Last week seemed to be the week for Remember Me shoots. I had three in one week! These shoots are so incredibly heartbreaking, but at the same time, I’m so honoured to meet these special animals before they have to leave this world. And there is something so humbling about an elderly animal. It’s heart-warming to see that they have been loved and cherished until their final days and to know that these horses make such a huge impact on their owners’ lives.
Lucy is actually booked in for a shoot with me in July. She booked the shoot for herself and her two horses, Mojo, her thirty-six year-old New Forest pony and her younger horse, Quinn. However, she mainly wanted to make sure that she had special memories documented with Mojo, as she knew that her little mare wasn’t getting any younger.
So when Lucy got in touch on Friday afternoon and told me that she was gutted to let me know that Mojo had taken a turn for the worst and was booked to be put to sleep on that Monday, so wouldn’t be making it to our shoot in July, my heart sank. As trivial as it sounds when something as monumental as the loss of a loved one is happening in someone’s life, I know how treasured and valuable a photograph can be when that’s all you have left and I desperately wanted Lucy to have that of Mojo.
I knew I had a busy weekend ahead, with shoots Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but luckily Lucy keeps her horses about twenty minutes from where I live, so I asked her if she’d like me to pop over in between my other commitments, as an emergency. So, we managed to fit in a quick, last minute shoot on the Saturday morning.
Sadly Mojo had been going down to roll and not being able to get back up, both in the stable and whilst turned out. As a result, Mojo would get herself stressed and this would lead to an onset of stress-induced laminitis. The problem had become progressively worse and Lucy had decided that Mojo couldn’t continue the way she was. Following advice from her vet, Lucy was able to give Mojo one final weekend. Lucy said that Mojo was going to spend the weekend stuffing her face with grass and having cuddles!
Unfortunately, it rained throughout our shoot and was a totally miserable morning. But we remained upbeat and powered through the showers, even if we did end up soaked to the bone. We tried to keep Lucy and Mojo dry as much as possible, but Mojo clearly was not bothered at all! Full of the joys of summer and on some super painkillers, this super cheeky little lady dragged Lucy all around the yard, grabbing snacks along the way.
Lucy has owned Mojo for twenty-six years, so I can’t even imagine how she is feeling right now. Lucy, I know that nothing I say or write will make what you’re going through any more bearable for you, but I hope that these images will give you something tangible to hold on to and offer you something to perhaps make you smile again. I’m sure you have endless wonderful memories of your life with your little madam, so here are a few more to add to the album!
Sleep tight, Mojo. x
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