On Thursday, I had a very special shoot, with a very inspirational lady and her two gorgeous girlies.
Honestly, it’s difficult to write this as I don’t want to sound patronising, but Zoe is incredible. As you can see from the photographs, Zoe is confined to a wheelchair, but it’s very easy to forget about that, after just five minutes in her company. Not only is her driving waaay better than mine, she’s super positive, smiley and full of contagious energy.
Zoe wanted photos with her two chestnut mares, Polly and Bea. Polly is twenty-six, not getting any younger and both ponies have some health complications, so Zoe felt she wanted to capture some memories of both of them whilst they were looking happy and healthy. It’s worth mentioning that Zoe is also a photographer herself (ZLT Photography), so it was an honour to be invited to work with her.
Zoe has owned Welsh Section D, Polly, for eight and a half years. They have done little bits of schooling and hacking here and there and Zoe has even ridden Polly in her side-saddle. Zoe says, “I always say she is like my physio and therapist in one. Ten minutes on a horse is the equivalent to half an hours physio. And therapy wise, when I was younger and my PTSD was at its worst, there were many days that the only reason I would get out of the house was to see her.” So Polly is a pretty special girl.
She has been retired for two years now and was diagnosed with PPID in 2013 and laminitis in 2014. Zoe manages her carefully due to both of these conditions. But her latest ailment is ‘sleep deprivation’, caused by an arthritc hind leg. Her arthritis makes it difficult to lie down, meaning that she sometimes sleep crashes, whilst standing. However, all her issues aside, Polly is perfectly happy, full of beans and happy to drag Zoe to the nearest patch of grass!
“We arent certain how much longer we have with this gorgeous lady, but she owes me absolutely nothing.”
Next we had little Bea, who is just the most adorable little girl. Bea is a six year old Dartmoor Hill pony and has been with Zoe for five years. Zoe purchased her from a good friend who had got her straight off of Dartmoor.
Bea is a little untrusting and has a sizeable attitude, to make up for what she lacks in height. However, che clearly absolutely dotes on Zoe, showering her with cuddles and kisses as soon as she can get close enough.
Bea was backed last year but due to an ongoing hind lameness issue, she has been retired for the time being. Zoe says that she can’t be sure what the future holds for Bea, as whilst she is happy in the summer, sadly the colder months really affect her and make her quite an unhappy little pony. However, Zoe is remaining optimistic and she and her vets are currently investigating the lameness further, in a hope to find a solution that will give Bea the long, pain-free life she deserves.
Thank you so much to Zoe, her mum Mandy and of course, Polly and Bea, for such a lovely morning. Truly Zoe, you are an amazing person, with an infectious personality and I am in awe of your strength! Thank you so much for having me.
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