Behind the Lens – Badger the Percheron

Lots of things go on behind the scenes here, and not just the obvious photo editing and product ordering. As part of my branding, there were lots of decisions to make, and one of these was naming my photo packages! I wanted to get away from the usual package classifications, and go for an equine theme (naturally!) Whilst I already had images in my portfolio of shetlands, welsh D’s & warmbloods, I suddenly realised whilst editing my website graphics that I hadn’t photographed any percherons whose image I could use!

Cue the wonderful Facebook horsey community, one model call later and I had found Badger – a retired young man who is now eating away his days as a very handsome lawnmower.

Badger the Percheron-1

Unfortunately Badger’s ridden career ended prematurely after he was diagnosed with kissing spine, and between him and Andrew’s own bad back, they decided to call it a day and just enjoy each other’s company! Sarah kindly brought Badger in and spruced him up for me, and Badger did a super job, with those ears coming forward perfectly. He was a real gentle giant – I’ll never call Rio wide again! My favourite moment was seeing Badger turned out with his friends – if only we’d taken the camera down to the field that day, they all had a massive hoon around the field, with Badger wanting to prove that his back can’t stop him having a good time!

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Thank you again to Sarah for having me, and to Andrew for letting me borrow your gorgeous boy! He looks very at home on the website!

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Summer & Mitch, Trimley

Last month I took a jaunt down the road under greying skies to Trimley, where I met Summer and Mitch, mum Sophie and siblings Deacon and Leah. We had great fun and Leah did a great job with the squeaky carrot helping to get Mitch’s ears forward!

Before we got started with adorable little Mitch, we had arranged to borrow Carrie’s horse Ron who Summer had the pleasure of riding recently, and is very fond of! He was very happy about coming out to graze and pose for us, before heading in for his teatime and carrots. Carrie has played a big part in Summer and Mitch’s development in the last five months since Sophie took the plunge and bought him for her daughter. Most recently, Summer has been jumping, and even entered the local dressage competitions with Carrie’s guidance and they’ve been doing amazingly. Thanks for letting us borrow your handsome boy Carrie!

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Summer and Mitch have been together for just five months, and it’s clear to see that this cheeky pony already means the world to his little girl. Sophie tells me that Summer’s first ever riding lesson was on December 3rd 2016, and they bought Mitch having not owned a horse before. She took a chance on him for Summer, and they are already becoming an unbreakable team (even if he does like to see how well she bounces!)

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Summer’s favourite thing to do is ride, and enjoys getting in the saddle when she’s feeling overwhelmed with her autism, and what better way to relieve it? We took a little walk down to the jumping paddock so that Mitch and Summer could show us what they’ve been up to, but Mitch wasn’t feeling it to begin with! Luckily Carrie was on hand in the wings, and after a few bits of advice and encouragement they were off.

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I absolutely loved the cheeky character that Mitch showed at every turn, if you give him an inch he tries to take a mile, but as many of us know, it’s these cheeky traits that will teach us so much more. He also likes to try and have a nibble of anybody who gets to close, so you’d better keep an eye out!

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Sophie thank you for inviting me to photograph these two, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you all. I had a blast, and I hope you all enjoyed it too. I look forward to seeing those red rosettes coming home!

Summer & Mitch-3

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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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Vicky & Sophie-1

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Meet Elliot

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So, you’ve read about Sarah’s jumping lesson with Sarah Williamson at Back to Balance. Well jumping wasn’t the only thing I travelled out to capture that day.

There’s an adorable thoroughbred foal on the farm, and his name is Elliot. He was 6 weeks old when these photos were taken, and is out with his mum Hallelujah (known as Lulu on the yard). Lulu is by Avonbridge out of the Gallileo mare My Golly. She raced under James Fanshaw and won several races for Hayley Turner. Unfortunately she didn’t take so well to other jockeys and retired to stud soon after Hayley’s retirement.

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This gorgeous leggy bundle is Lulu’s first foal – and she won’t take any nonsense from him! She clearly dotes on him but is happpy to do so at a distance unless someone gets a bit too close. Sarah tells me she has been known to act as though she’s never been touched by a human hand but is easily won over by any offer of food!

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The day we took the photos was the first day Elliot had properly experienced flies – and I don’t think he was too impressed. We feel you, boy!

I could have spent all day watching him in the field. If you have a new addition to your herd, do drop me a message to arrange a photoshoot before they’re all grown up!

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There are a whole host of other animals on the farm – and I couldn’t leave without a couple of shots of the piglets! The farm have a sounder of Large Blacks, a rare Suffolk breed, so it was wonderful to see this scrumptious litter of babies! I just love their little piglet tails!

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Shadow & Poppy

I had the absolute pleasure of shooting at a yard just around the corner from me, and my subject was dear little Shadow. His arrival was very much a surprise, as Ali had only checked with her vet days before that Poppy wasn’t expecting!

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Like many of us horsey folk will know, it can sometimes be a race against the clock before work to get everyone fed, checked, rugged and the rest. This was one of those days for Ali. When Poppy failed to swing her head over the door to say good morning, Ali opened up the stable to investigate; she was greeted by Poppy revealing a tiny little bundle nestled in the back of the box.

