When I was a very small child, I used to ride at Limebrook Farm in Maldon. So when Caroline booked me to photograph her three horses, on livery there, I was so excited to revisit that part of my childhood.
Caroline has been at Limebrook for many years and what used to be one of the busiest riding school’s in the area, is now exclusively a livery yard.
I think we experienced all four seasons, in the two hours I was with Caroline. It rained, the wind blew, we had beautiful sunshine, it was freezing cold and then it was quite nice and warm… We spent quite a lot of time sheltered in the barn, cloud watching, trying to work out whether or not it would be safe to resume shooting, or not. But, even so, in between the showers, we managed to get some absolutely beautiful shots of Caroline’s gang.
First up was the very handsome Boomer, or ‘Boomerang’, if you want his official title. Boomer is a very charming twenty-three year-old, Welsh Section D. I really fell in love with this chap. He has a huge character and just seems like the sweetest person.
Caroline tells me that when he arrived at Limebrook as a three year-old, he was very nervous and they suspected that he hadn’t had the greatest of starts in life. However, twenty years on, he certainly doesn’t show any signs of this now. “He is now one of the most loving and versatile little horses I have ever known. There is nothing that little horse won’t do or at least have a good go at.”
Together, Caroline and Boomer have enjoyed hunting, showing and even holidays. They recently visited Thetford Forest together, where they rode forty-four miles, in five days. Boomer is clearly loving life and hasn’t got the memo about slowing down, just yet.
Next up was the lady of the manor, Chance. ‘Certain Last Chance’ is a twenty-five year-old, bay, Irish Draught cross Thoroughbred, who Caroline describes as ‘a diva and a proper know-it-all’. “She always knows best and when you tell her otherwise she gets the right hump,” Caroline says. Lol! A typical mare on the ground, but apparently a sweetheart to ride.
Chance has done a bit of everything and most enjoys showjumping and dressage. She is still in full work, but Caroline says that her brain isn’t as old as her body is, so everything is done in moderation. However, she too is determined to prove that growing old gracefully is over-rated. “Get her in an open field it takes everything I’ve got to hold onto her. But this makes me smile, as it just shows she still loves her work,” says Caroline. Despite Caroline telling me she’d be a nightmare to photograph, she was more than happy to smile for the camera!
And lastly I met the baby of the family, big friendly giant, Alfie. Alfie came over from Ireland as a three year-old, Caroline backed him when he was five and she has been riding him for his owners, ever since. So he just had to join in. The chestnut Irish Sports Horse is twelve years old and stands at a whopping 18.3hh! But thankfully, he’s a dope on a rope and has no idea how big and strong he is. What a sweetie!
And last but certainly not least, I managed to snap a quick pic of Caroline’s adorable little dog, Lyric, too, before she tried to escape from me over the wall. Lol.
Thank you so much for having me, Caroline. It was so nice to visit the yard again and to meet you and your gorgeous gang. Despite the crazy weather, I had a really lovely afternoon!
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