Last week Sherrie and I went over to Codham Park Equestrian, to visit two familiar faces. Vanessa previously had two shoots with me, when I very first started out in this business, so it was really lovely to see her and Harry again.
Vanessa has owned her fifteen year-old Belgian Warmblood for five years and she stumbled upon completely by chance. She had been interested in buying another horse and when it sold before she even had the chance to arrange a vetting, she gave up on finding her perfect pony.
However, a friend called Vanessa telling her that she’d found her the perfect horse that she just HAD to go and see. So, not expecting too much, Vanessa agreed to at least have a look, just to placate her well-meaning friend.
And when she sat on (and then promptly fell off of) Harry, for the first time, she fell in love!
Vanessa went to view Harry on the Friday, had him vetted on the Monday and was his proud new owner by the Thursday!
Vanessa admits that she was somewhat of a novice, when she embarked on this journey with Harry, having never even tacked up a horse before. But she tells me he had the patience of a saint as she learned the ropes and found her feet in this new partnership.
Since then, Vanessa and Harry, or ‘Harold’ as she calls him, have tackled showjumping, dressage, cross country, working hunter and sponsored rides together and he has taught her everything there is to know about sharing your life with a horse.
Harry is your typical cheeky chappy, but an absolute sweetie and the camera loves him. Unfortunately, recent arthritic changes in his neck have put a stop to his favourite past time, jumping. But Vanessa says, “Above all else Harry will continue to be my pet who I love beyond words.”