If you haven’t seen the first instalment of this shoot yet, make sure you check out the heart-melting baby donkey photos right here.
And whilst I was at Hayley’s yard, in Surrey, I also photographed her three horses. The more the merrier, right?
First up was Merlin, Hayley’s Shire cross. Merlin is so gorgeous. He’s super chunky and has this ginormous, noble, Shire horse head, a chest the width of a tank and mahoosive dinner-plate feet, but he just has the kindest eye and the most gentle nature. Hayley has had Merlin since he was six months old and has done just about everything with him. She says that he is Grandpa Merlin and the boss man of the yard. And she also said he is an absolute beast to hunt. I bet!
Next to model for us was old man, Woody. Thirty-four year-old Woody was originally Jessica’s pony. They’ve had him since Jessica was around three or four, so he’s definitely part of the furniture and now belongs to little sister, five-year-old Lottie. Woody and Lottie really made me giggle. Lottie has the cheekiest little grin and was full of energy, climbing up onto the tree swing and pretending to fall off backwards, the camera loved her. Whilst Woody stood looking at her as though he was bored with the entire situation and not impressed with her larking around. But he was endlessly patient and such a little superstar.
Last but certainly not least was Connemara cross, Freddie. “I should never really have bought him,” Hayley told me when she was explaining how she came to own Freddie. But you can just see the affection she has for him, despite knowing that he wasn’t the best purchase for her young family. Hayley tells me that when she was working for a dealer, she witnessed Freddie being sold and returned numerous times. After bonding with him at work, she couldn’t watch him be passed around any longer and took him on herself. He’s nervous and anxious and not an easy ride, but Hayley and Jessica clearly adore and understand him, so he’s certainly fallen on his feet.
Thank you, Hayley, Jessica and Lottie, for having me at your lovely yard and for braving the mud and the threatening rain clouds to get these pictures of your beautiful equine family. I’m so glad I chose you guys to win the World Donkey Day giveaway!