Fashion Friday – Tail End Jewellery

Welcome to the new series – Fashion Friday. Here I will be sharing fab options and outfit inspiration for your shoot and beyond. If you have a product, item or must-have that you think could be featured, please pop me a message at laurafiddamanphotography@virginmedia.com and I would love to find out more.

So, our first feature is Tail End Jewellery. This wonderful business has grown from strength to strength since Alison started up over 17 years ago. Her aim was simple, she wanted to help horse owners keep a little piece of their horse close to them, whether they were sadly no longer with them, or not. Much like the photographs that sit unseen on our phones, people often would take a lock of hair from their horses, which would sit, dusty in the bottom of a sock drawer, forgotten. Now you can have it transformed into a beautiful piece of jewellery – a tangible memento of your equine friend.

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Over the years the jewellery range at Tail End Jewellery has grown substantially. Customers have played a huge role in this, with bespoke requests and designs as well as new trends paving the way forward. Today you have the option of over 40 different designs to choose from! Whether you would like a bracelet, necklace or stockpin to accent your outfit, there is something for everyone, and almost all come with the choice of sterling silver, rose gold or 9ct gold (I personally have always loved rose gold!)

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If you’re not in the market for a bespoke horse hair piece, you can always browse the wonderful range of equestrian themed jewellery, and treat yourself before your shoot! Why not have a look for yourself and see if anything catches your eye?

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I asked Alison which her favourite piece is; “my favourite piece (and our customers) is the Inlaid Forever Heart Necklace, simple yet striking, the hair is braided and inlaid into either a silver or rose gold vermeil heart worn on a chain necklace. I also love our new robust and stylish Double Wrap Bracelet that features leather and horsehair entwined.”

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My favourite thing about Tail End Jewellery is their “The Tale Behind” page on their website, where customers can share their memories of their horses. You can take a look here.

So, there you have it – some fabulous options to add a little extra to your outfit. Find out more about Tail End Jewellery at the links below:

www.tailendjewellery.co.uk

Twitter: @tailendjewellery

Instagram: @tailendjewellery

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TailEndJewellery

Thanks for reading, and look out for the next instalment in 2 weeks time! If you have any questions, or would like to see something specifically do drop me a message.

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Supporting your event photographer

We all love to see our horses out there strutting their stuff, and looking fabulous doing it. If you’re out competing, you like to know that there’s a photographer on the ringside capturing your best dressage test to date, that massive oxer your horse made to look like a warm up fence, or the leap of faith on the cross country course that sent you double clear. At least, if I was out competing that’s what I’d want.

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Event photographers really appreciate your support. It’s a long and often testing day with changing weather (I’m getting sunburnt.. oh wait, grab the waterproofs I’m now getting soaked..!) but because you are all committed to the cause and gallantly get on with your competition, we are equally committed to capturing your achievements on camera.

Yes, it’s a long day, with early starts, and sometimes an hour or more of driving before the first class. We can often be found wolfing down half a warm sandwich between tests or classes, and dashing off to the loo in a whirlwind of running times and camera lenses. Sometimes you might even catch us having a two minute sit down in the camping chair before the next rider comes along, and we’re up ready to shoot again.

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Personally though, I love the buzz of photographing equestrian events. Everyone is in good spirits, doing what they love to do, although it doesn’t always go to plan, and there’s so much to learn. It’s inspiring to see you all out there and striving to do better, be better, and just kicking some butt! One day I may even be ballsy enough to try and join you. Until then, I’ll be there behind the camera lens capturing those moments that I hope you want to remember.

It’s not just what you see at the events that goes into these images though. A day’s shooting can produce anything from 500 – 1500+ images, which all have to be checked, straightened and tweaked to produce what you see in the galleries. It’s a labour of love, but unfortunately that doesn’t pay the bills! When you purchase a print, it’s not just money that goes into your photographer’s pocket – once the print, postage and any handling fees are covered, what’s left comes to us.

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Every photographer will value their time differently, but again I say event photographers really appreciate your support. No matter what your photographer is charging, they will have priced their time and work as fairly as they believe possible to make these long days and editing worthwhile. So if you see an image you like, please don’t screenshot it and share it – watermarks may tell others who took the image, but that doesn’t generate us revenue. Please support your photographer and purchase it, so that we can continue to cover your events in the future!

