There are times when I meet people and leave them knowing just how much their horse means to them. Through the conversations I learn so much about how their relationship grew. Where that relationship is today and what plans are in place for the future too. Naturally I find out about the person who loves the horse too. This creates a new relationship. One between you and the client develops based on your time together and the shared experience of the photo shoot.
This is actually one of my favourite aspects of my vocation.
However, there are times when I leave a session with so much knowledge about their horse, their relationship and their plans that the part about the person fades away. It doesn’t fade because I’ve forgotten what that person was about. It fades because the intensity of the conversation from the client has been so driven by their horse. They just plain love to ONLY really talk about their horse.
This is kind of how the session with Megan and Tony Pony went too…
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Megan’s first encounter with Tony was with his bum via Facebook. He was an unfurnished 4 year old who had been living in an orchard on his own. She remarked to a friend that he was the kind of coloured she’d like if she ever had one. Not too much white, therefore easy to keep clean. End of conversation.
The very next day that same friend called and said “Guess who I have on my lorry!” Tony had been bought by her friend to sell on. Megan really liked him but she wasn’t looking for an unbroken horse. So continued her search looking at older horses, those that had experience and a T-shirt to go with it.
A little while later Tony, cleaned up and looking smart attended a show and Megan saw pictures of him, really liking what she saw. The long and the short of the tale is that the search for her horse stopped.
The next day she agreed to buy him.
They gelled really well together quickly and Megan learnt that Tony’s first aim in life is to have his bum scratched!
Started by a breaker it was down to Megan to continue his education. One of the things he first leant wasn’t to do with his ridden work. One thing the yard Tony lives at is teach them to wee on command. After just a few weeks Tony was ding this too. I wish I’d done this. Imagine the cost saving on bedding alone…! Nearly 3 years later they are loving life.
The original plan was to event together, however the direction has changed a bit. They enjoy showing and dressage, which surprises Megan as she used to love her jumping. Tony has a little too much jump for her at times, so they keep things at a more comfortable level with that. In their dressage work they are working at home to Elementary level and looking for greater collection.
The yard is perfect for training. It’s lovely, small and peaceful, nestled in some tree’s right on the edge of Dartmoor. You’d never think the hustle of Plymouth was just a few miles away. Megan used to ride not far from it but always told herself that one day she’d keep a horse there. Today she’s got access to a carefully thought out and constructed school and has miles of hacking on her doorstep. Amongst the other horses on the yard are a number of Iberians, all used in formation riding. The skills used by those training them have enabled Megan to give Tony a really good grounding too.
Recently the pair had an accident. It’s all unexplained though. Megan had been riding in the school and took a fall. Found outside her stable covered in sand, her tack was covered in sand too, but no-one knows why. Advised by the Dr’s to not ride for a few weeks she’s now back in the saddle. There’s no ill effects from it and it’s all a mystery as to what happened. She was itching to ride again each time I spoke to her before her shoot though!
We wandered around some gorgeous spots on the yard. So many trees for a shade under and pockets that were waiting to burst into life with bluebells and spring flowers. Megan, who has lived in Plymouth all her life, explained her career since leaving school. She’s spent time as a riding instructor at the nearby Military run riding barracks, but left to pursue a career as a carer. After a time working with those with aggressive and challenging behaviour, she’s now within the NHS where she takes blood donations.
She’s created a strong following on Instagram titled @adventuresoftonypony and is now also a Brand Ambassador for a number of equine brands, including hoof product brand Keratinand sports glove brand eGlove. Very recently been added to the team with Smart Grooming. With showing in mind the products she receives with Smart Grooming will be a fabulous boost to turning Tony out. He looked amazing at our shoot and Megan explained what she’d done with each product. She clearly knows how each lotion and potion works.
Soon it was time to leave this pair to their training schedule.
I mentioned at the start of this blog how often I leave knowing so much more about the relationship I’ve just worked with. How it started and how it has developed over time. With Megan and TonyPony (who is really more like 15.2-16hh!) the overwhelming feeling I had was just my of her life is dedicated to him. The ‘pony’ that just wants his bum scratched who spent his first 4 years in an orchard, really is the apple of his Mums eye…
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Have a fabulous week ahead…
If you’d like a personal equine photo shoot with me, maybe you have your own Unicorn you think I should meet, then please see here for more details.