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Ali tells me the first 48 hours were touch and go as Shadow was struggling to latch on to feed. He was bottle fed every 2 hours until at 3am the relieving sight of a soggy bottom lip meant that he’d finally worked it out!

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Shadow was born on April 10th and was a mere 2 weeks old in these images. He’s the tiniest little foal I’ve ever seen, but already has bundles of character! Both mum and baby were so well mannered, and an absolute credit to Ali, they’re obviously very happy! Mum came over to check me and my camera out and once she was happy I wasn’t a threat, she left me to it. Ali hasn’t had Poppy for too long, so Shadow was a real BOGOF, and even her old owner was shocked to hear about the new arrival. Ali works as a carer, and uses her time at the yard to wind down and relax. She loves nothing more than a quiet hack out around the countryside, and who can blame her? It’s glorious, isn’t it?

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I got sucked into baby foaly cuddles, and loved every minute. Shadow is going to be a confident little thing I’m sure! He loved playing with his post in the middle of the field, and we managed to capture some of his speed bursts around the paddock too. I hope I can pop back and see his progress again soon, he’s an absolute poppet. It was all very exciting for him, and I left him having a quiet snooze in the sunshine!

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Amelia, Jo, Bailey & Brandy – Baylham

On a cool overcast afternoon I met Amelia and her mum to capture some photos of them together with Amelia’s boys. We were lucky to get the shoot in before the weather started to turn cold and wet again last week!

Millie, Jo & Bailey-2

Bailey, more mysteriously known as Dark Echo, is a 7 year old connemara cross thoroughbred, and can be a bit of a sensitive soul. He has been with Amelia for a couple of years now, and has come such a long way. They have had their leg waving moments, but after investing lots of time and patience, it is certainly now paying off. He stood like a true gentleman and posed beautifully in front of the camera for us.

Millie, Jo & Bailey-9

They can often be found enjoying the countryside together after recently moving yards to make the most of the hacking! Amelia tells me he also loves a good jumping session, and although they are only jumping small at the moment, she has big plans to take him out cross country schooling this year. It sounds like great fun is on the cards for this pair.

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Millie, Jo & Bailey-10

Also popping into the action at the end of the shoot was Brandy, Amelia’s adorable pony who came down from the New Forest 5 years ago. He’s been in the family for over 20 years, and has the most wonderful cheeky character. At 25 years young, he has enough sass to put some of the younger horses to shame! He has done a bit of everything, and brought Amelia up through the ranks when she was younger, including being a driving pony. He now lives a quieter life (hooning around the field with Bailey to blow away any cobwebs!)

Millie, Jo & Bailey-7

It was a pleasure capturing your images with your mum and your boys Amelia, thank you!

Bookings now being taken for Spring/Summer 2017

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Jumping

J is for Jumping #equinebusinessalphabet

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If you want to get a selection of images of you and your horse jumping, that aren’t just the standard couple of jumps that you’ll get at a show, why not contact me and book a Mini Shoot? You’ll get an hour of shooting time, which will get a you a selection of images over multiple jumps, including some portrait and impromptu shots.

You could arrange this to coincide with a show, or I can travel to your yard or arena of your choice and capture your training session. If you’re heading out to have a practice on the cross country course, I’m happy to follow you round and catch some of your jumps on camera. I have a lot of respect for those of you who jump, and love watching (and photographing!) showjumping and cross country.

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Horses, helicopter and h-omelettes

Sorry guys I’ve had some catching up to do on sharing the latest images, it’s been a bit hectic and my little girl has been poorly so apologies for the delay!

I recently went out to Horringer to photograph Sarah and Franks on a flatwork lesson at Horringer with Sarah Williamson. Sarah (W) has helped Sarah an incredible amount with Franks and how he carries himself, and his working manner. He’s a far cry from the crazy Irishman he was when I first met him!

As I pulled up the driveway past the cute gatehouse, and carried on, and on a bit further, I was wondering if I’d taken a wrong turn. Luckily there was a lovely man outside the house who confirmed I was indeed headed the right way, and if I parked up round the corner I should be able to smell my way to the stable block. Brilliant! If anybody wants a photoshoot here, please contact me – there were so many opportune spots I can’t even begin to tell you, it was a beautiful place, and so relaxed. The yard was abundant with various chickens and fowl, and the facilities were just to die for. Definite life goals.

Franks was his usual star-self, especially considering shortly after starting the lesson a helicopter landed just behind the trees! This apparently isn’t a common occurrence, but is certainly not unheard of – anyone for a chopper ride on a weekend afternoon? Lovely!

Riley the dog appeared part way through the second lesson with an egg carefully held in his teeth. Little did we realise that he has a habit of burying things to go back for later, and that’s exactly what the fate of the egg was! He ducked under the gate into the manege, and proceeded to dig a little hole for it, before very gently burying it with his nose. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be, and the egg soon got stood on by the handsome Jimmy whilst he was working very hard!

I hope you like your images ladies!

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