Thank you so much to everyone who makes doing this so enjoyable, and to all of those we will be photographing at events to come!

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Sharon & Archie, Battisford

Last month I visited a friend at her new yard in Battisford, with her horse Archie.

Previously a flat racer, this chestnut thoroughbred has bags of character, and has certainly set Sharon some challenges over the years. Like many of us, Sharon has experienced some confidence lows, particularly after a nasty fall, and some rather excitable antics on Archie’s part since. They have done a wonderful job of building their relationship from the ground back up again, and it was fantastic to see their bond is stronger than ever.

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Archie is a very loving horse, often whinnying hello as Sharon arrives on the yard, and more often than not he’s very happy to stand for cuddles and scratches. He soon realised what we were up to on the photoshoot, and the ears popped forward, which made my job much easier!

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Having walked down the road to get some shots on a local farm track, we had a heart stopping moment after Archie reared up and caught his lead rope with his leg. In what seemed like ultra slow motion off he went towards home, and very luckily made it in one piece. I hope he’s OK now Sharon and has gotten over his little moment!

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We kept within the yard boundary for the last few images, and caught a little of the sunset which was beautiful to see. Thank you so much for letting me come and catch up with you and your handsome boy Sharon, I hope you love your images!

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Rio’s Recap #9

I think it’s safe to say I’ve earned my keep this week! Auntie Sarah has been on a mission to get me looking like a posh pony, and mum has been getting on a few times at the end of our sessions too.

I’ve been doing loads of canter work, which would be great if I didn’t still have such a thick coat, but I keep getting all hot and sweaty. Apparently I’m having photos taken with Mum next month though, so she has assured me I’ll be clipped out in a couple of weeks so I look all handsome and smart again. How awesome am I going to look when I’m clipped and being posh? I’ll definitely have to strut my stuff then.

We played with a grid as well, it was a bit confusing as there was a bounce and a one stride gap but after a few goes I nailed it. I’m feeling a bit more confident in my canter work now so I didn’t have to just trot over the jumps, woohoo.

Even better though, I got to go for the first hoon around a stubble field on Saturday with auntie Sarah. AMAZING. Me and Bailey were having a great time going for it. I’m now starting to quite enjoy my hose downs after rides now too – it’s nice and refreshing (and great for getting the dirt to stick when I roll!)

On Sunday auntie Sarah took me out for a hack on my own around the fields, and Chip caught up with us for a trot at one point. When they went a different way to us I proved that my brave pants were well and truly on, and pretended not to even notice. We were too busy being nosey in people’s gardens to worry about it. Mum got on when we got back to the barn, and we went for a walk around the block. I tried not to squish Sarah too much as she walked out next to me. After mum got off I decided I was just going to stand still and not move just in case anybody else wanted to get on – after they promised I was finished I eventually walked into the barn and had my saddle and bridle off.

Mum says she’s got a busy week this week, but hopefully we will still get to do some stuff. See you next week!

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Rio’s Recap #8

Hi everyone I’m back! I’ve not had much to share since mum’s been out and about a lot the last few weeks, so I’ve been making the most of munching the grass I have left in my paddock… Unfortunately since the last time I spoke to you I’ve been forced to stay in my own field as there’s a third line of electric between me and my buddy Elf. I’m working on a new way through and will keep you updated…

I think the small person has sat on me as many times as mum has the last few weeks, usually when I’m eating my breakfast in the field – I can’t complain too much though, as she does give me cuddles and pats whilst she’s up there. It’s been so hot, I’ve not even had my fly rug on and I’ve still been sweating. I keep hearing clippers being mentioned but I’ve still not seen them appear yet!

Mum actually got on me without a saddle a few days after my last post. We just walked around in the school, and she wobbled around for a few strides of trot down the long side. I was super kind and kept it steady, although she did ride me at Bailey (I think she worried I wouldn’t stop, can you believe?!) That was fun anyway.

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This week I’ve been working on my grass belly some more, but it seems my time is in demand again! My feet got a bit smelly (somehow even though we’ve had no rain) so mum has been spraying my frogs with smelly yellow stuff and they’re much better again now. Oh, and on Tuesday I had to have my teeth done, and he only went and gave me a stab with some happy juice. I had no choice after that but to stand nicely – it was all I could do to stay on my own four feet!

