35 Lovely Images of Horses

Horses have been a part of human culture for thousands of years. Wild horses are even in prehistoric cave paintings, and since being domesticated, they’ve only grown in importance. Although cars and tractors have made horses less common in modern society, they’re still a big part of art and culture.

Like dogs and other domesticated animals, horses are great subjects to photograph because they carry so much meaning. They can inspire feelings like peacefulness and nostalgia. Even if the viewer has never personally ridden a horse, they’re likely to have seen a movie or read a book with horses, which the image can bring back.

Besides, horses are beautiful animals. As the novelist John Galsworthy once stated, “I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a horse.” That alone makes them a wonderful subject to photograph. Here are some ideas to help you get the best shots of them.

Inspiration for Beautiful Photos of Horses

Horses Against a Level Horizon

This is a classic shot often shown in Western films. With a flat horizon and a generous amount of sky, your photo will have an open atmosphere and a sense of freedom. You don’t have to position the horse exactly on the horizon, though. The most important key is for the horizon to be level, not crooked, with plenty of sky and open space around the horse.

Mariano Colombotto – In search of a destination

Mariano Colombotto - Raco - Tucumán - Argentina

Amine Fassi – The dog that didn’t know who to follow

Amine Fassi - Morocco - Essaouira - Diabat Beach

fraser price

fraser price - horse silhouette

Troy Marcy Photography – Room to Run

TroyMarcyPhotography - horse in field

James Drury – gallop

James Drury - Druidstone Beach, Pembrokeshire

Horse Silhouettes

Because horses are a familiar subject around the globe, their silhouettes are likewise easy to recognize. Even from a distance, a horse silhouette can look striking in a photo. You can get fantastic pictures of horse silhouettes against the horizon, but also on a beach with the silhouette mirrored in the water.

Richard Watkins LRPS – Camber Sands

Richard Watkins LRPS - Camber Sands

Bernie – love Animals

Bernie - horse and dog silhouette

Arijit Adhikary – Dark Horses

Arijit Adhikary - horse silhouettes

Carlos Sarmento – Horse riding Gili Trawangan sunset

Carlos Sarmento - Horse riding Gili Trawangan sunset

Ana GR – she’s so beautiful!

Ana GR - backlit horse

Horses in Black and White

Most horses have neutral-colored hair. Their coats are often in shades of black, white, or brown – colors that won’t stand out next to bright colors like a pure blue sky. To make horses more noticeable in a colorful scene, try shooting in black and white. Then, viewers will notice the contrast between light and dark rather than the colors.

david constance – Horsehair

david constance - Horse

Jennifer MacNeill – ears

Jennifer MacNeill - horse ears

Shirren Lim – [grace. beauty. spirit. freedom]

Shirren Lim - Mongolian horses

Kristina Truluck – Built on Trust

Kristina Truluck - black and white horse

Andy Farmer – Icelandic Horse

Andy Farmer - Icelandic Horse

Horses in the Mist

Mist can have a beautiful effect on a landscape, but photographing mist alone can lead to uninteresting images. The best misty photos have something that viewers can focus on, ideally a strong subject like a horse. This subject will give viewers a visual anchor, drawing them into the scene.

swapnil deshpande – Timeless moments

swapnil deshpande - horses, mist, trees and snow

James Drury – tree, fog, horse

James Drury - tree, fog, horse

Nathalie – Vigilant

Nathalie - horses in the mist

Shirren Lim – < horse sleighing >

Shirren Lim - horse sleighing

Catherine Reznitchenko – Cheval dans la brume

Catherine Reznitchenko - Cheval dans la brume

Action Photos of Horses

To capture the gracefulness and power of horses, try photographing them when they’re galloping or jumping. You can use a slow shutter speed to create motion blur or a fast shutter speed to freeze the action, capturing the horse in midair. For photos with a fast shutter speed, try shooting somewhere with dust or water. Then, the dust or water will fly into the air, making your shot more impressive.

LENORE HOLT-DARCY – Carmargue Horses

LENORE HOLT-DARCY - Carmargue Horses

Amine Fassi – Fantazia Ryders

Amine Fassi - Fantazia Ryders

Vijai Balaiah – Partner!

Vijai Balaiah - Polo and Riding Club, Kelambakkam, Tamilnadu, India

Nimit Nigam – Horse Riding…

Nimit Nigam - Horse Riding

Koen Jacobs – I’ve been through the desert

Koen Jacobs - horses running on beach

Candid Portraits with Horses

Animals can help make nervous models loosen up during a portrait shoot, and horses are no exception. When a model is petting, riding, or feeding a horse, they tend to act more naturally than when they’re posing for a portrait. Particularly if the model loves horses, planning a shoot with a horse can lead to great, authentic portraits.

Bernie – friends

Bernie - portrait with horse

Fernando – I and horses

Fernando - feeding horses

Bernie- her horse

Bernie - portrait with horse

Mariano Colombotto – Good friends

Mariano Colombotto - boy with horse

Stefan Schmitz – Tempo (our Haflinger) and Katrin

Stefan Schmitz - Tempo (our Haflinger) and Katrin

Close-up Photos of Horses

Horses aren’t just beautiful from far away. You can get cool shots from up close, too. Taking close-up shots allows you to experiment with texture or try different angles, photographing the horse from above or below. Even small details, like their wispy mane or long eyelashes, can be nice subjects for a photo.

A W – eye OF horse

A W - eye of a horse

Yane Naumoski – Day 306: Buddies

Yane Naumoski - black and white horses

Shirren Lim – .frosted.

Shirren Lim - horse eyelashes

armelle chapman – Mountain

armelle chapman - horse close-up

Amine Fassi – That’s when the old mare whispered to the boy who wanted to become a Fantasia knight

Amine Fassi - close-up of horse

Many of the above photos were selected from our Flickr group. Next time you get a great picture of a horse, add it to the group so we can admire it!