It always fascinates me to watch how horses react to having their photoshoot. They are all totally different, and often not as the owner expects them to be. Some aren’t phased in the slightest and are happy to comply. Some a bored brainless by the whole experience. And some are just totally confused. They can’t work out why on earth we ask them to hack out and then stand still for a prolonged period of time. They can’t work out why someone is shaking what sounds like food, but they aren’t actually getting any damn food. And they don’t see why they should put their ears forward on command.
Pippa landed herself happily in the first category I mentioned. She loved the camera, she posed like a pro and just wanted to be included in everything anyone did. Eric, however, was firmly, immovabley in the latter category. He was not a photoshoot fan. In Eric’s opinion, photoshoots are for girls and he wasn’t giving us an inch. He looked so worried about the whole saga and he just wanted to get back to the comfort of his stable and his haynet. But luckily for him, he’s super handsome and I quickly developed quite a soft spot for him. So, we made it work.
I originally met Katie when she was giving her friend, Sam, a helping hand on one of my previous Mud to Makeup shoots, (check out Sam’s shoot here) last summer and she loved the idea of it all and the end result, so booked Sherrie and I for a shoot and makeover, for herself and her own horses. Katie is just lovely. She’s smiley and fun and she completely adores her two horses.
Katie bought rising four year-old, Pippa, as a yearling, from Lynwood Stud in Coventry, who specialise in breeding larger Welsh partbreds. Katie had always wanted a youngster to bring on herself and claims that it wasn’t her who chose Pippa, but the other way around. “On the second day of viewing Pippa I went out to see her with the breeder in the field, there were around 20 other yearlings. All the yearlings went to the owner apart from Pippa who just came to me. I knew then that she chose me, so I had to have her.” Pippa, who is half Thoroughbred, a quarter Irish Draught and a quarter Welsh, will be backed this year and Katie says that there is no rush, as she promises to have her forever.
As for Eric, Katie’s friend and yard owner, Samantha Castle, was selling Belgian Warmblood, Eric, and Katie first laid eyes on him last year, when she had gone to the yard to see Pippa. He was being ridden by somebody else who had to come to try him out and Katie decided that he looked exactly the kind of horse she was after. (Despite him tripping after a jump and losing his rider, whilst she watched!) After a couple of rides, Katie fell head-over-heels and her lovely hubby agreed that Eric could be her Valentines, Birthday and Christmas present, all rolled into one!
This coming Friday will be Katie and Eric’s one year anniversary together, so what better way to mark it than a Mud to Makeup Photoshoot! (Although Eric may disagree with that comment. 😀 ) After losing some of her confidence, Katie says that Eric has been fundamental in helping her feel brave in the saddle again, and despite him being a sensitive chap, she says he is such a gentleman. “He is the best horse I have ever ridden and has helped me overcome my fears.” He is also lucky to have found a home for life, with Katie!
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