I went over to East Sussex in the week, to meet Nikki and her super cute ex-racehorse, Jaciee.
Nikki found me on Twitter, originally, as she is a fan of my brother’s music. She followed me when she saw that I photographed horses and we got talking about her Thoroughbred, who was going through some health problems at the time. She had always said that she’d love a shoot, but the timing just hadn’t been right.
She has owned nine-year-old Jaciee for a little over a year and their time together has certainly not been easy going. Jaciee has had a string of issues, including bad gastric ulcers, a nasty abdominal infection and an abscess on his leg. But now that he’s been given a clean bill of health, Nikki decided that a photoshoot would be the best way to celebrate.
I have to say, Nikki’s messages to me on the run up to the date of her shoot really cracked me up. She was so nervous. She didn’t know what to wear, she was worried about Jaciee not looking the part, and then he went and threw a front shoe a couple of days before hand… I spent quite a few evenings just chatting to her online, putting her mind at ease, talking about outfits and everything else, promising her that things would work out fine. And, I hope that she’ll agree, they really did.
I just loved this little horse. He was such a sweet person and had the most adorable, loving face. He behaved impeccably and looked after Nikki, as they galloped up and down the field. Nikki tells me that she’d never intended to get an ex-racer. A friend had told her about him and she committed the cardinal sin of buying the first horse she’d seen. How many of us have done that? *puts hand in the air* “I just wanted a horse,” she laughed. But the pair of them have certainly fallen on their feet as they seem to be perfect for one another. Jaciee is fidgety and inquisitive, yet kind and willing, whilst Nikki is very laid back and quiet with him, which I think he really needs.
Nikki tells me that she’s had a lot of negativity towards Jaciee, from other people, and I think that this has really put a lot of doubt and insecurity in her mind. We all know what the horsey world can be like, sometimes. But I really think, Nikki, that you need to cut yourself and your boy much slack. You suit each other so well and he is a real credit to you. I don’t know how anybody could possibly be mean about him. You’ve nursed him back to health, you haven’t given up on him, you ride him well, he’s well mannered and totally adorable… Honestly, I work with a lot of horses and he was such a pleasure. You love your boy and he loves you. And that, at the end of the day, is all that matters. I hope, if nothing else, that these photographs give you the confidence, belief and pride that you deserve to feel, for your gorgeous little horse and your partnership with him. You guys rock! Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.