When Veronika sent me a message to tell me that she wanted to book a shoot for her pair of Friesians, I felt like a kid at Christmas. For starters, every equine photographer will jump at the chance to have this beautiful breed in front of their lens as they are just so wonderfully photogenic.
But moreover, I have a lifelong adoration for these horses. When I was little I used to constantly tell my parents’ that I would one day own a ‘Harrods Horse’. Since growing up and losing my fearless nature, I’ve made a habit of sticking to the smaller hairy ponies, but I’m still in awe of every Friesian I ever meet and have a special place in my heart for them.
So, naturally, meeting Pettie and Olbert, at Woodlands Stables, in Waltham Abbey, was a great way to spend a dreary Sunday morning.
Veronika has owned her twelve year-old mare, Pettie, since she was just an unbroken four year-old, having imported her from the Netherlands herself. In their time together Veronika has had two children and Pettie has had four of her own, so they have become mothers together and have a very special bond.
Veronika and Pettie enjoy everything from sponsored rides, galloping along the beach and competing in unaffiliated dressage competitions, together.
Olbert, or Olly, is Pettie’s second foal and Veronika’s homebred pride and joy. He is rising five and SUCH a character. He is a very clever chap is currently excelling at affiliated dressage. However, Veronika tells me that Olly would much rather have been born a dog, so that he could sit on your lap to be petted.
Unfortunately, Veronika is finding it difficult to keep, train and compete two horses, as well as finding time for her young family and may be facing the sad decision of putting Olbert up for sale.
But she and Pettie plan to continue enjoying life together, hacking around the beautiful Epping forest and indulging in a spot of riding club dressage.
Thank you so much for having us, Veronika. I absolutely love your gorgeous horses and had so much fun meeting you all, despite the cold, grey weather.