Auntie Sarah has visited a couple of times this week, and I’ve worked hard! We’ve been practising transitions, forward, standing still (eurgh!), keeping a contact and CANTERING!

I would just like to say that I am quite enjoying myself at the moment, and when mum’s got on at the end of the session I’ve been absolutely super. She’s been giving me huge hugs and cuddles, but we’ve just been sticking to walking and a little bit of trot. She’s not been feeling very well recently so I’m doing my best to look after her and be good. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has in store – catch up soon!

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Rio’s Recap #7

Hi guys, hope you all had a good start to the week – I had a surprise hack this morning, hurrah! Photos from that next week though, or I’ll get all my days muddled up.

So last week started as a good rest, and apart from the rain on Monday it was quite nice mooching around the field. I definitely earned a break after my hard work at Boundary Farm, and was grateful when I was all snuggled up Monday night in my 100g rug to make sure I stayed warm. Tuesday I got to strut my stuff in my bright blue 50g Swish Equestrian rug (one of my favourites).

It was all a bit too much like hard work doing all of this relaxing, so on Wednesday morning I wasn’t quick enough to get up before mum spotted me having a laze around. She seemed pretty surprised – but then I don’t usually lay around all over the place when I know breakfast is due, or at all really when she’s up here! Of course she had to snap a photo from afar before I leapt up like a ninja. That’s my BFF Elf in the front there, and I’m snuggled in behind the fence.

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I thought we were meant to be riding that evening, but mum had a long day and a headache, so I just came into the barn for dinner and a brush down. I really didn’t fancy it either so thanks mum!

I had my toes trimmed on Thursday. The farrier said I’m looking good at the moment. Why thanks very much Mr Farrier, but I always look good! Bit cheeky, although mum seemed to agree so I don’t know what that’s all about.

It’s been a while since I got to play with Elf, and there was a spot he just could reach over the fence when we were grooming together, so I decided to pop through the fencing and fix that issue. No problem – I didn’t even knock the fence down! Got my scratch, and chilled out for a couple of hours with my buddy before I had to go back into my own field. I made it super easy for mum and came down to the gate as she had the little person with her.

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Saturday morning (EARLY!) I finally got to go out for a hack again, and we went round the village with Bailey. We had a good fast canter – mum got up off my back so I did my best to be very brave but luckily nothing jumped out at me so I didn’t have to catch her at all! I couldn’t quite work out my feet when we cantered through the gap in the hedge so I had to trot to get going on the right leg again, but it was all good! I thought about jumping a muddy patch but mum steered me around it at the last minute (spoil sport!)

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I was in the bad books yesterday… Auntie Anna had to text mum to tell her I was in Elf’s paddock again – only this time I definitely misjudged it and might have taken out four posts when I made a break for it. By the time mum and the little person arrived they were out hacking so I was mooching around feeling proud of myself on my own. Mum walked up to my field with my breakfast – what?? I’m in here mum! Eurgh. I had to follow her up the field to where she was busy tutting and inspecting the “damage” I’d done, and step over the fallen fencing just to get my breakfast. I mean honestly, would it have been so hard to have let me have it next door? Well by the time I’d eaten brekkie, she’d propped some posts up and I was back in my own field. Ho hum. Later on Mr Cliff came and banged the posts back in and fixed it all properly so I guess I’d better leave it a few days before I try it again…

I did at least make it up to mum last night as she took me out straight from the field on my long lines! It was awesome going out for a stroll without her sat on me. I had a lovely old time of it, even when she asked me to steady up on the way home because she kept tripping over holes in the long grass (keep up mum… seriously…) I obliged anyway and it seemed to do the trick as she was giving me kisses and cuddles again with my dinner in the barn. Soo easy to get around her!

Well that was my week – what have all you other horses and ponies been up to?

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Vicky & Sophie, Harwich

Last month I visited Vicky and her adorable coblet Sophie. We had been keeping a close eye on the weather forecast as it was a bit hit and miss, but Thursday came around and it was looking as though we might just be in with some good luck for Friday morning when we had booked – I must have remembered to place my order with the skies! It was drizzling on the journey there, but soon cleared up leaving us with some overcast bright skies to shoot under, followed swiftly after my departure by rain showers. You just can’t ask for more than that. Vicky – I still think it’s your dad being there that did it!

