Isn’t it every girls dream to have her ponies at the bottom of the garden?
Well thats just what I found when I arrived to meet Chloe at her idyllic cottage, down an incredibly peaceful lane right in the heart of beautiful Somerset.
We’d hoped to coincide our shoot with the incredible sight of blooming blue linseed, from a crop in her village, which we’d been previously granted permission to work in. Chloe had diligently been keeping me updated on the progress of the linseed coming into flower. However, there’s a curious fact about Linseed that none of us had ever been aware of previously. Linseed only flowers in the morning! This was a total shock to us both and I guess we’d both only ever seen it in the mornings previously and never put two and two together in the afternoons! How Mother Nature decided this fact I’m not sure… but it’s a truth now discovered.
We laughed because that morning it was glorious but by the time our shoot arrived later that day – nothing bar the odd determined bloom was visible!
Suitably aware of how this crop now flowers, we arranged for another day with this crop and concentrated on everything else we had in mind…
So, let me introduce you to Chloe and her striking 15 year old Appaloosa gelding Finbar, “Fin”, have been together for 7 years.
Fin came to her as a result of another person losing her nerve riding, but these two have gelled together over the years and there’s a strong bond in place. As we headed around the hamlet and the wheat fields we’d also been granted access too from a wonderful local farmer, she told me more about his character.
He’s certainly a handsome lad and really does love the camera. As is typical of many Appaloosa’s, he’s pretty laid back but he’s far from lazy as some might think this breed to be. He was completely interested in everything going on, totally forward going but utterly reliable with standing and posed like a champ at times. In fact at times he was so interested in what I was doing his face was completely comical.
It’s super clear to see how much Chloe thinks about this chap and what they’ve achieved together over the years. Whilst she still has her older horse, Murphy, a stunning semi retired chap, she does define Fin as her main horse. Yep, they’ve had their blips along the way, including a pretty nasty sounding jumping accident a few years ago that left Fin sidelined for a few months and Chloe wondering whether she would far rather just enjoy their life together without the pressure of training or competing. So she has and now is really content to hack or school her boys without pressure. The still jump, but only because they want to and not because they feel they have too.
To be honest Fin sounds pretty talented to me. He’s done well at jumping, showing and dressage, loves his cross country and has hunted with his previous owners. So if Chloe ever feels the need to become more focused on competition then Fin’s got the skills to pick it up again.
Chloe went on to mention a few of his minor naughty character moments, times when he’s had a buck or two through what she stresses is always just pure exuberance. Each one has been met with a positive outlook and recognition that he really doesn’t mean anything deliberate or nasty from this mischievous side, he just enjoys life. Even when he once landed her on the floor, she is quick to point out that he was totally aghast at what had happened and politely stood staring at her at the floor whilst she got herself sorted! It’s rare that he does have a naughty moment like these though, he sounds – and acted – like a total gentleman 99% of the time that I was there.
… and anyway, no-one really wants a boring Gent in their life now do they!
I had a wonderful hour or so getting to know Chloe and really admiring the countryside she gets to call home. So many miles of off road hacking available and farmers who are content to let those who truly respect their land and consider their livelihoods ride their fields without worry of traffic.
Now there’s a fabulous position to be in.
Have a fabulous week!