A Good Photo Of My Horse

By Terry Golson

Some of you saw this photo of Tonka in my Instagram feed.


You commented on how regal, confident and happy Tonka looked. He did. At that moment. But lest I let this one photograph misrepresent how Tonka felt all day at the show, here are few pictures that I discarded and then pulled back out of the trash in order to admit the full truth.

Horses look best with their ears pricked forward. At the end of the day, Tonka was not posing nicely for the camera. He had his ears back, focused on me. He was wondering why, after giving him a peppermint and telling him he was a good boy, that I was still on him. Usually that’s when I get off and he goes home.


We were trying for a group photo of all of the riders on their horses with their ribbons. An attempt to put Tonka’s ears forward was unsuccessful.


This was a fancy show and they had an area set up for photo ops.  I got off and tried for a beauty shot there. Tonka continued to tell me what he thought. There was loud music on a sound system and Tonka wanted to go back to the hay net and quiet at his trailer.


Oh well. Let’s show you that one great photo again.

In my next blog post I’ll share his excellent second-place jumping round. He looks happy in that!

4 thoughts on “A Good Photo Of My Horse

  • Shannon

    Congratulations on your successful hunter debut. You both look good. You’re lucky to live in an area with jumping as an alternative. Like Tonka, my mare dislikes or can’t do dressage. We have a very small contingent of people who ride English where I live. Most are Western riders. Years ago there were jumper barns and shows, but those gradually vanished, in the same way the dressage pool is shrinking currently. I’m lucky to be at a barn with a woman who is aiming for her gold medal (two scores away) and I can ride another of the barn horses to aim for my bronze, but otherwise I’d have to move or travel hours to get lessons. To compete, we do travel hours. I’m hoping once my daughter is done with college I can retire and move to a place where I can be the oldest working dressage student in history!

    • Terry Golson Post author

      A gold medal is a big deal.
      I am the oldest rider at my barn and I sure look like the oldest at the shows! It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone 🙂 I’m sure wherever you go and however old you are at the time, that you’ll fit right in.

  • Daisy

    Great picture indeed of the awesome Tonka. These days are very demanding and far from his comfort zone ! We probably would behave as he does, not sure I’d win a red ribbon though LOL

  • Gin

    Pictures of horses are really hard to get right. And if it’s a group of horses good luck getting all of them to look alert. That’s a really good picture of Tonka, I like the way the ribbon is blowing too.

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