One of the many things I do – photography related that is- is horse shows / equine shows, call them what you will.
The are wonderfully crazy events which bring large groups of people and horses together to do all kinds of competitive disciplines …
These shows can be anything for 1 to 5 days (commonly), whilst some of the bigger shows are longer.
From a photographers perspective, they are long, tiring, at times stressful, at times frustrating, and only marginally profitable.
Often people will talk to me, telling me how much they admire my perseverance , or sometimes to ask me why do I do it, or sometimes asking the craziest things that I cannot repeat here
Here is my best reason to stand out in the boiling sun / freezing wind all day , I will call it The Nicola Effect. This is but one example of The Nicola Effect it comes in many shapes and forms.
This particular event was a few weeks ago, on the first day one particular competitor taking part in show jumping entered the arena and had a dreadful round, in fact if memory serves me right they did one jump and then everything went pear shaped.
The kind of round that kills ones confidence very quickly.
Two days later she again had a show jumping round, and in passing while walking the course, she looked at me and said that she really didn’t think it was going to go well. I responded in the most sensible way and told her to not be negative, her horse would be over his first day jitters and everything would be fine. She may have smiled slightly and walked on…
I must confess though, when their names were called, and they entered the arena, I got the feeling it may not go well either. Her horse was super alert, and tossing his head around and generally acting up. To my surprise though they got down to business and had a great clear round.
Her joy was quite apparent and I love when a rider praises a horse for doing well.
In short I was over the moon that it went well for an almost total stranger.
A little later I walked over to where she and her horse were standing and she high fived me and said thank you for what I had said to her earlier, it had been just what she needed to hear.
Yes I melted a bit, and right there is my best reason for for baking in the sun and freezing in the cold. The human connection, the chance to be more than just a guy with a camera. To be someone who can make a difference, however small in someones life. To me that’s incredible and a privilege.