An equestrian film documentary, filmed in Sussex and Kent, and directed by Irish filmmaker Elaine Heney, has won the ‘Best Documentary’ Gold Award at the LA Shorts International Film Festival. The short documentary ‘Steve Halfpenny’, is based on the work of legendary horse trainer, Steve Halfpenny.
‘It was an honor to able to tell the story of such a remarkable horseman.’ Elaine Heney explained.
The equestrian film showcases how it is possible work with horses using the principals of ‘Light Hands Equitation’.
‘I wanted to film this documentary, as I believe Steve Halfpenny’s ‘Light Hands Equitation’ approach is missing in many areas of the horse world today’, Elaine added. ‘Steve works with feel, timing, balance and relaxation. It’s amazing to see how fast a horse can change when you connect with their mind’.
Elaine filmed this documentary over three weeks in the UK and Ireland this summer.
‘The trickiest part of making this movie was improving my cinematography skills. I had minimal video production experience. I decided to watch four online cinematography courses over four days. Then I spent a few days filming my horses at home in Tipperary – and soon after this I took a flight to the UK to begin the shoot! The entire film was done in a little over three weeks.’
While the movie may have humble beginnings. It’s message has resonated with horse riders around the world. ‘Steve Halfpenny’ the documentary has gone viral on social media and has been shortlisted for eight international film festivals. It’s World Premiere was held in Wexford this October, and it won the LA Shorts Best Documentary Award. It is also an official selection at the EQUUS Film Festival Awards in New York, this November, where it has been nominated for the best equestrian documentary and best equestrian director categories.
‘Horses are always honest and react to how they perceive their situation. It is up to us humans to help them feel safe by communicating clearly to them in a way that fosters a real partnership. Everything is possible when you work with the horses mind.” Steve Halfpenny.
Watch the film on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zR7vrPuotU
Watch the film online: www.stevehalfpenny