Meet Laura and her two gorgeous geldings - Bobby and Lego. Laura was kindly given a voucher by Fran last Christmas. She had waited until now to use the voucher as she loves the Autumn colours. I first met Laura through working with Haygain, so I jumped in my car on a very dark, dreary Saturday morning and headed over to Gloucester, near Stow-On-The-Wold to be precise.
I love this part of the world, it's to me, "proper" English countryside, with the open space, rolling patchwork fields as far as the eye can see and the beautiful Cotswold stone that makes up walls and houses. It was a horrible fine drizzly mist when I arrived, but my various weather apps assured me that the sun would start to begin to burn through that cloud very soon!
Bobby and Lego had been washed the evening before, and had spent the night tucked up in their big stables, at home with Laura, with the farm dogs in their kennels opposite for company. Laura is lucky enough to be able to see the boys from her bedroom window - I'm sure all of us would love to have been able to wake up to that sight! Thinking ahead to the shoot, the boys were clipped slightly earlier than normal so that their coats were even and any lines had grown through. Laura and her Mum gave me a little tour around the spaces we could use; hoof oil applied and all tacked up, we were ready to go!
Bobby was a bit unsure what was going on and proved a little tricky to get his ears forward after the initial excitement had worn off. We were keeping an eye on a tractor cutting the hedge just alongside the field, it gave Bobby something to look at and keep his ears forward long enough to get some photographs in the paddock just outside the barn. Lego was originally Laura's sisters horse, but now he enjoys hacking around the farm and popping over some of the hunt jumps in the sheep field, along with Bobby. The horses have been part of the family for about 10 years now and have always been lucky enough to live at home! Bobby is 17 and Lego (I just love his name!) is in his twenties now, but Laura said they still like to be show offs!
We made a quick dash back to the barn as a short shower arrived. Laura decided now would be a good time to head inside for an outfit change. Once the rain had passed, we headed back outside. Laura's mum juggled holding the horse we weren't photographing and several props to throw around: buckets, dog leads, the octopus and we even managed to find some animal noises on an app!
The horses took it in turns to have their photograph taken, with plenty of group shots along the way. They were both angels and once we'd got to grips with what made them look, they were very good at keeping their ears forward! We then headed down to the track leading towards the rest of the farm. The sun suddenly burst out from behind the clouds, illuminating the dark clouds in the distance creating some very dramatic lighting!
How beautiful is this part of the world! I just love the views behind in this shot - with the sheep dotted along the hilltops. One thing that Laura really wanted was some black background photographs! The back of the barn the stables in opened up so we positioned the boys, Bobby first, looking out towards the farm.
Thank you so much for having me, Laura! It was lovely to finally meet both your boys!