Finally, when I took the ten minute drive to meet Laura at the weekend, it felt a little more like Spring and a little less like someone up there was playing ‘Guess the Season’ with the weather forecast!
Laura invited me over to meet her two dressage horses, over in Galleywood. We were spoilt with a beautiful sunny day and the most charming little country cottage, with beautiful, lush gardens surrounding it, for us to play in.
I was first introduced to Laura’s star player, Calderon. Calderon is an eighteen year-old, advanced level dressage horse and has been owned by Laura for two years, now. He was previously owned by dressage judge and international dressage trainer, Sally Hardwick, from Hallingbury Hall.
Laura tells me that he is super talented and ‘knows it all’, whereas she admits that she herself is on quite a steep learning, taking her cues from Calderon. Their aim is to compete at Prix St George by next year, so I can’t wait to follow their progress!
Second up, and convinced he was the headline act, was Monty, the smaller, lighter bay. ‘Mon Cheval’, as he is known in the ring, is Laura’s twenty-two year-old veteran. However, Monty is determined to act his shoe size and not his age and Laura tells me that he ‘loves life and bounces places others would walk,’ earning him the very fitting nickname, ‘Tigger’.
Monty was originally purchased for Laura’s daughter, but was far too sharp, so Laura ended up taking him on herself and something tells me she wouldn’t change him for the world. This is a very special little horse, to this family. “He has taken me to three National Final Dressage Championships, and is my ‘Marmite’ horse. Judges either love him or hate him, we love him.” After a couple of years hiatus from competing, Laura wants to get Monty out to some veteran dressage competitions this year, “if he can behave himself.”
I also can’t conclude this blog post without mentioning adorable little Buzz. The five year-old, grey, Welsh Section A is Calderon’s travelling companion and belongs to Laura’s daughter Imogen. He was rescued from the meat-man but has clearly landed firmly on his feet, now. He did a great job of keeping the other two horses calm, by standing nearby and filling his belly with grass. It’s a tough life! Lol!
And lastly, we got the entire family together, along with dogs, Abbi, Jack and Daisy, for a family photo with Laura’s hubby’s beloved Series 1 Landrover. It’s Laura and Neil’s 20th wedding anniversary this year and the Landrover was their wedding car twenty years ago. How sweet is that?!
Thank you so much to Laura and family for having me and for being so welcoming. Your little gang were and absolute pleasure to photograph and a real credit to you.
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