I guess by my nature I am a competitve person. Maybe it’s not the actual competition, it’s just that I want to be GOOD at something and being judged by someone else and have them say – “Hey, at this moment, in this instance, you’re the best one in the field, here’s your blue ribbon”… THAT moment makes me personally feel so good, it makes me want to go out and do more. If I don’t get a blue ribbon, so maybe it’s red, or white, or green even, that’s fine too… I use that moment to look at everyone that came in ahead of me and go “hmm.. Ok, well THAT person was awesome” and then I think “can I improve for the next time”.
I’ve come away from horse shows with a last place ribbon still smiling, because I felt my ride was the best I could have possibly done. I don’t mind getting beat, I just love to show and compete and get that feedback. One really nice thing about showing Dressage is that you get your test card BACK, complete with judges comments, so you really know what you can work on. Of course the next judge might find a totally different set of points to improve, but at least you have some kind of reference. Hunters, you just get a ribbon and there you go. You don’t really get to talk to the judge or hear why they ranked you the way they did. They might have pinned you lower because you blew your diagonal, or your horse didn’t get the correct lead, or they could have done it because they didn’t like the color coat you wore or whatever, but you never know. You’re just sort of stuck to look at the others around you and try to figure out for yourself wether you need to improve at all or if you did the best you could do.
Well, I’m not in the horse show world anymore, in fact, I’m so far removed from it that I know no matter how hard I push to get back into that arena, I know the only way I’m seeing a horse show again is through the lens of my Nikon camera. And on that note, equine photography is something I would love to be successful at, and again, I judge my efforts by the decisions of other people. I’d love to see my pictures in a magazine, and I will attempt to accomplish goal sometime in the next 30 years. But one thing I’ve found as of last year when I entered my very first photography contest, is that competing my pictures of horses can be just as fun and rewarding (and frustrating) and competing the horses!
My very first contest I entered last year I won 1st place and I was thrilled. So excited about that victory was I that I decided to enter another contest, and I won a 1st, and 3rd in that one. So now, this year, my goal is to enter as many contests as I can possibly find. So far, that tally is up to 6.
The debate I’m having is what photos to enter (or not enter). The 1st contest of the year has a deadline of 2/15 to enter into. I have 1 entry for sure that I am going to enter and I really really think it stands a very good chance of at least being recognized, if not winning the amateur division of equine head study. The one class I’m having the hardest time deciding about it horse & human, which should show the bond between a horse & person, or have a person/horse interacting. I took some shots the other day of the hubby with his ponies, but I decided to something a little different, so I took some photos of him deworming the ponies. But the pictures in this photography contest are epic, really. They’re artistic and beautiful, and I’m just not really sure that these particular images really hold a candle to anything I’ve seen from the winners of previous years. So I’m not sure … do I enter one I don’t feel as confident about and just see, or do I just stick to the 1 or 2 entries that I’m sure about. Part of it is the cost, the entry fee is $15 per picture, and I think that is to eliminate the craptacular pictures from being entered.
I don’t think my deworming is total crap – it’s a cute picture, my husband holding the lead with the wormer tube in his hand, and the pony sniffing it with a leery look on his face. Actually the ponies are totally fine to deworm, we had to do a lot of retakes to get them to act up a little, because I thought that would make a fun shot. I don’t know though, about entering them into the contest.
Here are the two; I think the one with the bay pony (brown) is the better of the two, but I just don’t think they are contest worthy…. I don’t know.. what are your thoughts?
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