This month’s Dressage Today cover article, “Half Halt for Better Balance & Rhythm,” by Jan Ebeling, features my photo of Jan and Rafalca. The article shows exercises that both incorporate and develop the half halt.
The horses and the rider are world-class. Even so, trying to capture a half-halt in the camera is a very hard assignment! The half-halt is ephemeral, often more of a energy shift than a visible adjustment. It is subtle, and unless the photographer knows what to look for, it’s over before the shutter can release. The half halt is one of those things that is difficult to explain in words or pictures. Jan did a great job of illustrating in both media.
We chose to do the exercises with two athletic horses who are very different: Ann Romney’s Sandrina, long-limbed and elegant, and Barbara McLean’s Louis Ferdinand, round and compact. It’s always a pleasure to work with horses of this high caliber! Jan is a real pro during photo sessions, even when he hears that manta of photographers, “Let’s do that one more time, please!”
Rafalca, the 11 year old Oldenburg Grand Prix mare owned by Ann Romney and Amy Ebeling, was our cover girl. She loves the camera, and shines when she knows she’s being photographed. We posed her in several different locations at Jan and Amy’s lush and beautiful farm The Acres, with various backgrounds and lighting. The photo that was chosen for the cover really shows the great relationship that Jan and Rafalca have. It is one of my favorites from the day!