Meet Archie and his lovely owner - Marianna! I was contacted by Marianna's husband, Oli a few weeks back to organise a gift voucher for her birthday. She has owned Archie since a 4 year old and he's her horse of a life time! He's a beautiful chestnut gelding by Carnaval Drum - so he's bound to be super talented!
Their time together is now slightly more precious since an infection re-occurred after 2 years, but hopefully they've caught it early enough this time for it not too cause too much trouble - he certinally looked very well and loved his time in front of the camera!
The weather was almost completely perfect for our shoot, a bright, but overcast day with an occassional break in the cloud. I find shooting under cloud cover so much easier than playing around with shadows as they can become quite unflattering at times! The yard had lots of lovely backdrops; we began down on the drive way with some inhand shots. The most important thing for me to capture during the shoot was: "Our bond and special relationship. Sounds naff but he's in my soul!"
Marianna and Archie were a very photogenic pair! Oli was on hand with a treat bucket and the squeaky octopus to get Archie looking where I wanted – it always makes my job so much easier, and the range of images greater when we can get the horse looking alert, in a variety of different directions. It makes all the difference when their ears are forward in the shot, they look so much more happy!
When asked what she loves most about Archie, Marianna said: "His personality, he is such a character and a positive force, always up for work." Together they've enjoyed a bit of everything, eventing and most of all 7 years, regularly competing at 1.30m and higher! Marianna admitted that when she reached 30, as her friends told her, jumping those heights would become quite scary - but for the last 3 years they've enjoyed learning the tricks of dressage!
For the second half of the shoot, Marianna wanted some ridden flatwork shots of them together. It was so nice to see them working together through a range of movements including: half pass and Archie showed off his extension work beautifully! Although he’s not bred to be a dressage horse, he clearly loves to work and has turned his hand to dressage very well – Marianna said his flatwork has always been consistent to be able to show jump to the level he has. He may not be a super flashy warmblood or a world beater but to her he’s a horse of a lifetime and you know you’re safe when you’re onboard!
Known as the "Adele-Pony" he enjoys strutting his stuff in the dressage arena - their freestyle track features: Rolling in the Deep, Chasing Pavements and Set Fire To The Rain. Marianna and Archie have enjoyed turning their hand to dressage after previously having a bit of a go at everything, currently they're working at Advance-Medium level!
After cooling off, we finished the shoot up with a couple of inhand shots of him tacked up – we even managed to get Oli in a photo too! To conclude, we finished up with some black background images – I love the little white spots in his coat!
It was so lovely to meet you all - Marianna and Archie you were a pleasure to photograph and thank you so much Oli for organising and your hard work getting Archie to look where I wanted! I hope you love your images!