At the beginning of the week Katie and I chose a freezing cold, but gorgeously sunny day for her beautiful winter shoot, over in Writtle.
Katie owns Dermot and Vigo. She has ridden sidesaddle since the age of six, including winning the National Junior Side Saddle Equitation Champion when she was younger and she’s currently working towards her Side Saddle Association teaching exams, so I was so excited to meet these guys, as side saddle shots are often amongst my most favourite images!
I just love the timelessness and class of the side saddle turn-out. It’s such an elegant sport and Katie tells me that she is passionate about promoting the art of side-saddle and introducing new riders to it. Just look at that beautiful saddle, which I’m told is maintained by Coralie Chung, of Rowley Saddlery.
Dermot, the grey pony, also known as Iceford Speedy, is a seventeen year-old Connemara and has been with Katie for ten years. She tells me that even though he’s only 14.1hh, he thinks he’s 17.2hh and she has brought him on herself.
Dermot has shown successfully under side-saddle and the pair have been on all the Pony Club and school teams, in their time together. They now mainly hunt, both side saddle and astride, and Katie says that he often puts the biggest hunters to shame!
Next up was the very dapper Vigo, or Galliano III as he’s better known. Vigo is a fifteen year-old Dutch Warmblood and boasts a very successful showing career as a Small Riding Horse and Intermediate Show Riding Type.
Katie has owned Vigo for two and a half years and does a bit of everything with him. They take part in side saddle displays, together and she says he absolutely loves to show off to the crowd.
Most recently, this season, Katie and Vigo won their Side Saddle Area Points Championship and they have recently introduced him to dressage, which he is really enjoying.
Huge thank you to Katie, her lovely mum and of course to Vigo and Dermot, for having me and for showing off their stunning side saddle turnout for me. Despite the random flurry of snow and the freezing temperatures, it was an absolute pleasure.