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Sophie is a 12 year old gypsy cob, and Vicky has had the pleasure of being her partner in crime for 4 years. Together they enjoy roaming the countryside and popping the odd jump in the school, and Sophie does love to share her excitement via a bit of a buck or a spin! Vicky has always wanted to jump, and says one of her favourite moments was their first time jumping out in the school.

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Vicky tells me that Sophie has been driven in the past – something I’d love to see! She’s a real stamp of a cob, and although I don’t “do” favourites, I definitely had a soft spot for her as soon as I turned up. She wasn’t too sure about me and my camera to begin with, and Vicky had warned me that she wouldn’t co-operate with her ears forward. We needn’t have worried, as she seemed to know exactly what I was there for – at one point I could swear she was doing her best Kate Moss impression and working through her angles! We barely needed the squeaky carrot (more on that in another post!)

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We even managed to force persuade dad Ian to get in front of the lens for a few photos with Sophie as she’s very much a daddy’s girl! She was so sweet and came straight in for cuddles – PS dad, where were those carrots you had in your pocket again??

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Thank you so much to you both for having me, it was an absolute pleasure meeting you all, and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

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Rio’s Recap #6

Finally! I get to tell you about my week. Mum told me I had to wait until my photos (yes – MY photos! Woohoo!) were ready to post on here.

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It started out a normal week, me and mum did some work in the school on Monday after some rain, so it was nice under-hoof. It was going nicely, I had picked up a perfect rhythm and was trotting around singing my happy tune until I realised I was dying to go to the toilet. Do you think I could go? It’s been really uncomfortable recently and a proper struggle at times and this was one of those times. After a few minutes of trying mum said we had to give up and get on, and then she picked up that darn stick again!

Sod rhythm, she obviously wanted more forward. Apparently not though, she wants something in between the two. I mean honestly, I want to eat all the grass and treats in the world and not get tummy ache, but we can’t all have what we want.

We had a nice hack out with Bailey this week too, and did some fun cantering, I got a bit excitable, but kept it mainly controlled as I don’t want mum to stop letting me have a hoon. She can be a bit of a spoil sport sometimes… (sorry mum…)

I thought we were going to go for another ride on Thursday, but just ended up getting another bath. Thanks mum. I’ll show you what I think of that…

Fast forward to Saturday morning. I’m standing up at the barn waiting to be tacked up, and then I spot auntie Sarah and her trailer coming up the track. What’s this all about?

WELL

I GOT TO GO PLAY ON CROSS COUNTRY JUMPS!!!

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It was the best fun EVER!

Mum said I had to take care of auntie Sarah, so I tried my very best to keep hold of her at all times. I think she nearly wobbled off a couple of times, but we held it together all the way around. I might have spooked her a bit at the beginning though. We went trotting up to the first jump, and I’ve never done this before, so I thought I’d better stop and check what it was I was throwing myself over. I had a quick check and it all looked good, so I popped straight on over – I think I took her by surprise! Sorry!

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I must have done good though – all I could see of mum behind her big lens was a huge grin, and I kept getting told I was a good boy and getting lots of pats. My favourite bit was the big step down into the empty waterhole. Freaking awesome. Hop down, hoon up two steps wooooo! I can’t wait to go again.

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Rio’s Recap #5

Well I don’t know why I had to have a bath last week. It’s been rainy and yucky and hot and sticky all in one week, and I’m pleased to say I definitely don’t smell of herbal essences any more. Woohoo. So because of all the random weather, I’ve had a steady week, which has been lush. I also got my own way on the grass front – I might have snuck under the fence line on Monday and Tuesday evening into the long stalky stuff, and then mum decided on Thursday that I could have it opened up anyway. 1-0 to me.

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I had to go in the school on Tuesday night to see if I was feeling any better. I was – a bit. Honestly though, when there’s a riding crop involved, and people, and ponies, and I’m sure a horse-eating leaf at some point, how am I meant to concentrate? My tummy still didn’t feel great. I managed to do what mum was asking a few times, but mostly I was having to keep an eye out the whole time as she clearly wasn’t!

I had a lovely meal time on Friday – I got to come into the barn for half an hour and have my fly rug off. That was awesome. Standing in the shade, in the breeze and munching my dinner. Yes please.

