As an equine photographer, naturally I photograph a lot of horses. I’ve met and worked with horses of, quite literally, all shapes, sizes, colours, breeds… So there really isn’t much I haven’t seen.
And not that ordinary horses are boring, with every one having their own character and story to tell, but admittedly, I’m absolutely fascinated by any horse that is slightly unusual, rare or just a bit different. It might be unusual markings that I can focus on, a rare or foreign breed of horse that I don’t see so often, or a beautifully coloured coat.
I think it’s where my love for coloureds comes from. Each one is completely unique.
Whichever it is, I really, truly love finding out all about each of them. Their history, what it is that makes them them, how their human came to own them, what they do with them… All of it. I’m obsessed. I always adore hearing my clients’ stories, so it’s no different with unusual horses, who typically tend to have a fascinating back-story.
Last week, I went over to Canterbury to meet Danielle and her three Appaloosas. And as you can imagine, I was like a kid at Christmas. I think we spent about an hour meeting the horses and talking about them before I even picked up my camera.
And when she told me that she had spent a total of £751 for all four of her horses, I had to know more. (And I’ll admit, I wanted some bargain-hunting tips!)
First up, I met Rumpus. He is a nine year-old Leopard Spot, part-bred Appaloosa. Danielle rescued him when he sixteen months-old, from a field.
She says that he is such a frustrating chap, because he’s absolutely stunning, super talented, but prone to what she calls ‘brat attacks’. In 2017 he won the In-Hand Appaloosa class and stood champion at Windsor, amongst many other successes. And he also enjoys turning his hoof to eventer challenges and showjumping.
Next came Dotty, also known as Wota Fiasco, who is an eight year-old Snowflake, part-bred Appaloosa. She is Rumpus’s full sister and was also rescued, with an eye infection, her hind hoof capsule hanging on by a thread and completely unhandled.
Danielle says that Dotty is affectionately known as ‘devil-child’ at home. She canters backwards at high speeds and a ride judge at BAPS National Show once opted not to ride her.
And then I met Monty. Monty is Dotty’s baby and is an eighteen month-old, part-bred Snowcapped Appaloosa, by Amazing Technicolor. And he is absolutely stunning!
Danielle bought a raffle ticket for £1 and won a covering with the stallion, resulting in her dream horse. She could not have wished for anything more. That’s the dream, right there.
Monty, or Mont Blanc as he is known in the ring, has already been placed at the British National Foal of the Year Show, won all his classes and was part-bred Appaloosa Champion at the APHC UK Southern Show. He came third in the Yearling Sportshorse classes at South of England and then stood second in that class at Kent County.
Not bad for a year and a half! What a very special little chap. My plan is to convince Danielle to invite me back when Monty is older, because I think he’s going to be incredibly exciting to watch grow up.
Whilst I was there, I also took a few headshots of Danielle’s Irish Draught, heavyweight hunter, Slim. But as, in Danielle’s words, he is currently ‘17hh of poo stain’, we thought it best leave him until he is back in show condition, to get some full body shots.
Thank you so much to Danielle, for inviting me over to meet her gang and for regaling me with all of their stories.