Today we sit down with New Jersey-based equestrian enthusiast and artist/graphic designer Elena Mass to learn about how she combines her two passions.
What is your personal involvement with horses?
Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to have my own horse. To this day, it is still a goal of mine–a goal that I’m very confident I will achieve within the next five years.
Growing up, my aunt used to take me to the local stable where I was able to ride around the ring from time to time. When I was 11, a man named Siggi, who lived down the street from where I’m from (Erwitte, Germany), had a few ponies that needed to be ridden. Some of my friends and I went there almost every day and did everything that comes with owning a horse, even though these weren’t ours; we mucked stalls, cleaned tack, and rode stubborn little ponies that just did whatever they wanted to do. That was our kind of entertainment.
Very soon puberty hit, boys became more interesting, and I assumed I was over the ”little girl who loves ponies” phase until last year. After going for a pleasure trail ride with girlfriends, the spark was lit again, and I asked myself how I could have gone for so long without having a horse in my life.
Following this trail ride, I found an ad on Craigslist–a girl was looking for help with her Quarter Horse mare Jolene (Joey). I met Joey and knew I wanted to take care of her. I went to see her three to four times a week (even though she was 20 miles away from me) and we had great times together; unfortunately, she was moved to a different barn in the beginning of this year. In the meantime, though, I had met Colleen. Colleen, who has a beautiful setup in her backyard with five horses, was looking for someone who would compete with her in competitive trail rides. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I’m so glad I just went for it. Today, I’m riding Moose, who is the most amazing little Arab I have ever met. We just completed our first competitive trail ride (CTR) together a few weeks ago, and, this coming weekend, we are doing the Cheshire 26-mile CTR in Pennsylvania, which cannot come soon enough.
How did you become passionate about photography?
I was not always passionate about photography, or at least I wasn’t aware of it before. It just came with my passion for horses–I wanted to capture certain things about these beautiful animals.
What is it about horses that you try to capture in your work?
After taking more and more pictures of these strong but elegant animals, I have noticed that I like the details: a pair of hooves, a crinkly muzzle, an eye, a pretty blaze, a red bow in the tail, or just a pair of furry ears.
Do you have any tips for amateur photographers?
Go outside and click around. You will find your source of inspiration!
Just go and don’t think about it for too long!
Where are you located and how can people interested in your services get in touch with you?
Who should we interview next? Email your suggestions to [email protected]