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We had an early morning on Saturday, and still didn’t manage to beat the heat. We went for a walk out with Bailey; I didn’t spook or get silly, but was still feeling a bit tense and got quite sweaty even though we weren’t going very fast. Mum’s trying to figure out what’s going on with me as I have a new habit of being very steady (she says sluggish) on the way out. I’m feeling OK, but she’s got to work out what I need to get me working properly again – I can’t make it too easy for her! Plus she knows I am super sensitive, so she will figure it out eventually. I’m pretty sure she’s got more salt in stock again now, as dinner tasted a bit different!

I think next week we might be heading off on an adventure but I’m not sure just yet. Watch this space and see! Mum said auntie Sarah will be coming to see me again soon too. I hope this means I get to jump stuff again!

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Rio’s Recap #4

Hi everyone! You won’t believe the week that I’ve had… Mum’s been having real trouble deciding on what rug to put on me during the day and overnight with all of this muggy raininess, and chilly overnight, and flies, and who knows what else! On Tuesday we were expecting some light showers but for it to be warm enough that my fly rug would do the trick. Luckily she left my fly mask off, as those showers were downpours and I got soaked through.

Mum turned up on Wednesday morning, and I saw her panicking as I shivered my way over to her, rug stuck to me. I tucked into my breakfast and mum set about getting it changed into a 50g, and as soon as she undid the belly flap the water spilled out. I was so cold. Apparently my ears were like ice blocks to touch. Mum had someone check on me a little later as she had to get to work, and I started to warm up a bit. Auntie Millie came and took my 50g rug off mid afternoon but by then I was a bit toasty… My tummy didn’t feel too good.

People say that a cob is easy. Someone forgot to tell me about this, I don’t like to make things boring. If I experience extreme stress, get enclosed in a space I don’t like, eat anything that’s not a natural horse feed (including carrots, apples, parsnips, any horse treats…) then my tummy hurts. If my tummy hurts, I can’t think straight. Luckily mum knows my signs now.

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I don’t think she was too surprised when she got me out of the field that I literally couldn’t help dancing out of the gate. That massive pile of stuff in the corner was definitely chasing me. I don’t think she was too surprised that I jogged down to the school once she tacked me up, and although she was amazed when I stood nicely to let her get on, she certainly wasn’t surprised when after 10 minutes of us riding shallow loops at one end of the school, she had to get off. The wind was gusty, the barn looked terrifying, and there was so much going on there was no way I could concentrate.

I got all snuggled up Wednesday night, and on Thursday had a day off, to try and get everything settled so we could ride out on Sunday on a long hack. My feed had my extra tummy supplements in (L glutamine, black cumin seeds & aloe juice in case you’re interested!) On Friday I was feeling a bit better, and mum turned up after lunch with one of my favourite tummy fixes – my Quick Fix paste! I practically tried to chew the syringe out of her hand. We went out for a nice walk around the block in hand, and I was really brave even when a big construction lorry drove past us on the track, only a foot away.

On Saturday, mum brought my new friend to meet me! Have you met Raspberry yet?

We had a short session in the school, and did a good amount of trotting. I felt much better, and mum even rode me back up to the barn as I wasn’t dancing around everywhere today. Our long ride was on for Sunday after all! We set off with Megan and Mel just after 8.30 and mum kept seeing people she knew, so it was a bit stop and go, and I was a bit sluggish at the start. We ducked and dived the overgrown branches down the byway, and about an hour in Mum snapped a twig off; I decided I better start walking out.

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It was all going really well and I was being really good leading the girls. We got to the canter tracks, and I was quite merrily going along until…

Mum managed to stay up there – although I think she nearly lost it! We carried on once the walkers were out of the way, but when we got to the next bend I decided it was safer to trot it just in case anyone else popped up. Mum laughed and we had a bit more of a canter up the last straight. The ride was good fun, except for the scary motorbike that Buffy didn’t like much, and the walkers, we had a lovely time. I was super happy I got to canter out up front for a change again too!

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When we got home, I had my first bath and got all shiny white. Herbal Essences – thanks very much. Rosehips and jojoba are not my thing. This is what I thought of it all. Boy was it nice to have a good roll in the dirt and the sunshine.

See you next week!

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