Jack Schatzberg...photographs and talks about horses

Questions and Answers


It is an honor to get in touch with you..I have been photographed by you in the Saddlebred circuit for nearly twenty years now!

Well, my husband and I own and operate our own Photo/Framing business in Minnesota. I do several Stable Visits, after bouncing off ideas with Avis Girdler, as well as my own experience- which really seems to help.

My question is this; what exactly is a three quarter shot, of a Quarter Horse? I under stand the need to come at an angle to a horse, to capture a more complimentary side of some, but what is that?

And how do most "game" photographers capture a barrel horse? In terms of the angles, and how close etc..

I know to use a fast film, blah, blah..I am also a Canon fan..but a woman's horse I just photographed, she seemed disappointed in how I captured her horse, saying that his hip should barely be seen?

Can you help?

Thank You!

karina peterson


Dear Karina,

Thank you for your nice comments. You are acquainted with the American Saddlebred as is Avis, however you must understand that each breed has its own conformational objectives.

Saddlebred horses are generally photographed from a position in front of the horse, but the American Quarter Horse is DEFINATELY not photographed in that manner. The Quarter Horse's forte is the strength of his REAR. Therefor, they must be photographed from behind an imaginary line drawn behind the cantle of the saddle, also, below an imaginary line drawn at the level of his heart. The average Quarter horse is less than 15 hands high and therefor the position below his heart will make him appear taller and the position behind the cantle will enhance his powerful rear.

A barrel horse should be caught as he rounds the #1 or #3 barrel, has his legs crossed and should be mostly around the barrel and showing his powerful hip.

The distance you are from the rider depends on the lens you are using. Certainly far enough not to be a factor in the run.

Am happy to help in any way possible, if you have any additional questions please let me know.

Subject heading: Photographing a Quarter Horse
Posted: May 1998
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