Meet Alex and her 3 handsome boys: Arty, Turbo and Harry! It was 27 degrees when we began the shoot but despite this we had lots of fun in the sunshine! Sticking in the shaded areas was out top priority, as I'm sure you can imagine! Alex was a pleasure to work with and the boys were beautifully behaved - I think they were probably a little sleepy in the heat too!
Alex was lucky enough to recieve a gift voucher for a 2 hour shoot from the lovely Esther. I've photographed Esther along with her two boys: William and George as well as being comissioned several times to product pencil portraits for herself and friends. Esther loaned one of Alex's ponies for several months and wanted to send Alex a little thank you for allowing George to ride and groom him! What a perfect, thoughtful gift!
The boys were waiting down in the stables whilst Alex showed me around a few of her favourite spots on the 20 acre farm they're lucky enough to live on! We began under some large trees in the boys paddock - shading from the blistering sun!
With off road hacking literally on their doorstep - just a short walk behind the house takes you straight on to open fields and farmland! The boys were very obliging and stood perfectly together, pricking their ears forward on the sound of my shutter clicking or when I threw the purple octopus above my head.
"Arty is my competition horse and we have a great connection, Harry is so loveable and kind, Turbo is just super cheeky and fun!"
Harry and Turbo returned to their stables and we spent the majority of the shoot with Alex's beautiful grey gelding - Arty! Arty is a 16.1hh, 14 year old grey Irish Sports horse. Together the pair of them regularly event together and are hoping to progress to BE Novice this year!
They've been a partnership for 4 and a half years but she's known him for much longer. He's very cheeky and full of character but she says he really loves and thrives off his work. Arty was a perfect model - he even turned round to show off his best side when he heard me clicking away as he walked down the drive way! Both Alex and Arty were very photogenic and easy to work with - I loved chatting away to Alex hearing all about the boys antics!
It was time for an outfit change - whilst Alex popped on her navy maxi dress, her other half brought me out a much needed glass of cold water! The dogs got involved in some shots on the lawn in front of the house - with varying degrees of sucess, shall we say! Yogi, Alex's year old Jack Russell (JRT) was far more interested in rolling around on the floor for the majority of the shots!
Alex laughed when I asked if Yogi was a JRT - apparently both his parents are short coated JRT's, and so were all of his litter mates, except him! Ollie said he just tells people he's a German Sheppard that shrunk in the wash!
Next up was the turn of little Turbo - orginally bought as a companion to keep Arty company, before Harry arrived. Turbo has a very unusual breeding mix - a Mini Shetland crossed with a Caspian pony! Described as "the naughty one" he's 11 hands of cheekiness! Alex warned me when I arrived not to put anything near his stable because he will somehow end up with it in his mouth!
Whilst she was getting him out of the stable I laughed and said it looks like he's been barracaded in with the slip rails and bailer twine around the gate - "does it look that obvious?" Alex replied .. she then proceeded to tell me how he'd managed to jump over the stable door, so he was then put in a pen by the side and proceeded to climb over it again. So, now he's got a slip rail above the door and has his very own naughty corner!
Our final model of the day - a very striking dappled iron grey gelding, called Harry. At only 5 years old he was very laid back about everything; as an ex-racer he's already seen alot of the big wide world!
Harry is a blank canvas that Alex has to work with - she hopes that he'll event with her one day, but for now she's hacking him around the farm. At a recent lesson with Giles (Huntercombe horses) they put him over a fence and Alex laughed again and said that she's not too sure she's confident taking him over solid fences yet by the way he jumped the poles! Harry was in training with Richard Hannon and ran 7 races. He placed in his first two races but then Alex joked and said, he then decided it was too much effort - he really was the most chilled, laid back horse who was far more interested in sunbathing than anything else!
To finish up the shoot, Arty joined Harry again on the driveway! By the end of the shoot, my car was reading 40 degrees, all I could think about was ice cream on the way home! Thank you so much Alex for having me - it was such an enjoyable afternoon. And of course a massive thank you to Esther!