Meet Kerry and her 15 year old New Forest pony, Oakey! Kerry has owned Oakey for 4 years now - he grew up on the forest, but now, together they enjoy plenty of hacking together!
I headed over to Pewsey in Wiltshire, just outside Marlborough to meet them both. The yard was well hidden down a little lane and beyond a campsite. I got a bit lost where I was and ended up having to phone poor Kerry who came to find me, luckily I was less than a few hundred meters away from the yard it turns out!
When I arrived, Oakey was in his stable munching away on some hay. He'd been bathed the day before and enjoyed a pampered evening in his straw bed so that he didn't get too dirty ahead of the shoot! Kerry showed me around the yard, which was a lovely set up with blocks of stables in barns and stunning views across the Wiltshire countryside. We had a little plan in mind as to where we'd go for each part of the shoot. After a quick flick over with a brush - Oakey was all set to go!
During the shoot we enjoyed chatting about everything horsey. Kerry used to work with hunt horses and we spent plenty of time chatting about Royal Ascot and how it really is a spectacle! Our first location of the shoot was along the driveway and grass tracks leading back up to the road, overlooking Martinsell Hill. Oakey's ears flicked backwards and forward curiously as I threw the purple octopus and various peices of vegetation above my head. Kerry enjoyed cuddling him and giving him a good scratch!
With so many fields all around, it's the perfect part of the countryside for anyone who loves to go hacking! There were corn fields on site, open grassland across the road and plenty of bridleways - the land sculpted by the past. Wherever you looked there were burial mounds and the scars of Iron Age forts evident across the landscape - I love this part of the country!
We ventured from the yard to one of the quiet lanes running through the village; Oakey was a little star during the shoot, although at times, as any typical pony would think, the grass was far more appealing than us! We had a good laugh and giggle as Kerry told me all about him: a typical cheeky pony, with a definate character!
Once back on the yard we went in search of a barn to take some black background images in - after much hilarity, we got Oakey's ears forward in the barn. He'd found a few small blades of grass growing between some peices of wood alongside the edge of the barn which took up the majority of his attention, which was a little hard to distract him from, especially as we were trying to take some photographs of him without any tack on!
After a quick outfit change for Oakey, we headed up behind the stables to the cornfields for some ridden shots. On our way up, Kerry grabbed her dog, Narla from the car for some photographs of everyone together. This is easier said than done when you've got a cheeky pony and an excitable puppy!
Narla is completely adorable! Kerry's first dog of her own, is an 8 month old Jack Russell crossed with a Daschund. She was an utter sweetie and sat and posed perfectly for me! I think her favourite part of the shoot was when I let her walk the purple octopus back down the track to the stables! We were joined by some noisy visitors during the shoot - you may have seen my video on Facebook! A group of Guineafowl (anyone know what the technical term is - mindblank!) came strolling past us and disappeared under a fence, making plenty of commotion as they went!
Before we knew it, the shoot was over. I had so many lovely images of Kerry and Oakey, they were an absolute pleasure to work with and both a real joy to be around. Thank you for having me Kerry!