Meet Lisa and her husband Darren, who were kindly given a gift voucher for a shoot by yard manager, Karen as a Christmas gift. They got married last year at the Horse Trust in Buckinghamshire. Ghost wasn't able to be at the wedding, so this was the second best thing!
The weather was a bit touch and go, but Lisa was sure she wanted to go ahead! At home we had sporadic bursts of torrential rain with strong winds, but Lisa said all afternoon at the yard it had been dry! She was a little unsure how Ghost would react in the wind so we had that in our minds when we set out on the shoot.
When I arrived, Lisa was just getting the finishing touches together - treats for Ghost! She stood in her stable munching away at her haynet. I was super pleased to see Lisa had done her homework and read my preperation guide ahead of the shoot as I spotted the nice clean black lead rope hanging outside the stable alongside the perfectly polished bridle. Ghost was wearing her new headcollar that Lisa had purchased for her at Hickstead. She'd been looking out for a nice smart headcollar for her Thoroughbred cross mare and as soon as she spotted it was a John Whitaker headcollar, she bought it straight away and then headed off to the Brass Tack stand to have it engraved!
We headed up the driveway with Ghost - it was blowing a gale and after several big spooks as the gusts picked up, we thought it was safer for everyone to head to the safety and familiarity of the outdoor school. Ghost is a much loved member of the riding school at Palmers in Reading. She's been there since she was a 5 year old. Lisa has known her since 2005 but has been lucky enough to call her, her own for just over a year! She admitted that to begin with she wasn't Ghost's biggest fan, but over the last few years she's mellowed out. A TBx mare was the furthest from what Lisa was looking for! In an ideal world she would have loved a cob gelding, but she said it was fate and Ghost chose her, as much as she chose Ghost and she now completes their family!
Darren came along to help on the shoot, getting Ghost's ears forwards. He's ridden her a couple of times, with plans over the summer to get to grips with lessons, but sadly at 17, Ghost has semi-retired but still enjoys the odd walk out with Lisa. She's such a lucky horse, enjoying the life of luxury with wonderful love and care from Lisa and the best farrier too, who looks after Ghost as much as he looked after Dolly - David!
Once in the school, safely sheltered by the large hedges around the edge, Ghost settled down. With Darren running backward and forwards behind me, Ghost obliged and put her ears forward. From then on she was a complete star and posed beautifully. We headed towards her field to a little track, with an archway of trees above, her field buddies came over to investigate, whilst Lisa and Darren took it in turns to have their photo taken with Ghost. The shoot finished up with some black background photographs of the handsome lady - she turned her head side to side like a perfect model, her eyes focused on the feed bucket being walked around behind me!