Over the weekend, I was pleased to get back in the saddle (pun intended) and kick off 2016 with my first shoot of the year. I’ve been taking a little time off from shooting, due to other projects I’ve been concentrating on. But I definitely missed it and I really enjoyed being back out on location.
Rebecca got in touch on Facebook a couple of weeks ago to tell me the sad news that she was having to have her boy, Fletcher, put to sleep in the coming weeks/months and to see if we could arrange a date to capture some lasting memories for her.
So on a very cold, frosty morning, at the weekend, I went over to their yard in High Beech, surrounded by the gorgeous Epping Forest, to meet them both. And can we just appreciate why I keep banging on about how beautiful the winter shoots are?! I just adore this time of year for dreamy light!
Rebecca has had fifteen year-old Fletcher, who’s posh name is Mulsanne Innocence, for eleven years now and they have done a bit of everything together. Rebecca tells me that while she prefers the dressage, he certainly prefers the jumping and can be quite a handful for everybody but her. Sounds like a mummy’s boy, to me. 😉 Becky even took Fletcher to uni with her, where they competed on the university equestrian team.
Sadly Fletcher was diagnosed with navicular in February of last year, after pulling up lame in November 2014. Becky tells me that he has a lot of scar tissue in his foot and deep digital flexor tendon lesions. Despite a lot of TLC and rehab at Rosedales, Fletcher never came sound and is now pretty much retired, other than the occasional plod around the lanes when he is feeling strong enough. He is quite the cheeky chappy, so apparently living the quiet life doesn’t always suit him entirely. He prefers to hoon about in his field and isn’t used to not being in work and out competing.
Rebecca says that she can see that Fletcher has struggled more this winter and has made the very difficult decision not to put him through another winter. Her hopes are to get him through as much of this winter as possible, before reuniting him with her old pony, who is his best friend, for a little while, to live out his final days peacefully, before she says goodbye to him.
So very sad to hear these stories, especially when the pair I’m working with have been together for so long. But I feel so incredibly privileged to be able to meet these wonderful animals and witness how much they have shaped and touched the lives of their humans. And to capture that on camera for always.
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