Meet Em and her chestnut gelding, Drifter, whom she's been partnered with for the past 9 years. Sadly, Drifter would shorty be off to his new home, so Em wanted to have some lovely images to capture the relationship that they'd created in those past 9 years. Dave Murray, who is regularly out photographing and fence judging at local BE events, had introduced me to Em at Hambeldon several years ago. It was when we met, on the morning of the shoot, that Em had reminded me that we had met before!
I travelled over to Oxfordshire, where Drifter was based. Sadly, their time together has come to an end. Drifter, unfortuanately stopped loving his job, and with other commitments in her life, Em decided it wasn't fair to keep him any longer. She always thought that she'd have him forever, so there was a slight urgency to the shoot.
I feel honoured that Em en-trusted me to capture these precious moments with her boy. When i asked Em her favourite thing about Drifter, she was spoilt for choice:
"This is difficult to answer as there are so many things I love about him. I particularly like his cheeky (verging on naughty) character and the fact that he constantly keeps me on my toes. Despite the fact that he can be unpredictable at times, he's a lovely "person" to be around and enjoys human contact. We're all biased about our horses but I think he's particularly handsome and my friends and I often joke about how he has the face of an angel, yet he's far from being an angel!! I love his enthusiasm for life and how much fun he is to hack and jump."
When I arrived at the yard, Drifter was ready and waiting. Em talked me through their journey together and it was clear how heartbreaking the current situation was for her, but ultimately, she wanted to do what was best for Drifter. Drifter wasn't on his best behaviour for the shoot, Em was worried that I hadn't captured their true characters and was amazed when I showed her the gallery of images - she was particularly a fan of the many blooper moments I captured!
This photo had us all laughing, the large canvas now has pride of place in one of the bathrooms at home, much to the delight of any visitors!
Drifter's paddock was the starting point for our shoot. Em and I both had our matching Ariat boots on - I loved Em's choice of outfit, a smart casual combination of jeans and a jacket. After a while, we headed out on to the lane running alongside the yard. Em had always planned to do a shoot one summer with Drifter, but due to the sudden change of plans, she didn't have a massive amount of time to get something booked in. However, the Autumn turn brought out a complimentary orange set of tones to match Drifter's chestnut coat.
After a quick outfit change in to a more casual look, we headed back out to Drifter's paddock. Em had always enjoyed playing with him in the field and thought this was the perfect opportunity to capture their true characters. Drifter dotingly followed Em around the field, being treated to a slice of carrot or two along the way. Drifter threw in a few excitable bucks and leaps, much to our enjoyment!
Chatting throughout, I learnt so much about Drifter and Em's adventures over the years. The shoot concluded with some black background shots in the stable. She had brought along a packet of appropriately named, Drifter bar chocolates and shared the story about how she would always bring them out competing to enjoy after their classes. We got inventive at this point as Drifter was far more interested in his haynet than us, the rustling packets and other goodies eventually coaxed those ears forwrad and doesn't he looks handsome!
Thank you so much for choosing me to capture those memories for you to treasure, Em. It was an absolute pleasure and I hope you love the pictures.