Ray, the groom. Just purposely but kindly stroking the lead horse on his hind end, with the back on his four fingers. It's not planned. It''s not practiced. It's not trained. He just reached out and did it out of pure instinct.....as natural as stroking a curl on a young daughter's hair.
We have two horses to consider. Ray is standing in the middle of both of them. He can't reach the lead horse' s head. But he instinctually knows the leader will feel and appreciate his presence by stroking him on hind end. He knows the horse well enough to know the horse will feel comforted, not concerned, by the touch coming, for all intents and purpose, out of nowhere for the lead horse who cannot see him. The lead horse just senses his presence....and trusts the participants enough to be reassured rather than startled by the touch,....and Ray knows the same: the lead horse will be reassured by his calculated soft bush with the front of his fingers, done with pure, calm, yet meaningful and purposeful energy. You'll note there is no talking going on here. It's pure touch and pure energy.
It's the instinctual move of a natural horseman. Well done!
Photo by Dana Goedewaagen at email@example.com