I was first contacted by Wendy a few weeks ago to organise a yard day for herself and a few other friends at the same livery yard. Sadly, we had to postpone the original shoot due to the poor weather and she couldn't make the next date. She decided to sit this one out and hopefully wait again until the spring when the weather is better! So, Penny was on hand to organise the shoot for herself, Emma and Ruth!
When I arrived at the yard, I got out the car and put my coat on, just as Penny pulled up in to the car park. She took me over to meet Emma and her two year old gelding, Oscar. Emma was so pleased with how he'd coped with the morning, being just a youngster, he wasn't quite yet used to all this brushing and pampering. He'd been stood in for about an hour whilst Emma got him ready, he looked very smart indeed!
We headed up the track to the fields, Oscar was a bit of a monkey at keeping his ears forward, but you had to forgive the fidgeting as it was all rather exciting! Oscar was a bit of a "buy one, get one free" scenario! Emma and her friend bought themselves a Welsh mare to share (oo that rhymes!) and a few months later, little Oscar arrived as a surprise! Once weaned, it was decided Emma would keep baby Ozzie! He was a total sweetheart, Emma said she'd quite like some photographs of them both together in the grass. As Emma sat down, Oscar stepped in and put his head down in his lap, it looked like he could quite happily fall asleep just there!
The paddock adjoined the field where Oscar's friends were grazing, as soon as they saw us heading up there, they came cantering over whinnying! It was so sweet,and they were watching intently at what we were all up too! As we made our way back down towards the stables at the end of the session we stopped off for one final shot. Earlier on in the morning we'd popped a bench up on the mound behind the car park. It's amazing the little spaces and ideas that we use during the shoot, I've been wanting to write about this for a long time, so there's a blog post coming soon! To finish up, Oscar stood in one of the empty stables, pricked his ears forward as the purple octopus was squeaked around the corner. He looked so cute and cuddly with his winter coat coming through!
Up next was Penny and Splash, now I won't tell you how old this pony is, because I want you all to have a guess. He was a little diva! He knew exactly what he wanted during the shoot! We roped Emma in to helping out as Splash was on his toes. The hunt had gone past earlier on in the day and that may have upset him a little. Penny said he's normally the sweetest little pony, however the devil was in him today and he wanted to get up to mischief! Although, the thing that seemed to be on his mind, was - grass! As we headed up the track, he tried his luck at grabbing a mouthful here and there... poor Penny was really having to work hard to stop Splash eating. We tried everything to distract him, a new location and in the end we had to admit defeat and let him graze during shots!
Penny then said maybe we should head down to the arena, although, not usually my first choice for location, it was probably the only place we could go where there wasn't any food to distract Splash! It all turned out well and he soon settled and his concentration turned from his tummy, to his owner, Penny. I think we were all relieved to get him away from the grass and get some lovely photographs! Penny was then happy we'd spent long enough on the photos of the pair of them together, so the focus turned to Splash! We took his headcollar off and we thought he'd stand there waiting just like he had been whilst we were all chatting.
Nope - he put his head between his knees, and hoolied around the school! We all burst out laughing as he then suddenly stopped, dropped and rolled, much to Penny's horror! I've never had a horse protest about having their photograph taken during the shoot. This amazing pony is T-H-I-R-T-Y-E-I-G-H-T YEARS OLD! I'm not sure anyone's told him that recently as he proceeded to canter around the school, throwing in a leap and buck as and when he fancied! I think we can definitely say, he's growing old disgracefully, but how incredible that he feels so fresh and well and able to move at that age!
After his little jaunt around the school, he came marching over and decided he had that out of his system and was ready to move on. We took him over to his stable for some black background photographs. He had such a sweet little face, as though butter wouldn't melt, but his antics didn't end there, as he trotted off across the yard, with all the girls in tow! What a little character!
My final shoot of the day was with Ruth and her coloured cob, Wellington, or Welly to his friends. After the fun and games we had with Splash, Ruth suggested we stayed within the school as Welly too, was quite partial to food too! She only wanted a few photographs of herself with Welly - however unlike his hacking buddy, Splash, he stood like an angel as I moved around him!
I think Welly loved being in front of the camera as he always looked so happy and alert - we finished the shoot up with some black background photographs! Thank you ladies for all having me and a special mention to Splash, who kept us all entertained and proved that there's still plenty of fun to be had, even when your'e almost 140 in human years!