I was so looking forward to meeting this adorable pair. Caitilin received an equine photoshoot gift voucher at the end of last year and was super excited about her shoot. I love when my clients are just as enthusiastic as I am, so I knew we were going to have fun.
The first part of the shoot went perfectly, but as we walked back to the yard to finish off, the heavens opened, despite the dry forecast! It was the type of heavy rain that drips off of your nose and soaks through your clothes, so that, unfortunately, put an end to our shoot. Luckily, we’d already managed to get most of what we needed. But typically, as I drove home, the sun came out and I was graced with the most beautiful sunset. Got to love the British weather, hey?
Caitlin and Bess’s story is one that I think many of us, who began riding at a fairly young age will be able to relate to; Falling in love with the naughtiest pony and, despite the tears, the battles and the mouths full of dirt, being determined to bring them around. Caitlin did exactly that.
Caitlin has owned her Cob cross, Bellissimo Bess, for just over a year now. When she was just thirteen and admits herself, she and her family were pretty novice, she embarked on the search for her first pony. Her travels took her over to Kent where she tried numerous horses and eventually fell in love with a little black pony called Bess.
Their first meeting was less than idyllic, with Caitlin ending up on the floor. But despite this minor mishap, the pair just clicked and Caitlin’s mind had been made up. No other pony would do. Bess was ‘the one’.
Over the following year, Caitlin and Bess’s partnership has been somewhat tumultuous. When she first arrived with Caitlin, she was super nervous and un-trusting and had a whole host of issues. It is thought that Bess is actually six or seven, rather than twelve, as they were originally told and she hasn’t had the best start in life, being rescued in early 2014, where she was found covered in numerous cuts and infested with worms.
However, Caitlin was determined to persevere and knew that her dream pony was in there, somewhere, hidden by all of these insecurities and bad experiences. And after five months of hard work, Caitlin and Bess completed their first ever dressage test, neither having competed before! Caitlin tells me “I was so nervous that I cried my whole way around, but she looked after me every step of the way!”
Caitlin and Bess have continued competing together ever since, with much success. They have qualified for a whopping fifteen different championships in their first season, including Trailblazers, Dressage Finals, Showjumping & Dressage Championships and most notably the Sunshine Tour, at Hickstead, where they came a very respectable 5th place, in the Combined Training. What a lovely success story!
Caitlin says: “Bess is an extremely special pony to me and has taught me more than any other pony has. Some people doubted us from the start, but we’ve proven them wrong and will continue to do so. She is the cheekiest, nosiest, quirkiest pony, with the biggest character and heart, and she just wants to please. She is the best pony I could’ve ever asked for and I am so happy to call her mine.”
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