How does that phrase go? Oh, yeah. “It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys!”
My experience with wild turkeys has been that they are pretty smart birds and can fly quite well.
The first photo you showed us needs contrast, and it would be nice if it showed more of the rider’s face. The pole growing out of the rider’s shoulder is odd! And, there is something strange about the area just behind the horse’s left front leg. I have to agree with you that the photo is less than fabulous.
The second photo is worse than the first!
If your photo of the horse’s eye were in a competition, I would give it serious consideration. Horses don’t pay for photographs, riders and owners do. It is a photo an owner with an artistic bent might like. Other owners may say it does not show enough of the horse.
Your last photo would be better if the lens were a little wider, or you were a little further back, so all of the horse was included in the frame. The rider’s face seems a little soft, which could be the platform, the shutter speed, lighting, post processing, or focus set on the horse instead of the rider. It would be better without all those faces along the fence.
Look around when you are at the track, rodeo, exhibition, etc. A lot of the framed photos look just like the first photo you put up, except production values are better. It is just a record shot of the whole horse, with or without rider, and a bit of the environment to give context. Make sure you get some shots like that, they are obviously popular. If the rider might purchase, make sure you get some flattering shots of the rider, too.
So, back to the question, do you work for this person at this show, or not? Why not. It may be an opportunity to learn some of the business side, and with a little attention to detail, and an understanding of what the customers want, you should have no trouble providing photos that sell.