The following photo was sent in by Allison of Adventures with Shyloh. Allison commented on the unsafe practices being displayed in the photo and, while I don’t disagree the situation is extremely unsafe, is it not the rider’s and photographer’s decision? Obviously, to pull off a shot like this, the rider had to be more than just a model – she had to have riding experience in order to balance and hold herself like that. I mention this so that we can safely assume she is aware of the dangers of horseback riding and not a noob who has no clue that one wrong fall could end their life.
Photo by Marina Barskaya. Click here for more of her work.
Honestly, from my typically snarky point of view, I have no issue with this photo. All the dangers are to the rider and the horse has a nice, calm expression. The reins may be a bit tight, if I want to be picky – but the horse obviously doesn’t mind and it’s not like she’s ripping his lower jaw off his face (as we’ve seen of other riders). I think that people who truly understand the muscular control and stamina required to do this pose, as well as the control and training that went into the horse itself, can really appreciate the beauty of the captured moment.
To me, the issue is more with people who aren’t experienced horse people and are secretly thinking to themselves, “Hell, I could do that! It’s easy!” It’s like those stunt TV shows – how many of you know people (*cough*guys*cough*) who saw one of the Jackass movies and then, almost immediately afterwards went out and tried to do stunts of their own, “don’t try this at home” disclaimer be damned.
What do you think?
- Are photos such as this one ok? Should artistic integrity take precedence over safety?
- Do photos romanticizing the abstract concept of the bond between horse and rider, you know, the one that overcomes all horsey instincts and transcends the species gap, actively promote unsafe practices?
- Should photos of unsafe riding practices be celebrated or shunned for promoting said unsafe practices?