I was so excited for this shoot. Leah’s mum, Emma, (who runs transport company ‘Nags on the Move’) had arranged for us to use the breathtaking grounds surrounding the Lifehouse Spa, in Thorpe le Soken. Stunning location, gorgeous young lady and two very handsome ponies. I was feeling totally spoilt.
So, after a few false starts due to the weather, we eventually managed to pin down a truly perfect sunny evening and off we went. I was like a kid in a sweet shop, scouting the location. I really could have shot there all day long and still had spaces left to use.
Leah owns her two handsome geldings, Tango and Mexico, both of whom, despite Mexico’s cheeky reputation, were stand up models!
Tango, who is more formally known as ‘Sugarloaf Brenin Express’, is a twenty year-old Welsh Section D. And just look at those blonde highlights! I adore his colouring. Leah has had Tango since she was just twelve years-old and he has taught her so much. The pair have gone from popping cross poles together, to competing in British Showjumping classes across the country. Just a couple of weeks ago, they came 5th at the GB championships. Emma tells me that Leah and Tango’s partnership is like no other. He will do absolutely anything she asks of him and they have a really beautiful bond.
After breaking his leg in 2013, Tango has made a full recovery but next year will be his last year in competition. He will then go on to lead a slower pace of life, plodding around and being introduced to retirement. Emma says that he has a home for life and will be cherished by their family until his last breath.
Leah’s second horse, Mexico, is the newbie of the family. ‘Simexico’ is a ten year-old Warmblood and joined the family last September. However, while Tango is still in full work, Emma often steals Mexico for herself. “Mexico has a character that can only be described as a 2 year old high on E numbers,” she says. Lol!
However, Emma says that he is an absolute superstar under saddle and will give anything a go, usually with much success. He has competed at Burghley in the past, but not done a great deal since. With Leah and Emma he has tried his hoof at jumping, dressage, le trec and even senior gymkhanas. He and Leah competed at the Tendring Show this summer, which was their first big competition. And they came away with first place!
Big thank you to Leah, Tango and Mexico, for being such fun models, to Emma, for organising such a special venue and to Lifehouse Spa, for allowing us to use their beautiful grounds. What a lovely evening!
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