Island Beach State Park Horse Photoshoot with Emma and Gina
There is nothing better in the world then doing something you love, at a location you love and with your favorite animal. I am standing on the Beach at Island Beach State Park in New Jersey, here they allow horses on the beach for riding during the months of October to April. I have butterflies in my stomach because I am so excited for this shoot and cannot wait to produce the images, and we haven't even started yet...we just arrived. As some of my close friends know I have a photography bucket list, this list contains all the locations and type of shoots I would like to do before...well I kick the bucket!!! Doing a photo session on the beach with horses has been at the very top of my list and the bonus of this is the owner, also one of my models, Emma Holliday has taught her 3 amazing horses to do tricks! I also had the opportunity to collaborate with a few amazing people. Rudney Novaes was another photographer that joined in this shoot. He brought along a very talented make up artist Brittany, who did Emma and Gina's make up. I also had the opportunity to feature Cathy Ebrada Atelier dresses in this shoot. Cathy was so kind to lend us these beautiful dresses.
When we arrived, we spent the first 3 hours getting the horses braided, and hair and make up done for Emma and Gina. As we were doing this, we had a few surprise visitors. Two wild foxes. Earlier in the week, I had seen a fox out by my house and said to myself how much I wished I could photograph this animal since I think they are so cool looking...well I got my chance!
I was lucky they hung around for some time and let me get some close up shots of them each.
Emma started her love for horses when she was just a child, and at the age of 4 she got her first pony ever, Lindsay a 4 year old incredibly strong hard mouthed haflinfer mare. Emma's mother had worked with Lindsay to get her child ready for riding but nothing seemed to work until she stumbled upon natural horsemanship. Within days Lindsay has made made a huge turn around and was controllable again and on her way to becoming a little girl's mount. When Emma before old enough to handle the horses on her own she continued to work with Lindsay using the natural horsemanship training methods and within a few short years Emma was beginning to ride in bit-less bridles, soon upgraded to completely bridle-less. Lindsay has become the most versatile pony Emma has ever known, competing in driving, western pleasure, jumping, reining, competition trail, drill team, liberty and trick training, tack-less riding, roman riding, and even mounted archery.
The second most influential horse under Emma's training (or as Emma states, "Domino training her) is an 11 year old Gypsy Vanner mare named Domino. She bought Domino as a yearling and has known nothing but natural horsemanship. Domino shows as a driving pony, however she also loves jumping and liberty work. Domino's favorite tricks include the lay down, the sit, the rear, and the spanish walk. Domino is currently 7 months pregnant (the sire is the Gypsy Stallion Sir Royal Excalibur) and is due July 22nd, 2016.
The last and latest member of Emma's team is a 5 year old Nokota gelding named Smokey. Smokey was purchased from a wild herd of Nokotas as a 2 year old and has progressed rapidly in his training. Smokey is a sweet horse and highly intelligent. He can already compete in numerous western events such as pleasure, horsemanship, reining, working western, and his favorite- competition trail. Smokey is also beginning his liberty and trick training and can already do a few tricks like the bow and lay down.
These three horses have taught me everything I know about working with horses and they continue to astound me every time I work with them. They have done nothing but help me as a person and I hope to teach people natural horsemanship training techniques so that they too can "connect" with their horse.
"I first sparked interest in horses when I was 6. I told my mom that I wanted to ride horses someday. When I was 14 I was introduced to a trainer who owned her own barn. She allowed me to start my career and it took off from there!" My other model told me. She has been riding for 3 years now and is now leasing an amazing Warmblood cross Mare named Raya. Gina and Emma met at the barn Gina rode at and their friendship has done nothing but grown since they met. The love to goof off and ride practically anywhere they can fit. They told me "We loving making everything into game!". Currently Gina is competing in the 3ft hunter division on Raya, who she has been riding for over a year now and they both continue to excel together.
Even though we had a foggy day, no sun, and about 40 degree weather, we all still had a fantastic time. Check out more photos below and don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more photography, how the horses are trained and the vendors who lent their time and work for this shoot.
- Photographer Lynn Rose Photography LLC - www.instagram.com/lynnrosephotography_evelyn_s and www.facebook.com/lynnrosephotographyLLC
- Model and owner of horses Emma Holliday - www.instagram.com/emeraldwindsdomino
- Model Gina- www.instagram.com/ggspadea
- Photographer Novaes Photography - www.instagram.com/rudneynovaes and www.facebook.com/rudneynovaesphotography
- Make up Brittany Nicole - www.instagram.com/superbiochick
- Dresses Cathy Ebrada Atelier - www.instagram.com/ebradaatelier