Photographing Northamptonshire : Rose of the Shires


I am not one of those people who ascribe human emotions to ‘dumb animals’, anthropomorhism (thanks to Will Larsen for the word, the things you learn on IRC :-)), but I was shaping up to take a few shots and the following occurred. These shots are in sequence and the only shots I took. They are accidental insofar as I became aware what was happening but was seeking only to get a decent shot of the horse.

1. The handler approaches the horse as I am framing so I decide to include him for scale. He finds the tether snapped/gnawed but cannot find the ring which was on the tether. Is that horse giving me a look or what?

2. Unable to find the ring, the handler decides it must be in the horses mouth but depite his best efforts and good natured cajoling the horse refuses to open its’ mouth and give it up.

3. In this shot he is telling another handler in the background that he believes the horse is playing around and holding on to the ring (it it this conversation which gives me all the info about what is going on). All this time he is trying to get his hand in the horses mouth.

4. The horse bites him. He utters a few choice words to the horse about the painful finger that he is holding and although I know deep down that it cannot be true it does seem as if the horse thinks it is funny.

I have no idea what happened to the missing ring. As I said at the outset I was more concerned with getting a decent shot and the ‘horse laugh’ seemed to be it. Only after I had scanned did it occur to me that I had a sequence.