I have often wondered if there was ever a more profound bond than between a rider and their horse. In The White Horse by equestrian and photographer Mary McCartney, the rider brings these dormant feelings to the forefront with a series of photographs that capture the extraordinary beauty of her white Andalusian stallion, Alejandro. Taken over the course of a year, the images pay tribute to the special relationship that forms—both on and off the saddle—with these majestic creatures.
Unless one has ever experienced the empowering freedom and grace that accompanies the gift these creatures give you by allowing you to ride them, it is exceptionally difficult to explain. They are noble, spirited animals that are unwavering in their generosity when you deserve their partnership. From atop the saddle, they offer you the privilege of viewing the world from their perspective. An irrevocable connection forms when you move as one, when the power, rhythm, and sound of their pounding feet fly you through a field while the wind, rain, and sun are battering your face. It is pure, unadulterated bliss—a sublime feeling inhabited by a private world of two.
In The White Horse, McCartney offers an intimate glimpse into the joy that she derives from riding, watching, and caring for her horse. Using medium-format and 35mm cameras as well as smartphone’s for candid shots, she takes the reader through an ever-changing field of vision that highlights the mesmerizing beauty and power of her beloved Alejandro. In his introduction, her husband and film director, Simon Aboud, likens the collection of images to a representation of “times, moments, dreams, and yearnings on a scale that draws us effortlessly in. There is not only undeniable power and stature but also vulnerability and truth.”
The book, with the undeniable beauty it captures, serves to inspire the imagination, and hopefully, the appreciation of those who have not yet fallen under the magic of a horse.