Me and Rio strut our stuff

After weeks in the making, spending time preparing Rio for his time in the spotlight, and nowhere near enough time thinking about my own outfits, at the end of last month, we welcomed Gemma to the yard for our very own photoshoot! Three baths, 2 clipping sessions and strategic rugging in the days beforehand, Rio was looking beautiful.

I never have a second thought about telling you all not to worry about your shoot – whether you’re worrying about your outfit, your horse misbehaving, the weather, or just don’t know what to expect. That didn’t stop me from experiencing last minute nerves, even though I knew we would have a fab time!

Laura&Rio-9

Once Rio had got through his initial munching of the plentiful grass around the yard, getting me a bit warm in the process, we managed to get some sensible shots from him. Number one tip learned – have a tissue with you to dab at shiny spots on your face! After we headed out and had some fun in the long grass, we went back into the barn for some quiet time and some cuddles, resulting in my absolute favourite image of the shoot.

Laura&Rio-17

Laura&Rio-26

I had flower garlands to hand (watch out for these to pop up in some of my own shoots) and Rio did a great job of posing with the help of the All Ears Selfie app. He was particularly fond of the donkey noise! I’m pretty sure he was almost falling asleep by this point, so we decided it was time to head out and try some ridden shots as he was clearly nice and relaxed.

Laura&Rio-31

Laura&Rio-37

The boy did me proud, and stood like a total rock whilst I wobbled around on the straw bales stacked in the jumping arena to get on him. I’m just so graceful! He posed patiently whilst I lounged all over him and gave him lots of cuddles, and even popped in a bit of fun when he stepped up on the straw bales stacked up out on the stubble field!

Laura&Rio-43

Laura&Rio-51

All in all, we had a fantastic time on the other side of the camera, and I love the results. Thank you Gemma – I can’t wait to return the favour on the weekend!

Gemma is an equine portrait photographer, and country wedding photographer, covering mainly Suffolk and Bedfordshire. If you’d like to know more about Gemma you can find her at https://www.heelsandhorseshoes.com or on Facebook and Instagram.

watermark-website-teal

Useful links:

http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

http://www.twitter.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.instagram.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.facebook.com/laurafiddamanphotography

http://www.pinterest.com/laurafiddaman

Advertisements

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.

20170621_161436

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!

watermark-website-teal

Useful links:

http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

http://www.twitter.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.instagram.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.facebook.com/laurafiddamanphotography

http://www.pinterest.com/laurafiddaman

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.

20170607_072711

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.

20170609_170205

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!)

20170610_085223

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?

watermark-website-teal

Useful links:

http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

http://www.twitter.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.instagram.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.facebook.com/laurafiddamanphotography

http://www.pinterest.com/laurafiddaman

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.

Boundary Schooling-40

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!!!

Boundary Schooling-11

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!

Boundary Schooling-16

Boundary Schooling-44

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.

Boundary Schooling-48

Boundary Schooling-57

Boundary Schooling-63

watermark-website-teal

Useful links:

http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

http://www.twitter.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.instagram.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.facebook.com/laurafiddamanphotography

http://www.pinterest.com/laurafiddaman

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.

20170514_190326

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.

20170522_085218

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!

watermark-website-teal

Useful links:

http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

http://www.twitter.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.instagram.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.facebook.com/laurafiddamanphotography

http://www.pinterest.com/laurafiddaman

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.

20170514_100003

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.

20170521_100447

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!

20170521_121603

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!

watermark-website-teal

Useful links:

http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

http://www.twitter.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.instagram.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.facebook.com/laurafiddamanphotography

http://www.pinterest.com/laurafiddaman

Rio’s Recap #3

Hey everyone! I’m loving life this week, I’ve been a gentleman of leisure hanging out in the field. On Tuesday I snuck under the fence into the middle part of my field where all the tasty grass is. Mum turned up soon after though with breakfast, and whilst I was eating she closed the fence up again. That’s OK, I’d had a snack and felt much better.

