This summer, it’s been all about the Mud to Makeup shoots. And the day after we went to Milton Keynes (see previous shoot) Sherrie and I went on a little (very long) day trip to Yorkshire.

When Alex booked her shoot, she was living in Hampshire, just a couple of hours from us. But a few weeks after booking, she contacted me and said “Erm, slight problem…”

She was moving back home, to Yorkshire.

But not to worry, Sherrie and I love a road trip and we packed up our gear for a day up North. And what a lovely day. Sunshine, scenery and sidesaddle. This was such a gorgeous shoot!!

Alex has owned her super smart, ten year-old gelding, Shirley, for almost three years. Yes, you read that right. Shirley is a boy! I just could not keep a straight face when I was calling his name, across the field. Good job he’s so freakin’ handsome. And my goodness, has he got looks to die for or what?!

‘Shirley’s Downtown’ is a very dapper Dutch Warmblood cross Thoroughbred and he and Alex show at county level. They have just taken up sidesaddle this year. I also get so excited when somebody tells me they want photographs in their habit and sidesaddle. They create such classy, timeless images and are always some of my favourites.

Shirley and Alex have been trying their hand at some of the open HOYS classes and have had some very respectable pulls, aswell as two sixth places. So I wish them every success in chasing their ticket and look forward to watching their progress on Facebook.

We had such a giggle on this shoot, from the Yorkshire hills that gave us unfit southerners a serious workout, to the determined photobombers, who really wanted to be a part of the shoot, lol. You can see more of those in my most recent vlog.

But Shirley was an angel throughout and I think it’s safe to say that both Sherrie and I were a little bit in love with him by the end of our time there.

When they aren’t showing, Shirley and Alex enjoy hacking out, at the beach and on farm rides. “He is my one in a million horse who I hope to continue to have fun on for years in the future,” Alex tells me. “Every time I go up to the yard and see his face I smile. He makes me so happy and I don’t know if I will ever own a horse as special as him.”

Specialist UK equine portrait photographer and country lifestyle blogger & vlogger.

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