A herd of horses galloping through the river

The charm of Masurian Lake District

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There are regions so beautiful and inspiring that I come back there each year without feeling bored. Mazuria Lake District is one of these places. You only need to stray a little bit from the beaten track, to find peace, silence, picturesque sceneries and last but not least – horses. That’s why, only a few days after returning from hot Spain, I was already packing my suitcases to head for Polish lakes, to Sasek Mały.

The herd of grey mares galloping through the lake

Besides many advantages, Masurian Lake District also has very typical for Polish climate faults – one never knows what the weather will be like. When we arrived ( I am writing “we” because this time I travelled accompanied by my daughter), the heat was overpowering. Two first photo sessions just must have been held in water. As I had the hole team of assistants this time, I managed to arrange shooting I always dreamed of – a herd of horses galloping through the lake at sunset. Maybe it’s not such a big herd as in Camargue region, but 5 horses, it is not bad to start with. Girls who were helping me didin’t have to suffer from low temperature, nonetheless their work required some sacrifice. Do you wonder why? See what they looked like after the session… Thank you girls!! 🙂

Girls assisting to a horses photo session in the lake
Girls assisting to a equine photo session in the lake

After two days of tropical heat, typical Polish summer returned with cloud, sun, rain and wind. Photo shoot I figured out in the forest, we managed to realize it only thanks to will power. At the beginning we even had some sunshine, but the situation was changing like in kaleidoscope and finally the rain forced us to retreat. However, 10 minutes later, clouds disappeared and we were back on the site to finish it. The effort and persistence paid off – the photo of piebald horse galloping through the forest is one of my favorite from this trip. When we were leaving, the sky was crying again with bitter tears.

Piebald horse galloping through the forest

Fortunately, in August heat came back to the lakes district and so did we. Another place I was happy to visit for the second time, was 600 year old mill situated on the border between Warmia and Masuria lake district and hidden in the forest over the river. I already fell in love with this place during my first visit, years ago. The mill is very old and atmospheric building, and the view from its upper windows to the river and the horses taking the bath in it is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Horses galloping through the river

The next stop on our way was in two coldblooded horses’ studs near Dobre Miasto. As the breed is disappearing quickly from the countryside landscape, I think they will become a rarity in a while. It’s a big pity because the sight of these gentle giants herd galloping through the field makes really big impression, as well as the fight of stallions weighing almost a ton each one, who squeal and soar clouds of dust almost hiding them.

Coldblooded stallions fighting in the dust
Coldblooded mare early morning in the meadow

By the way, quite by accident, we arrived to the lovely Mrs. Monica, where a nice surprise was waiting for us – colourful, flowering meadow. Given the fact that everywhere we reached earlier, pastures were sunburned, such trick gave me great joy. In addition, the horses did very well, politely respecting the makeshift fence and showing their beautiful movements. Especially grey Welsh pony mare charmed everybody running in the last rays of the setting sun.

Welsh pony mare galloping at sunset

The final stage of the trip was my friendly endurance stable KJ Leśny, where last year we had one of the most successful session. This time we decided to take advantage of the surrounding forest and we took there grey stallion and chestnut gelding. Although this time I didn’t take as many photos as previously, I am very pleased with the results.

Arabian gelding portrait at sunset in the forest

After so many experiences and impressions it was hard for us to say goodbye to the Masuria … Here, I wish to thank here my wonderful daughter Julia, who accompanied me on this trip and shoulder to shoulder with me was taking pictures and videos 🙂 Most of the shots that you can see in the movie are her work!

Julia Koch assisting to the photo session

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