Category Archives: Tours

Long Live Cowboys and The Dryhead Ranch

Last year Kimberly Beer and I co-hosted a Winter Ranch Workshop in Livingston, Montana but that ranch was sold so we went looking for another location this year and landed on the Dryhead Ranch. Thanks to Jennifer and Kristen Cerroni our first retreat at the Dryhead Ranch in Montana did not disappoint! The Dryhead is a four generation working ranch tucked in the eastern slopes of the Pryor Mountains, deep in the heart of the Crowe Indian Reservation. There is Iris, the matriarch of the family now in her 90’s, still working the office taking reservations and doing the books. Then we have Jennifer and her daughters Kristen and Jess. Jessie and her husband, Jake have four kids, who kept us entertained all week. Maddie, Cassidy, Howdy and James are always hard at play or helping out on the ranch with chores. Jackson came as a guest a few years back but is learning the ropes from Jake on his summer break from college. Lara was our chef extraordinaire, keeping us fed well all week and helping out with the cattle. Kristen’s boyfriend, Braden came out to help on branding day. So all in all, it’s a family affair!

James, Howdy, Maddie, Jess, Jake, Cassidy, Jennifer and Kristen

The kids were a never ending source of entertainment and great photography subjects!

 My co-host Kim Beer is not only a fantastic photographer and teacher, she’s a marketing guru too! Be sure to check out more of her work on Facebook at Kim Beer Photography

It was such pleasure to watch the cowboys of the Dryhead hard at work. We even got to watch Jake put the first ride on a youngster, he’s so good with his horses the colt took everything in stride.

So wonderful to be around a family that honors the land, the stock, the wildlife and God.

The cowboys and cowgirls of the Dryhead Ranch.

On a working ranch there’s always something that needs doing. From fixing fences to gathering, sorting, doctoring, branding and tagging the cattle.

There are horses and lots of them. Each morning the cowboys would bring the cavy (riding string) of about 65 head in and in the evening they would take them back out to pasture for the night.

The ranch also has a breeding operation of Quarter Horses, each stallions runs with their group of mares and foals. These foals are being raised for future ranch horse prospects.

Kim and I would just like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone at the Dryhead that made this year’s retreat a success.

Thanks also, to those who joined us this year: Hilary, Christy, Pam, Rhonda and Greg!!!

Well that’s it for now….yep, we are planning to make this a yearly event. Dates for next year are July 23-28, 2020!

Interested in a cattle drive vacation? Be sure to check out the Dryhead Ranch website for more into!

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Iceland Baby

Well my 2019 Iceland Equine Photo Tour is in the books! What a fantastic time was had by all attendees, the staff at Skalakot AND myself. The week before leaving for Iceland I guess I was a little stressed out, not sleeping enough or taking care of myself. So I left home feeling a bit under the weather, unfortunately it only got worse once I got to Iceland. However, thanks to a wonderful group and our fabulous head horse wrangler, Sanne, we were able to get to every shoot I had scheduled for the week. Thanks to Chef Robert at the farm we dined on the most delicious Icelandic cuisine all week. I’m not sure which was a bigger hit our main courses or the decadent desserts he lavished us with. He even made the most beautiful birthday cake for one of the ladies in our group, I think he heard through the grapevine that chocolate was her favorite and he did not disappoint!

Yes as always we had babies! Of course, we had to spend some time with these little ones and their moms. We even had the treat of a newborn while we were at the farm!

We kicked off the week at Irafoss (foss is Icelandic for waterfall) with the herd but I decided to try something different. I wanted to have one horse (hopefully a cooperative one) to stand in front of the waterfall alone. Luckily with the help of Sanne we were able to accomplish my wish!

Once we discovered this beautiful boy, Frank (aka Blue Eyes), became our favorite model. Not only was he gorgeous but he had two blue eyes AND was extremely cooperative!

Then there is the Lupine, yes it’s literally everywhere! Did you know that Lupine is not native to Iceland? It was brought in to control erosion and grew out of control. It sure is pretty and when you put a horse in it, then that quote “Horses make the landscape more beautiful” by Alice Walker is so true. The bird life in Iceland is abundant, although the Arctic Terns weren’t happy with us for disturbing them. 

We did make our annual trip to the Glacial Lagoon and Ice Beach but while the gang headed out to explore and photograph I tried to get some rest. A nice warm rock on the beach was the perfect place to take a nap! On our way back to the farm that afternoon we stopped at this beautiful cascade right by the side of the road. I couldn’t resist, even though I’ve photographed it several times it still calls to me.

