I received a very sad but rather lovely message, a couple of weeks back, from a lady called Kirsty, to tell me that her best friend was having to think about having her veteran horse put to sleep before winter really sets in. She wanted to book a shoot for them both, to capture some final memories. What a lovely friend.
So, last week I went over to Fairlight Farm, in Downham, to meet Michelle and her special boy, Rukis. And when I say that he is a special boy, this is a horse with serious spirit and a wicked sense of humour!
Michelle has owned Latvian Warmblood, Rukis since she was eleven years old, when she was gifted him by a friend who couldn’t look after him anymore. However, as he stood and tried to take the occasional chunk out of her arm whilst they were posing, Michelle tells me that he has always been a handful. So when he came off of the box with attitude, I think Michelle and her mum both wondered what they’d gotten themselves into.
And at twenty-four years-old, it seems that Rukis has been determined, that even if he has to grow old, growing UP was never on his agenda. He was most definitely running the shoot! Lol! He had us all wrapped around his little finger/hoof! And I couldn’t help but love him for it. 😀
Michelle has competed Rukis in affiliated dressage, up to Medium level, qualifying for Regionals and Nationals and they’ve also tried their hand at affiliated showjumping and unaffiliated eventing. And despite his quirks on the ground, Michelle says that he has always been an absolute angel to ride. And he really did stand like a lamb as soon as Michelle climbed aboard.
Michelle has a handful of other horses which she competes, but she said that Rukis has taught her everything she knows, along with teaching many of her friends and family to ride, too.
Michelle, I’m so glad to have been able to work with you and your mischievous boy. He honestly had me laughing so hard and I love the bond that the two of you clearly share. Thank you for having me and big hugs for whatever you decide for his future.
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