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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Grooming must-haves!

I felt compelled to write this blog after I discovered Hands On Gloves, and found them to be ah-mazing! So I thought why not have a look through my kit and see what other goodies are available on the market now to help us keep our neddies looking beautiful.

#1 – Obviously – Hands On Gloves

These were priceless to me when I was pregnant (how many times did I drop a brush and have to bend down to pick it up before I got these??) They have a velcro strap to fasten, much like riding gloves, and the nobbles on the palms and fingers lift dirt quickly and easily. You can find out more at http://handsongloves.com/  – they can be bought at Horse Health for £18.95

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#2 – Backpack Groom n Vac

Are you kidding me? You can now vacuum your horse clean – this sounds much quicker and easier than scrubbing away for hours after your horse comes in caked in dust and dirt. I’m not how sure this would fare in the wetter months, but what a novelty! Learn more and buy at Backpack Groomer – £199.00

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#3 – SleekEZ

Much like the HandsOn Gloves, the SleekEZ blade is a simple concept designed to speed up ridding your horse’s coat of that pesky dirt and dust, and comes highly recommended for shedding your horses hair. The reviews have been fabulous, and you can even use it on your dog or cat so why not learn more at SleekEZ.com or purchase online at Wright Equine – from £19.95 RRP

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#4 – Silverfeet Hoof Balm

A natural hoof balm with silver ions to help keep your horses feet looking and feeling great. Please note that this alone is not a guarantee of healthy feet, but supports a healthy feeding and care routine. The tubs of balm go a long way, and come in four different colours! For more information, visit Silverfeet.com or visit your local stockist (your farrier may even be able to supply this to you!) from £10.50 RRP

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#5 – Masterclip Showmate Cordless Trimmer

These little clippers are great for tidying up fetlocks, legs, hogged manes and faces. I recently chopped my Welsh cob’s feathers off with scissors and took off the last inch or so with this little beauty. The battery life is fantastic, they’re very quiet which is great for nervous horses, and I think they prove great value for their £54.99 RRP. Replacement blades can be purchased from £18.99. They also come in a choice of three colours! Find out more at Masterclip.co.uk

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#6 – NAF Silky Mane & Tail D-Tangler

I wouldn’t be without this in my grooming kit. Even if you’re in a rush and won’t be brushing it through, this works wonders with my cob’s thick tail. It has a pleasant smell, and leaves your horse shiny and tangle free with minimal effort – RRP £11.60/750ml spray bottle

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Happy purchasing and grooming! If you have a gadget or grooming tool that you just can’t live without, please share in the comments below so that we can all enjoy the goodies.

Now that your horse is ready to be beautiful, shiny and clean, contact me to discuss and book your photoshoot today!


Laura Fiddaman Equine Photographer