20170509_082532

On Wednesday Mum and I headed into the school to do some more work on bending and transitions. I was being good and doing what she asked, but kept it to a minimum – the school’s a bit deep at the moment! Mum’s been a bit worried since the saddle pad thing that I’m not feeling comfortable, and she wanted to find out if I am or not. For some reason, to do that she decided to pick up the long schooling stick from the fence.

Well, I’m not used to her carrying anything so I went for it! We’d already done some walk, trot and canter, and now that I’m finding cantering a bit easier I figured that’s what she wanted me to do. Even if I do say so myself, I did an awesome halt to canter – I just got a bit carried away before I realised mum was actually asking for trot. I remembered how to move in a much more forwardy way, or that’s something like what I heard mum saying anyway. Plus I have to admit it was a bit easier to trot when I put a bit more effort in. She told Auntie Millie she’ll be getting the stick out again to find my go button in the school. Whatever that means. I’ll show you my go button!

20170514_190315

Anyway after all the excitement Mum let her legs swing so we could have a chill out and walk around a few times. She’s so confusing though, as soon as she lets her legs hang it feels funny so I stop in case she’s feeling wobbly, but I don’t think she always wants me to stop. Then if we’re trotting and she’s wobbly I don’t always stop straight away and she starts saying “whoooa, and waaalk”. I just can’t win!

The rest of the week was quiet, muggy and filled with flies – so I had the joy of wearing my super attractive (ha!) Shires sweet itch rug. It’s way more comfortable than my fly rug last year, and it even covers my whole neck. My old one got all stretched and always slipped half way down. It was the little person’s birthday this weekend I’m told. Mum said she’ll put some photos here as apparently you might like to see them.

Totally unfair. I turned 8 last month. I didn’t have a party. I didn’t even get a cake or card. They even had carrots! Can you believe it? I mean, I don’t get carrots anyway, but come on!

Mum finally took some photos for me yesterday, although she decided that she wanted to be in them with me, and seems to have taken a sarcastic one when I turned away to ask for a bum scratch… Thanks for that! She said she’ll take some proper ones soon. So here’s us enjoying the evening sunshine. See you next week!

20170514_190445

20170514_190601

watermark-website-teal

Useful links:

http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

http://www.twitter.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.instagram.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.facebook.com/laurafiddamanphotography

http://www.pinterest.com/laurafiddaman

Rio’s Recap – #1

Rio's Recap

Well finally, mum’s let me loose on her blog. She promised I’d get a say a couple of weeks ago but “just hasn’t gotten around to it”! I mean, can you believe it?

I’m Rio, and mum says I’m the handsomest Welshie cross in the world – I’m pretty sure she says that to try and keep me sweet. I know her games, you know! I’m one of a kind, me. I can’t be played!

So I’ll start with a bit of a recap on me and mum – you can read more about our first few months together on mum’s old blog here. We’ve had ups and downs, and I may have accidentally dropped her a couple of times, but she always forgives me in the end. We started a new adventure at a new home after Christmas last year, and I’m loving my new yard. There’s loads of lovely ladies here, and obviously they all love a bit of me in all of my flashy glory. There’s also some little person that keeps coming down to see me with mum, in a big red wheely contraption. Mum always insists on putting it right in front of me at breakfast when she’s changing my rugs! Mostly there’s a bit of gurgling, but I’m not so impressed when I’m disturbed by whinging…

20170419_080607

Mum said I needed to have my hair clipped off again as it was getting warm, and I was really good letting her clip my body and face. I’d never had my face clipped before. It was a bit buzzy, and my face felt funny afterwards, but I still stood there like a champ. She brought me in a couple of days later and started hacking at my legs, and it pulled! Even with new blades on! Mum apologised and she needed to bath me but couldn’t as it was too cold, and carried on pulling away. I tried my best to stand still but it wasn’t very nice. She even went and got her noisy clippers with the wires, and they still weren’t going anywhere. Over 3 hours I stood there! At least it was worth it though – everyone keeps telling me I look very handsome.