Of course, I love Iceland in color but some scenes are so dramatic they speak to me in Black and White. The Black Sand Beach of Vik or a group of horses running in that iconic landscape.

As always I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jóhanna and Mummi, the owners of Skalakot along with their fantastic staff. Sanne always gives us personal attention and no matter what we ask for it’s always granted. #onemoretime is a photographers motto because we will always ask to see if it’s possible to do that again! 

So many more fabulous images from this tour but I will leave you with this one as it’s one of my favorites and something I always wanted to try but just had to find the perfect models.

Our lovely head wrangler, Sanne with our horse model extraordinaire, Frank. Yes, their eyes really were that blue!

If you think you might like to join me in 2020 please send me a message.

I’d love to share “my Iceland” with you!


***On Another note: Would you like to know how to make these fabulous collages to use in your blog posts?!?! Check out BlogStomp3 so cool! ***

Also posted in Photography, Travel, Workshops

Trainer to the Stars (Equine Stars that is)

L O O K ….. PhyllisBurchettPhoto has a new BLOG Post and it’s all about us and her trip to New York!

In March I had the pleasure of heading to New York to photograph for Cari Swanson at Windrock Farm. My friend Suzanne joined me so we spent a day in the city being tourists before heading to Amenia to visit Cari. The last time I visited New York City was right after 9/11 St. Paul’s Chapel and Trinity Church was still adorned with flowers, cards and momentos to the fallen.

After September 11, 2001, St. Paul’s became the site of an extraordinary, round-the-clock relief ministry to rescue and recovery workers for nine months. Though the World Trade Center buildings collapsed just across the street, there was no damage to St. Paul’s, earning it the nickname “the little chapel that stood.”

After our brief visit to the big city we took the train up to Wassaic, New York where Cari picked us up and took us to her farm. What a beautiful drive, rolling hills and gorgeous countryside. 

Cari and part of her “tribe”. Five Icelandic Sheepdogs Storm, Loki, Röskur, Rune and Freyja

I met Cari years ago when she was working on a movie set that was filming at the Burge Plantation in Mansfield, Georgia.  Thanks to Facebook we’ve stayed in contact and when the opportunity arose I jumped at the chance to head to New York to work with Cari and her horses.  Cari Swanson is the owner of  Swanson Productions. They provide specialty horses for film, television and commercials including carriages and wranglers as well as instruction. Cari is a Horse trainer, Riding Instructor, Producer and Author.
Visit her website at

I wanted to shoot horses in the snow and boy did I get to! We had some gorgeous models that gladly showed their stuff for us under gorgeous blue skies the first day.

Paint Mares, Lily and Dreamer

Listo and Merlin, Lusitano Stallion and Gelding


The light was stunning, “Novelisto” owned by Ashley Slack Waller.

These two images were taken back to back but with the help of Photoshop we can make them look warm or cool. Which one do you like better?

I took lots and lots of images. Horses rearing and horses being goofy. All total the first day I think I shot over 2500 frames.

Lisa Oberman sent some of her beautiful custom tack for us to use. El Sueño Español check it out on Facebook.

This is the gorgeous Morgan Stallion, Rosevale Leggo owned by A Horse Drawn Affair.

We did portrait work with Blaze and Bond for promotional use too. These guys are veterans in the film business.

We even brought horses in the house!

Always trying to be creative, what can I do different with rearing horses? Cari had this great Carousel horse in her house so why not put it in a composite with Listo!

Cari is amazing with her horses, they respect her and respond to everything she asks willingly. Thank you Cari, we enjoyed our time at Windrock Farm and can’t wait to come back!

The horse knows….
He knows if you know….
He also knows if you don’t know.
~ Ray Hunt

Stay tuned plans are being discussed for a workshop at Cari’s farm for 2018.

On our way back to the city we stopped in Hudson, New York to photograph the Dr. Oliver Bronson House. This hidden gem is a challenge to be able to visit due to limited hours —- but if you love architecture and historic preservation, you won’t want to miss the experience. The house is centered around a grand spiral staircase that winds it’s way through the center of the house.

Well that was our world wind of a weekend of fabulous photographic opportunities, wonderful fellowship, yummy food and meeting new friends.

Thanks to all who made this trip possible!




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