“When chatting with competitors and their entourage at events we naturally fall into conversations about the key thing we have in common, horses. I think generally people are curious with photographers as to whether they are an equestrian that is also a photographer or a photographer that shoots equestrian, and I am often asked if I ride myself to which: “yes but not as often as i’d like” and do I have my own horse: ….”It’s complicated.”
The thing is, it’s not actually a complicated situation but to simply say “no” feels an injustice to myself and the horse I have a bond with, and to say “yes” is a flat out lie because he is not mine, nor do I have him on loan. I used to, a long time ago but the thing is my relationship with Chester and indeed his owner has evolved over the past 12 years so that I am so intertwined in their lives and they in mine that we both seem to agree from an emotional standpoint, yes he is also mine.
We all hate the mentality of “It’s just a horse” and whilst I don’t think for one second anyone in the equine world thinks this way, it got me thinking about what I’ve experienced of horses and how they really can be SO much more than a horse to us. To me Chester has been something that transcends even being “part of the family” or an equine partner in crime, I got so much more from involving this horse in my life than I could have possibly anticipated at 13. Some things are brilliant, I have a solid friend and anchor of support in his owner when I experienced depression, her son was like a little brother, my “Not little brother, brother” I was his “Not big Sister, sister” and I even met my partner because of Chester! However I have also experienced some of the most heart wrenching moments of my life and been pushed to discover my real character at times when those I loved were going through the most difficult times in their lives.
I have a career because of Chester. If I he hadn’t broken my leg (freak accident, he slipped in the mud) I wouldn’t have started putting my energy into photography. Due to the fact I couldn’t ride and remained on crutches for around five months this is how I felt I could remain involved from the sideline and began to educate myself and develop my skillset. I ventured into portraiture and fashion for a while but ultimately my heart remains in the equestrian world. Nothing sets my soul on fire the way horses do and nothing brings me as much energy as working with them each and every day.
I owe so much of who I am and what I do to having Chester in my life and whilst he may not be my horse I am certainly his human.
I would love to explore your stories with your horses and if you are willing to share, it would be amazing to feature them on my blog and spread the concept of how this incredible animals have such a profound impact on our lives.