It's amazing how no matter how good you plan things nothing goes exactly as you had imagined, little surprises and quirks always seems to appear.
This week I was surprised with family dropping in for the holidays and the week I had envisioned for photography pursuits became a week of enjoying the company
of family and really enjoying life.
On that note the family has gone and my schedule is back to how I had planned... so I have a slightly greater chance of actually participating here ;-)
I personally prefer this one of the the first, the first one seems more washed out to me. The right side of the frame is what throws things off balance wise here, a vertical crop is a great suggestion.
I actually like the sharper contrast of the horse and grass in the first one. Horses are hard, I agree. This is such a beautiful head, eye, and forelock. You might want to play around with two different crops: One would be to crop a little off the left to eliminate the bit of a hind leg and add a little canvas to the right . . . and clone out some of the horse apples in the mid-upper right. :-) The other would be to do a vertical crop that would frame just the head, neck and right foreleg (but all the same height as you have) to focus in on that great wavey forelock, fetlock feathers, and that liquid eye.