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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Stratford Hills – Clear Round XC

Yesterday I took a short trip down the road to Stratford Hills Cross Country course for their clear round XC day!

The weather was perfect, save for a bit of a chill from the wind at times, and everybody was in good spirits enjoying themselves. We overheard a few funny conversations between rider and horse over the course of the day, and there were plenty of you going round the course positively beaming. Rightly so!

A mixture of jumps. Freedom to mix and match; all a recipe for success, and that’s what the day was all about.

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Thank you to Lauren for inviting me down for the day, it was a pleasure and turned out to be a lovely sociable event. I look forward to seeing more on the calendar.

If you’re interested in hiring the cross country course to have a play yourself, head over to Stratford Hills’ Facebook Page and give them a call or drop them a message. The scenery is beautiful and the rolling hills won’t fail to give you a challenge along the way!

Well done to everyone who rode yesterday – you were all fab! Images are now published, and you can view them here

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If I could choose a photo of the day, it would be this lady and her wonderful honest pony! They jumped the brush from standing, and then managed to make it away from the other side of the jump at speed.

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