“There is a difference between the average person who can take a picture and the passionate person who sees the picture and can create it,” according to Equine Photographer Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman. “A big difference.” Let’s take a closer look at California cowboys and cowgirls through Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman’s eyes.
I discovered Sharon’s equine photography during a trip to Temecula valley wine country. I was cruising the wine tasting room at South Coast Winery when I came across Horses in Wine Country, a beautiful hard cover book focusing on horses from the California coast. Friends Tracy Hagadorn and Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman share a love of horses that started in their youth. Tracy notes, “Horses in Wine Country is a love letter and a thank you to our horses who have passed, but who will never be forgotten.”
Girls and horses
I often ask myself, what is it about girls and horses? What captivates us and draws us to these magnificent and gentle animals at such a young, impressionable age? Often times it is a family member, perhaps a parent, who introduces use to horses. I gave my daughter horseback riding lessons and took her to Sunriver, Oregon for a horseback riding vacation, but the equestrian spark never ignited her her. My daughter was wise beyond her years when she noted in her youth, “horses are your passion, mom. Not mine.”
“I had been horse crazy from the moment I could walk,” laughs Sharon. In her on-line biography, Sharon confesses that she wasn’t familiar with Quarter Horses until the 1980’s when her husband introduced her to the versatile breed. From there, she began photographing cowboys and creating Stock Horse images. This is how I discovered her California cowboy and cowgirl photography from The Loop Ranch, one of the largest working cattle ranches in Southern California.
I had a chance to work a cattle drive at The High Lonesome Ranch in De Beque, Colorado. That was an exciting experience on horseback; something I’d like to do again on my next horseback riding vacation. What are your favorite things to do on a horseback riding holiday?
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