On the sleepy border of Somerset and Dorset there’s a place where racehorses run, where millions of pounds of horseflesh and centuries of breeding plans are put to the test.
You’ll also find priceless ponies too, equally strong in their heritage and bloodlines.
This is where you’ll find the miniature Shetlands belonging to Tracy and Megan who were sharing a Mother & Daughter shoot with me.
Nestled in the beautiful countryside, they house their fabulous Shetlands in stables rich in age. Over 100 years old, these stables are from a time when coaches ran through the area. For Tracy and Megan, it’s where the planning and preparation happen for their year ahead in the show ring.
I was introduced to their little band of miniatures, all related to one another and ranging from 3 years to 6, but it was with 2 of these gorgeous and characterful that we’d be photographing on this occasion. 3-year-old chestnut filly Wincombe Hermione and the 6-year-old black gelding, Wincombe Eros. They share the same sire but come from different dams. Both of them, I said, I was ready to pop in my Mini and take home for cuddles! A happy but stern stare from Megan soon corrected that thought process… these much-loved members of their family.
Tracy and Hermione started our afternoon but it was nearly a shoot put off by the terrible wet weather in recent days. The planets aligned for us though as the rain stopped earlier in the day and the sun did its level best to poke through as we moved around the yard and grounds. Hermione was full of herself, shaking her head and pawing the ground at times, but it was all just a happy little lady enjoying being out, not a naughty bone in her body. In fact, I frequently had to crouch next to her for kisses or a scratch. Tracy chatted to me about the recent success in the ring they’d had with a young colt I’d met earlier and how much she was looking to the main outdoor season coming up. We had fun in the daffodils, well, Hermione did – it was all so much fun to be near so much fabulous grassy temptations!
When Megan arrived for her individual shoot with Eros, it was clear that this little chap had a very relaxed and professional approach to what lay ahead. At 6 his ring craft was solid and each time Megan stopped him he happily posed, he seemed to know just what was expected of him.
Then the wind got up!
We all know that Shetlands have a considerable thick mane, but boy when the wind blows you really get a taste for just how much mane there is to tame on a daily basis! Full billowing locks were soon the flavour of the afternoon, yet still, Eros behaved so well, even when the trees and shrubs began whistling and rustling, his reactions were soon over and he settled into another little happy pose with Megan.
A little bit of fun at the end of our shoot with both being let loose in their paddock for a while. Something Hermione, in particular, was thrilled with. She ran and ran and ran, bucking and careering around, showing us a wonderful show ring trot at times and then her little legs moving like pistons, creating speed for her size that any racehorse down the road would be envious of, I’m sure!
Have a fabulous week!
If you’d like a personal equine shoot with me, please see here for more details.