I was so excited to do this shoot and I had so much trouble narrowing down the images for this blog. I’m totally in love with these gentle giants, as I knew I would be as soon as I met them.
I photographed Tammi and her daughter Catherine, about four years back, with their old horses, before they had their herd of Shire horses, so it was lovely to go back and meet their new additions and friend, Emma. I’ve always loved heavy horses from afar, but I’ve never really had any interaction with them, so it was so fun, for me, to meet all of these guys. They really are as cuddly and sweet as I’d hoped.
Emma and Tammi keep their herd at a beautiful, private farm in Clacton. The gang consists of baby Amy, the rather large yearling with the white face; old man Hector; little gypsy pony, Teddy; Emma’s boy, with one wall eye, and the tallest of the bunch, Alfie; Arthur, the brighter bay and, of course, Joe, the Shetland! I hope I’ve got all of that right.
When I asked how Emma, Tammi and Catherine came to own Shire horses over any other breed, Tammi told me a great story of how she acquired Arthur, who was the beginning of their addiction. She was tagging along with a friend, to see Arthur’s breeder and in jest, she mentioned a few names and said that the only way she would buy a horse was if there happened to be one with one of those specific names. Of course, Arthur was on the list, so when they arrived and were introduced to Arthur, their fate was sealed.
Little Joe was absolutely hilarious and nominated himself as my personal assistant for the duration of the shoot, following me everywhere and helping out by placing himself in shot whenever he was being ignored. Lol!
I want to extend an extra big thank you to the veteran of the family, handsome Hector! When Tammi asked if they could put him in his harness for a few photos, I bit her hand off. So, we took him off down the lane for his own solo part of the shoot and what started out as a bit of posing and plodding up the lane turned into a full blown, half hour drive around the block. This was my first ever experience of driving and what a lovely past-time for a sunny evening! Hector was a total superstar and Catherine even handed the reins over to me for a while.
Thank you Tammi, Emma and Catherine for such a lovely evening. Honestly, it’s shoots like this that make me so incredibly grateful to be doing this job. I can’t believe I am lucky enough to call this work.
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