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Charlotte and Rio

Meet Charlotte and Rio, her bright bay, utterly handsome throughbred! Charlotte was lucky enough to recieve a gift voucher for the shoot, from her mum Helen, who also came to join us on the shoot.

I met them at a local riding school in Flackwell Heath, near High Wycombe - in fact, my cousins had learnt to ride at the same riding school! Rio was bathed and ready to go when I arrived. After an initial uncertainty regarding the weather, we decided to go ahead and, infact, the rain only made a brief appearance with a few short minutes of drizzle before passing again!

Charlotte showed me around the yard - she already had quite a few places in mind for the shoot. We were walking through Rio's field when I asked what was just beyond the gateway. Charlotte hadn't been in that field for quite a while so we weren't quite sure what the field nextdoor looked like. We almost dismissed the idea of even looking down there just because we already had plenty of other places to make use of. I am SO glad we did though, I amost missed the little goldmine and I would have been so gutted if we had walked past this beautiful little field. FULL of the most amazing meadow flowers - bursts of purple and golds. My head was bursting with ideas already!

I'm a bit sad, a field of flowers probably isn't exciting to everybody, but they so make for the most amazing backdrops with the soft summer colours popping up through the other green and amber hues. Helen swapped Rio's headcollar to his smart leather one, whilst Charlotte got changed in to her prom dress. Her school prom was just over a month ago, but she said she was very prepared and her dress was purchased in April!

"Latin America" or, Rio to his friends, raced until he was 9 years old, over fences, sired by Sadler's Wells. Rio was the first horse that Charlotte went to view. She went on to try two more horses but she just knew that Rio was the one for her.

I was warned that Rio can be quite stubborn and might not co-operate during the shoot. With plenty of patience and bribery up our sleeves, we got some really lovely shots in the meadow flower field! He did make me laugh, reminding me of Dolly, as he dug his heels in and planted himself exactly where he wanted to be! He has such a handsome face - he looked amazing!

As we headed back to the yard for an outfit change, Charlotte's sister arrived just in time to give us a hand with the black background photographs. Whilst Charlotte was getting changed, Helen and Jess positioned Rio in the entrance to the indoor school. He posed perfectly, looking this way and that whilst I snapped away.

I'd spotted the wooden gate at the entrance to the yard - Rio showed his stubborn streak again by making a little bit of fuss having to walk over the metal grid underneath the gate way, one of course he's stepped over many times before! Once in position, Helen and Jess were coming up with the most inventive ways I've possibly ever seen, to get Rio's ears forward. Jess and Charlotte were in fits of laughter as Helen appeared around the corner banging water containers together in a bid to get Rio's ears forward. You name it - we probably tried it!

Rio has had to have a little time off recently whilst his soundness problem was investigated but he's now back in work - together they enjoy spending plenty of time together playing in the field and turning their hand to a bit of everything! Charlotte wanted me to capture their friendship and similarities during the shoot and Rio's funny personality.

After one last outfit change, we headed down to Rio's field where Charlotte climbed aboard and walked Rio around the field. By now, Jess and Helen had worked out what was needed to get Rio's ears forward!

We timed the shoot so well, as I climbed back in the car, the heavens opened and my journey home wasn't very pleasant at all! Thank you so much for having me and I'm really glad you love the images! Thank you!

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