Life Between the Ears
Photo courtesy of Charlotte Beck.

Life Between the Ears started as a hobby, and transformed into a trending hashtag that’s capturing the attention of horse lovers worldwide.

All over the world, individuals are grooming manes, mucking stalls, tightening girths and soaking in the sunshine from the backs of their trusted equine companions. The universal bond between horse and rider transcends time and space, and breaks down all cultural barriers. And nothing celebrates this connection better than a new social media account aptly named “Life Between the Ears” (LBTE), which unites horse lovers and travel enthusiasts around the globe through their passion for riding. This collaborative photo album has become a platform that’s frequented – and adored – by thousands. In fact, since its launch a decade ago, Life Between the Ears and its associated hashtag, #lifebetweentheears, has garnered photo submissions from over 100,000 social media users.

When Kristine Dahms shared her first post back in 2008, she had no idea it would turn into something quite so impactful. Her only intention was to share a few photos from her hacks out on the trails. “Soon my friends were sending me their ‘between the ear’ photos, so I started a dedicated Facebook page to share them all,” she says. “Then the whole thing exploded and I started sharing other people’s photos that I’d find from all around the world.”

Within just a few years, Life Between the Ears transformed from a personal Facebook account into a community of riders hailing from Jordan, Australia, Norway, South Africa, Ireland, Germany, Canada and numerous other countries. Kristine’s Instagram feed boasts nearly 40,000 followers, and over 1,000 images from various contributors. Each of these photographs also includes a thoughtful caption outlining cultural information about the location in which it was taken.

Top left: Joanna Bink Photographer/#eyelikelight. Top right: Kristine Dahms, overlooking Puget Sound from Maury Island.

“I started sharing educational info simply out of my own curiosity,” says Kristine. “I figured people might have the same curiosity, so I started Googling to learn more. There are so many gorgeous images and sites out there, but it’s context that makes things more meaningful.”

For anyone interested in submitting photos to Life Between the Ears, Kristine suggests choosing the right time of day to snap an ideal shot. “The best times are in the morning and evening when the sun is not directly overhead and harsh,” she says. “The Golden Hour is my favorite, which is just at dusk when the light is glowing and shadows are long. I try to get my horse’s head with a bit of light outlining his ears and not in the shadows.” She also recommends taking the shot quite close to your horse’s ears, especially if you’re using a phone camera. And of course, ears forward!

Don’t have images of your own to contribute? Don’t worry. Whether you prefer the familiarity of your own farm or consider yourself a seasoned globetrotter, this one-of-a-kind social media account is an inclusive space for horse lovers from all walks of life.

“We all speak horse,” says Kristine, who has met with a few other Life Between the Ears contributors, and hopes to organize a big gallery meet-up sometime in the future. In the meantime, this virtual gallery is a must-follow. You’ll learn about the traditions and customs of other countries, and connect with people on the other side of the world who, like you, prefer looking at the world from between the ears of a horse.

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