Meet Lauren and her coloured cob mare, Livvy. They're located at a livery yard, with the most amazing name: Cow City! I'd heard alot of people mention the yard, locally, however I hadn't ever had a shoot there! Claire had recently moved their with her handsome boy, Jamie, and being use usual amazing self, it wasn't long before she'd sent lots of people over to my website and Facebook page! Thank you Claire - it was a lovely surprise to see you there too, and see Jamie!
When I arrived, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful late Autumn morning. Lauren was just finishing getting Livvy ready. She'd been bathed the night before and had managed to borrow a hood and wraps to keep that gorgeous long white mane clean! There were just a few marks to tidy up in the morning, and then they were ready to go! It didn't take me long to work out who I was doing a shoot with that morning, it's not often horsey people can be seen in the barn walking around in white jeans! Accompanied by her long country boots, purchased the week before at Your Horse Live.
We set off around the local lanes, for Lauren to show me where she had in mind for the photographs. There was a perfect little bridleway that led past an avenue of trees, down, in to the woods. With a plan in mind, we headed back to the yard to meet Lauren's friend, and helper for the morning, Emma. Lauren filled her rucksack up with her various outfit changes, Livvy's bridle and off we set!
Livvy was wearing her new headcollar and leadrope set, purchased especially for the shoot! We headed off towards the bridlepath to begin the shoot. Lauren was worried Livvy might be a little nervous of what was going on, so we all lined our pockets with plenty of treats! We needn't have worried as Livvy was a total star!
She was very food orientated so we didn't have much of a problem getting her ears forward, as Emma darted about rustling packets and shaking the treat bucket. The quiet country lanes made for a beautiful backdrop - Livvy isn't a very happy loader so the pair of them explore the beautiful countryside around them, making the most of all the local bridle paths around Farley Hill.
The yard had a lovely atmosphere to it, the girls were all giving each other a hand, whilst others lent over stable doors chatting away. The tea-room had been turned in to a treatment room for the regular massage therapist they have to visit for the owners, as well as the horses. I absolutely loved that on the whiteboard, there were positive messages and little notes about the weather forecast and the appropriate rugs they should be thinking of using.
We ventured off the lanes and down to the woods. Somehow, Lauren managed to keep those white trousers absolutely spotless, Livvy also stayed amazingly clean as we clambered around the edges of the muddy paths. Once inside the woods the setting was just beautiful - the canopy of trees above formed "archways" around the pair of them. The crunchy orange leaves on the floor really did make Livvy's chestnut patches pop!
Lauren had chosen this time of year for her shoot because the golden Autumn colours worked so well with Livvy's colouring. And, it's almost two years since they've been together! Livvy was at a local riding school, so they knew eachother well beforehand. When the chance came up to buy Livvy, Lauren did exactly that!
There was one small hiccup on the shoot that we kept mentioning - when we were out looking at the location, we passed a small group of tweed-clad men and their spaniels, with sticks. In the distance we could hear the sound of gunshots but all of a sudden they got much louder! Livvy settled after a few moments so we decided to continue. The men then passed us again and were very polite to stop and chat to us to make sure Livvy was okay. They assured us that the meet were shooting away from us, but the occasional loud bang as the pellets scattered along the treeline wouldn't be unusual!
It didn't seem to phase Livvy, so once we'd finished up in the woods, we all began to walk back to the yard, chatting and sharing stories all the way. With a quick outfit swap first, Lauren then hopped on board. Livvy was quite fidgety by this point, so we thought it would be safer to stick in the arena. Emma walked the pair of them around, and then stood just out of reach for the photographs, just incase Livvy did decide she'd had enough!
The whole shoot had flown by, and by now the sun had disappeared and a light drizzle had begun. So, the shoot concluded with some black backgrund images whilst Lauren changed in to her final outfit - a Christmas jumper! She is hoping to get one of the Christmas images printed on a Christmas card for her friends and family; what a lovely idea!
Thank you so much, Lauren for having me! It was an absolutely lovely morning, and thank you Emma for all of your help too!