What a photoshoot this was! Having been let down, I was asked if I could do a birthday photoshoot with newly turned teen Ebony. In the couple of days from request to the shoot, I managed to crash off my own horse, but didn't want to let Ebony down again. My lovely horse friendly daughter became both my driver and photographer's assistant on the day, and it was great to have an extra pair of hands - you'll see why.
Ebony loves a challenge, having had a particularly feisty mare as one of her first ponies over four years ago, wow did the not so young Spirit teach Ebony sticking power which has stood her in good stead, as roll forward to 2018 and this young lady as ridden ex-racehorses, top eventers and even the gentle giant, 19hh Porkie. Keen to include all those that she is currently riding in the shoot, we had some fun. However, without a shadow of a doubt top marks go to the race horses, who took everything in their strides. Spirit meanwhile didn't want to miss her moment in front of the camera, nor did she!
An initial roll-call here is probably a good thing; by the left Monty (racing name Mount Hollow), Murphy (racing name Dome Patrol), Cinbad, Spirit, Jeff, Sqwidge (racing name Snow Ridge) and Monty. Ebony has ridden them all!
From a nervous young jockey, Ebony has been taught by Gill White who has nurtured her talent right from the start and her confidence has grown enormously along the way. Ebony loves her jumping, but just as happy schooling and is also a regular jockey with the South Downs Bloodhounds. Even after a horrible fall just after our shoot, she was keen not to miss the next week.
No sooner had we put all the ponies - large and small - to bed with their tea, than we turned out attention to hounds. Once again, there were a few. Ebony's lovely Labs Cookie (yellow) and Gillie (black), were joined by Gill's little menagerie. Recent additions Whippet Moo and Dachshund Hippo as well as well known tear aways Terrier cross Reg and a little bit of everything Brian. This fab pack of hounds were perhaps marginally better behaved than the horse herd, but don't fooled, some have quite a reputation.
Ebony puts her heart and soul into caring for all the horses in the yard regardless of size and they respond to her brilliantly - she's so living the best teenager's dream