Specialist UK Equine Portrait Photographer, Surrey I via sophiecallahanblog.com I #equinephotography #photography #equineblogger

Earlier in the week, on a very rainy, grey day, I made my way over to Durdans Stable, in Surrey, to meet with a previous client, Lauren and her husband, Anthony.

I met Lauren and Anthony back in 2015 when they had to make the sad decision to have their older horse, Polo, put to sleep. And tragically, our shoot this week was also to say goodbye to their younger mare Lula. Lauren and Anthony have been so unlucky.

Lula was a nine year-old Haflinger, formally known as ‘Kaloua’. Lauren and Anthony have owned her since she was just six, when they went to see her to ‘rule out cob types’, having retired Polo, and just fell head over heels for her butter-wouldn’t-melt face.

Lauren describes Lula as her Barbie pony, and “a cute pony with an attitude and personality far bigger then she was!” And I totally witnessed that on our shoot. As soon as I arrived, she was in my pockets, wanting to be friends and enjoying being the centre of attention.

Four months into owning Lula, she double-fractured her left hind, having been kicked by another horse and Lauren and Anthony thought they were going to lose her. But their vet thought they might have a slim chance at letting the injury heal, meaning six months box rest and lots of rehab to follow, and Lula surprised everyone by making a miraculous recovery.

Four months into owning Lula, she double-fractured her left hind, having been kicked by another horse and Lauren and Anthony thought they were going to lose her. But their vet thought they might have a slim chance at letting the injury heal, meaning six months box rest and lots of rehab to follow, and Lula surprised everyone by making a miraculous recovery.

Lauren and Lula would enjoy hacking out for hours, with Anthony joining them on foot, exploring the national trust land surrounding their yard.

However, Lula started to suffer from mild bouts of colic, in 2016. The episodes began to grow progressively worse and Lauren made the decision to send her to Liphook where they discovered stomach ulcers. Lula was treated for the ulcers, but the colic continued.

It was eventually determined that Lula had a thickening in her small intestine and she was prescribed a variety of steroids and drugs. Unfortunately, the steroids have not worked in the way the vets had hoped and the sad decision was made to put Lula to sleep.

Lauren says, “Absolutely gutted we couldn’t fix it for her however she taught us so much we felt she was owed her dignity.”

Lauren and Anthony said goodbye to their beautiful Barbie pony on Friday, with much sadness. I’m so glad I got to meet this little lady. What she lacked in size, she certainly made up for in personality.

I’m so sorry, Lauren, that we keep meeting under these circumstances, but I’m honoured to have been able to provide you with special memories of both of your precious girls. I hope she manage to put a smile on your face today.

Specialist equine portrait photographer, blogger & vlogger. Essex based, travelling throughout the UK.