We’ve been out exploring loads since I moved home, it’s been fun! Mum’s also been making me work sometimes in the fenced working place, and for some reason got a bit excited the first time she got us out of it without getting off me. I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I mean it’s only a gate. But whatever keeps her happy!

I’m pretty excited as I think I’m going to get to do jumping now. Auntie Sarah came over to take me over some poles and cross poles the other day, and I’m way braver than I used to be. It was awesome. Then she came back on Sunday and we played with some bigger cross poles, and even a straight pole and I jumped over a hay bale. It’s nothing really. Mum says she’ll put a video of it here:

Mum – I really need some photos to use on my blogs please. Everyone else has photos, I want some!

watermark-website-teal

Useful links:

http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

http://www.twitter.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.instagram.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.facebook.com/laurafiddamanphotography

http://www.pinterest.com/laurafiddaman

Poplar Park ODE Part 1

Earlier in March I had a wonderful afternoon out walking the course at Poplar Park with friends for the first of their one day events of 2017. It goes without saying (there were horses around…) that my camera accompanied me for the trip!

The weather forecast was for showers, but it turned out to be a pleasant afternoon, and ideal going for the day’s event. After a quick pit stop for a tasty cheese and pickle toastie from the toastie truck (best thing ever!) we had a quick browse round the stalls and watched the showjumping ring, waiting for the scary-big cross country rounds to begin.

Approximately one nutella pancake later (are you sensing a food-based theme here?) we headed out on course and had a great time. There’s plenty of talent coming up through the ranks, and we even had the pleasure of catching Pippa’s rounds on the two Billy’s & Sandman 7!

It was great to be able to get some photos of the day, so if there’s anyone here you know, please feel free to share this post so that they can see them!


Bookings now being taken for Spring/Summer 2017 – limited dates available for April/May

watermark-website-teal

Useful links:

http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

http://www.twitter.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.instagram.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.facebook.com/laurafiddamanphotography

http://www.pinterest.com/laurafiddaman

Be a happy, happy hacker!

wp-1490354900326.jpg

I want to celebrate everyone who doesn’t go out competing and winning the ribbons from week to week. Too often, and myself included, when asked what we do with our horses, we respond with a slightly downbeat “oh, we just hack really”. There’s so much placed upon those of us horsey people who get out there in front of the crowds, and I have a lot of respect for these people, but let’s not underestimate what it takes to be a happy hacker!

Whether you hack alone or in company, it can take a lot of steel to tack up and ride out around the local area. Roads nowadays seem to be getting more and more dangerous with people reporting more accidents, but for some of us there aren’t other options. We saddle up, get ourselves kitted out in the biggest brightest hi viz we can, and we take our horses out for a ride.

wp-1490354672989.jpg

You can’t beat the feeling of being out in the open countryside if you have hacking available to you. The crunch of a gravel path, hooves pounding across the open fields, cantering across rolling hills and overseeing the beautiful views of our country. Perhaps a nice quiet walk through the woods is more your cup of tea, taking in that heady woodland scent and the quiet rustling of the branches as you duck and dive those pesky overgrowing twigs.

Just watch out for the wildlife. You know – the pheasants that like to leave it to the last second to pounce on you out of the closest overgrowth, the deer who might be horse-eating monsters as they bound alongside, pigs snuffling away (clearly threatening!), maybe even a herd of noisy cows, and all of the other little critters you might have the pleasure of encountering.

Yes, there’s much more to hacking than we give ourselves credit for. So next time somebody asks you what you and your horse get up to, be proud when you declare that you are indeed a Happy hacker. Why not share your favourite hacking moment with us?

Bookings now being taken for Spring/Summer 2017

watermark-website-teal

Useful links:

http://www.laurafiddamanphoto.com

http://www.twitter.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.instagram.com/laurafiddaman

http://www.facebook.com/laurafiddamanphotography

http://www.pinterest.com/laurafiddaman