You may recall back in October 2017 that I ran a competition in conjunction with Ariat Europe.  The winner’s prize was for a pair of fabulous Ariat long country boots of their choose and a full equine photo shoot with me.   To say that this was a popular competition would be the understatement as the list of entries was incredibly long.  So many beautiful horses and ponies with their owners and riders had been put forward.  Thankfully for me the task of picking a winner came from Ariat via a random selector once we had a short list.  Well, I say short list, it wasn’t that short!!

When the winner came through I was delighted as Becky was based about an hour from me near Wareham in Dorset. Becky was utterly thrilled with the news of her win and soon picked her choice of boots, opting for the fantastically cozy £180 Windermere Fur boots.  Then it was time to plan her personal equine photo shoot with me.   I love the Windermere Fur’s myself, such a stylish country boot that features a waterproof full grain leather and suede upper. Great choice!

Our photo shoot was delayed initially by a lack of mutual availability, then poor weather and Christmas so we plumped for starting the New Year with a bang and having a January shoot – a perfect time to show off those fur topped beauties!

Becky had the biggest of natural smiles when I met her, all these months later and she was still really looking forward to her shoot.  We happily chatted as she led myself and my glamorous assistant for the day Alice, to meet her pony Rodney together with her other half Daniel, otherwise now known as ‘Super-Groom’!   I seem to have a bit of a thing for photographing grey Connemara ponies and Rodney became the latest on my list!  I turned the corner and was met with possibly the whitest of white ponies,  He was immaculate, almost too white for your eyes.  Becky explained he’s actually really easy to do as he’s particularly clean pony… this is the point where everyone else with a grey pony groans in despair when they consider their own mud or poo stained hippo impersonator they’ve got in a stable or wallowing around in a field somewhere!

Polished to perfection, Rodney stood with his neck arched and waiting for attention.  Which he duly got, in bucketloads…

This true Irish bred Connie actually belongs to Daniel’s Mum but it’s Becky that does all the riding and competing with him.  Rodney first arrived about a year ago and over the last few months they’ve been building a relationship together.  Described as a bit cheeky this 11 year old gelding has really been putting his best foot forward whilst out competing with the pair of them usually in the top 3.  So far they’ve qualified for the Cricklands Prelim Dressage Championships and they’ve been really enjoying their showjumping together even though Rodney doesn’t always find it the easiest to do.  Aims for 2018 include their first British Eventing classes which they hope will be in the second half of the eventing season.

After a few shots at home with Rodney, and having met their delightfully deep voiced dachshund Eric (who clearly thinks he’s a doberman in disguise) for a quick chat and scratch, we decided to box up and head off to a local wooded area just 10 minutes drive away.  The perfect place to put those Ariat boots to good use too!

A slight hiccup on arrival – no bridle – last seen hanging from the stable door waiting to be loaded to the lorry…


However one quick call home and the said naughty bridle arrived and the (still) immaculate Rodney was soon heading off up the track with all of us following behind.  Daniel explained the last time they were up here for a ride they encountered some pretty drastic weather conditions.  Rodney and Daniel’s ex Racehorse Gypsy having to deal with howling gusts of wind, hail and rain that came out of nowhere and set both horses backwards into the wind at times!  We all wondered how Rodney would behave considering he was now walking in hand today.  Thankfully whilst the morning was pretty gloomy as the last of the fog lifted we had still & quiet weather.

Boy oh boy does this lad have true presence! Something that we all commented on during our time together.   Rodney is certainly not camera shy and clearly channels his inner Valegro at times!  Becky often refers to him as such and its really clear to see why!  At times I only had to mention what I was hoping to achieve with some shots before he put himself in position.  I try very hard to keep things as natural as possible with these lifestyle shoots, but when there’s a complete posing pro in town it kind of ends up a bit like the equine version of a cat walk…  He was fabulous!

It was such a pleasure to spend time with Becky, Daniel and Rodney that morning.   Finding out about their lives together with all the horses. I’m really looking forward to keeping in touch with them and finding out how their season progresses.

Have a fabulous week ahead!

Rachel x


If you’d like your own personal equine portrait shoot, then please do contact me here to chat about your options more…