My second shoot on my day-trip to Wales was with Bimba and her two horses, Mac and Teej. When Bimba said to me ‘Is it ok to take a ten minute walk to a castle nearby, for the shoot?’ of course I agreed. Because, a castle! And I often go on little adventures with my clients, walking to the best location. However, what I forgot to check was whether or not that walk was up a mountain!!!
Just to set the scene here… I live in Essex, which is the flattest county in the UK. We barely have inclines, let alone huge hills and mountains. I was under the impression that I wasn’t too grossly unfit. Well, I nearly died!! I was a hot, sweaty mess by the time we had hiked up what they’re telling me is a hill, but I swear to you guys, it was a hill that looked and felt distinctly mountainous to me! And it’s kind of difficult to be professional and composed when you’re close to collapsing. However, once I’d recovered from almost keeling over, we managed to get some really gorgeous shots and I did get to appreciate the stunning locations Bimba had picked for us. All was quickly forgiven.
Bimba’s real name is Alexandra, but she has been called Bimba by everyone she knows ever since a trip to Italy when she was six months old, where the locals called her ‘Bella Bimba’, which means ‘beautiful baby’, thanks to her blonde curls and blue eyes.
Bimba has owned her chestnut Thoroughbred, Mac, for ten years. He was rescued by the owners of a small hunt yard that Bimba was working at, when he was going to be put to sleep following a tendon injury at the end of his racing career. His new owners had hoped to reschool him to hunt but were told that he had lost all faith in humans, had no confidence and was a lost cause. Whilst Bimba worked at the yard, she and Mac began to form a bond and she asked if she could perhaps try and ride him.
Eventually the owners asked Bimba if she would like to buy him, seeing as the pair of them just seemed to click. Despite having plans to travel and it not being an ideal situation, Bimba couldn’t say leave Mac to an uncertain fate. Apparently the people she bought him from are shocked that he’s still alive and well, let alone enjoying 10 mile fun rides, jumping and living a full and happy life.
“He may not be the most talented or the easiest horse in the world and we’ve had some pretty major ups, downs and tantrums but he’s my horse of a lifetime. He has more personality than any other horse I’ve ever met and I feel so incredibly lucky to have had such a wonderful time with him,” Bimba tells me.
Little Teej has been with Bimba for almost 5 years and was a rescue pony who was saved from slaughter as a baby. When he was rescued, he was covered in lice and full of worms and just in a very poor state. Bimba says that when he arrived he was so nervous, but with a lot of grass and TLC, he’s turned into such a sweetheart. Teej was originally purchased as a companion for Mac, with the intention of selling him on, but Bimba tells me that there’s no way he’s going anywhere now. And I can see why. He’s a real dude and loved having his photograph taken.
In fact, both of Bimba’s horses were beautifully mannered and just so easy to work with. Thank you so much for having us, Bimba, and for the super intense work out, too! 😉
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