California Cowboys and Cowgirls

cowboys, Loop Ranch
Loop Ranch Cowgirl and Cowboy
Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman photographer

“There is a difference between the average person who can take a picture and the passionate person who sees the picture and can create it,” according to Equine Photographer Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman. “A big difference.” Let’s take a closer look at California cowboys and cowgirls through Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman’s eyes.
I discovered Sharon’s equine photography during a trip to Temecula valley wine country. I was cruising the wine tasting room at South Coast Winery when I came across Horses in Wine Country, a beautiful hard cover book focusing on horses from the California coast. Friends Tracy Hagadorn and Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman share a love of horses that started in their youth. Tracy notes, “Horses in Wine Country is a love letter and a thank you to our horses who have passed, but who will never be forgotten.”

cowboy, The Loop Ranch
Cowboy, horse and rope

Girls and horses

I often ask myself, what is it about girls and horses? What captivates us and draws us to these magnificent and gentle animals at such a young, impressionable age? Often times it is a family member, perhaps a parent, who introduces use to horses. I gave my daughter horseback riding lessons and took her to Sunriver, Oregon for a horseback riding vacation, but the equestrian spark never ignited her her. My daughter was wise beyond her years when she noted in her youth, “horses are your passion, mom. Not mine.”

quarter horse, "The Loop Ranch"
Quarter horse ready to work at The Loop Ranch

Horse photography

“I had been horse crazy from the moment I could walk,” laughs Sharon. In her on-line biography, Sharon confesses that she wasn’t familiar with Quarter Horses until the 1980’s when her husband introduced her to the versatile breed. From there, she began photographing cowboys and creating Stock Horse images. This is how I discovered her California cowboy and cowgirl photography from The Loop Ranch, one of the largest working cattle ranches in Southern California.

California cowboy chaps
California cowboy ready to ride

I had a chance to work a cattle drive at The High Lonesome Ranch in De Beque, Colorado. That was an exciting experience on horseback; something I’d like to do again on my next horseback riding vacation. What are your favorite things to do on a horseback riding holiday?
For more information on Equine Photographer Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman visit her website. Photos courtesy Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman.

Article by Equine Writer Nancy Brown

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6 thoughts on “California Cowboys and Cowgirls”

  1. I understand all to well that todays mom has many more opportunities to share their love of horses with their daughters. I was very lucky, my husband made it possible for me to pass that passion on to our daughter and it was the single most important time of my life with her. She took the opportunity and ran with it. She competed all over the united states with her wonderful half arab Atlas. When they were in the arena competing, so was I, in spirit of course. The courage, dedication, patience and commitment Atlas taught her carries forward today in the lovely, intelligent capable and powerful young woman she has become. To this day we celebrate Atlas in frequent conversation about those wonderful days of Mom and daughter working, playing and competing together in our mutually enjoyed sport. I encourage any mother who is motivated to commune with her daughter through and with horses to “go for it”. You will always be glad you invested the money and time.

  2. Wow – I had no idea. This looks like in the good ol’ times!

    Btw just followed you on Twitter as well – great travel blog you have :) I look forward to connecting!

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