Imagine the greyest, windiest day. Now imagine standing on top of an open hill whilst the icy wind whips around you and the clouds roll overhead. That was the day that Sam and Obi had their photoshoot.
I had expected a tremblingly nervous, introverted little horse, when I turned up to meet Obi, but actually, he turned out to be a little rock star and a real pleasure to work with. I mean, look at him… Handsome on legs!! However, when Sam tells you his back story, you’ll understand why I was expecting him to be a bag of nerves.
Obi, or ‘Obrigado Um Pouco’ (meaning “thank you little one” in Portuguese) came over to the UK in March of this year, after having been rescued by a new organisation called ‘Their Voice Portugal‘, who aim to help neglected horses in Portugal. Sam thinks that he is between four and five and tells me that he is a branded, but un-papered Lusitano.
It is believed that Obi, who was then a stallion, was saved, by TVP when he was en route to the slaughter house. His history is uncertain, but it is clear he has been through various traumas in his life. Now a gelding, he is still nervous of strangers, especially men, has some unexplained scars and his very brief introduction to backing was cut short when Sam decided that he was too terrified to be ridden just yet. She has taken things right back to basics and is taking everything at Obi’s speed.
And he’s obviously thriving under Sam’s TLC. What a beautiful, kind boy. Even in the few hours I spent with Obi, I saw him go from being unsure and nervous around me, when I arrived, to bold and confident, feeding off of Sam’s reassurance, following her anywhere and posing like he’d been born to model!
“As you saw he is a little bit flighty at times but he has the kindest soul and is never nasty or aggressive,” Sam told me. “I currently have him on a loan with a view to buy and provided the vet report comes back with nothing majorly horrific I will buy him and he will live out the rest of his days with me just like the other 3 horses we have owned.”
This was my last shoot of 2014 and I was thrilled that it was with Sam and Obi, who were truly deserving of this final spot. Sam went all out in her breathtaking ball gown and masquerade mask, whilst her partner donned his uniform and super cute little Max was so excited to have photographs in his tweed jacket.
And Obi, as I said, was just a star.
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