By Heather Mays
Overall, there were a lot of really great, creative entries throughout both age divisions. I was looking for more trail riding scenes rather than liberty scenes that incorporated some format of a realistic, outdoor fall weather or snow-filled scene. An obstacle of some sort was also to be included in the scene. There were some entries that went the extra mile and some that just needed some minor tweaking, like leaves in scale to the model or better fit to the tack. Some needed different backgrounds to fit the criteria. I really enjoyed the diverse entries, from Stablemates to Traditionals, with various obstacles, including bears, deer and cattle, and how the photographer interpreted the scene unfolding.
17 YEARS AND UNDER
Rebekah S., CA
Snowy trail ride with three horses and riders. Very pretty snow covered trees with snow falling. Riders were dressed appropriately and the horses had an added touch of wearing quarter sheets. An improvement may have been to have the horses looking at the momma bear and her cubs during the encounter and the riders could have had their hands on the reins.
Peyton M., WI
Snowy trail ride in the woods and encountered a momma fox and her kits. Pretty and detailed scene with a log for the foxes to hide and red cardinals in various places. The horse could have been showing more interest in the foxes instead of looking away.
Rachel A., NC
Riders encounter a nativity scene (3 Wise Men-esque). Very snowy and Christmas-y. The picture appeared to have condensation or droplets on it?
Natalie B., PA
Snowy trail ride with 2 riders. Really enjoyed the setup of the scene. Snow falling as they walk along a fence with a pine tree. Some straightening up of the bridles, etc. would have improved the entry. Also, a coat on the second rider.
Kiley C., AZ
Bear encounter on a snowy path. Realism with the horse rearing and a nice touch with the rider’s hat on ground. Improvements might be to slide the saddle/girth forward a touch; put the rider’s feet in the stirrups and lower her hands. Not sure how she stayed on!
Olivia T., GA
Fall ride with a Corgi and spots a deer. The addition of the corgi and the rider holding a lantern add a nice touch. Turning the horse to look at the deer would have added to this entry for realism.
McKinzie W., AZ
2 riders encountering a cougar on their ride. The riders were at different angles but looking at the cougar. The photo was taken with the focus on the cougar so the riders were slightly fuzzy. An improvement could be to look at the cougar’s feet and how they were placed on the log.
18 YEARS AND OVER
Kayla L., ME
Snowy, woodsy scene with a bear. Appears to be a fun trail ride (except for the bear!). Picturesque. Very neat and tidy tack. Possible improvements would be to have a coat on the rider and to have the horse attentive to the bear.
Kathy C., NV
Fall scene with river. Loved the in-scale leaves. The setup blended well with the fall background. Well-fitting tack and attentive horse. Loved the helmet cover!
Karen G., AZ
Winter snowy ride with Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). Very creative!! The overall scene was very eye-catching with the lights in the background. The snow possibly could have been improved upon and the horse looking a little more at the lights rather than away.
Chyenne W., SD
Winter sleigh ride. The only sleigh ride in all of the entries. Very nice setup with a Christmas feel with the Christmas lights on the bridge and trees. The tracks in the snow made a nice touch. An improvement would be to have the reins added or visible in the pictures.
Sarah P., OH
Winter snowy ride along a riverbed and encountered a deer. Very pretty scene. The dog seemed very interested and a nice addition to the scene. The deer was actually too close to the riders and would have run off rather than let them get that close. It may have been better to move the deer off to the side of the scene to put some space between him and the riders.
Abby R., MO
Fall trail ride and encounter a longhorn bull. Glad to see both horses and riders are paying attention to the bull they’ve encountered. The footing is a bit out of scale and the bright sunlight washes out some details.
Joyce S., OH
A fall ride encountering a sleeping bear. Very nice layout and scene that was to scale and realistic. A drawback would be the ears and top of the rider’s helmet are cropped out of the picture.
Dayna S., OH
Snow scene dragging pine tree. Very neat & tidy scene. Nice tack and rider with dog.
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