This art is amazing! Seeing just how much effort was put into it, you could really appriciate it. The light in the back seems to show one of two things. It could either represent happiness in the past or the future. Either way, the three horses are going through a hardship through the darkness in the foreground of the piece. The standing horse, to me, represents young man, and how majestic humans can be at a young age. The kneeling horse could represent aging becasue they seem to have a bit more mud/dirt on them than the standing horse. The horse on the ground definately represents death. The standing horse, or the'pure one', represents a clean slate, so to speak. It shows how inexperianced man can be at the beginning of life. The kneeling horse does seem to represent middle age, considering his coat is a bit more soiled than that of the standing horse. The third horse, on the ground, seems to be all the deeds man has accomplished by death and old age. Amazing piece. I am highly impressed.
This, hands down, is one of the best photo manipulations I've seen... and I've seen some amazing ones!
The first time I saw the original reference for the lying horse, I envisioned death. (of course I probably would've made it gory and sadder That's just me though)
The "battle of the skies" really sets the setting for the whole picture, allowing the horses to look natural and blend in smoothly. It also says that the other two horses shouldn't worry, because good will come.
As for the horses, the standing/walking one seems as though they didn't see what happened, but they knew something was wrong and had to come see. The kneeling horse saw exactly what happened as it happened and looks to be trying to get the dying/dead horse to get up, and is showing signs of defeat and sadness over the loss of their friend/mate/brother what-have-you.
I say you made a great choice in stock, because the horses' bodies speak the words they cannot. The standing horse's ears are back, listening to the rider (if it had one) or something behind them, but in this picture, it's showing that something's not good, and that it's a bad situation. The dead horse looks to be at peace, his ears are neither pinned, nor forward, and the kneeling horse's ears are saying that they want something to happen, they're alert, but the expression says that they know nothing will.
I've been around horses for as long as I can remember, and you have portrayed them so well in this photo. Great job! Best of ratings to you