Monthly Archives: November 2010
Meet David Evan, owner of a whole herd of beautiful Welsh Cobs on the Gower peninsula, South Wales. David runs Coednewydd Stud Farm and is married to the wonderful Nancy. Between the two of them and their wonderful stallion Houdini, we managed to keep warm racing around the paddocks on the first day of true winter in England. Well, at least it was a good warning of how cold can affect the ability to take a photograph – not that I’m searching for excuses, but it has most certainly raised concerns about the Eastern Asian leg of our trip in January.
What a shame David and Nancy will not be there to provide tea and cake and a warm stove…If you like Welsh Cobs – this stud is well worth a visit, even if you just want to cuddle one of their 20+ head of fluffy, inquisitive little foals. Check out Robin below falling in love.
|Welsh D colt|
|“Pick me, pick me!”|
Today I woke up and did not want to move. I slept through my alarm clock (unheard of) and was no sooner in the car than I wished we were already on our way home again. Sheer dread at the both volume of shoots I still have unedited and a rapidly approaching deadline plus departure date, leaves me shivering.
|Robin – making acquaintances|
With my newly imported (USA) fellow photographer friend Robin in tow, there was no turning back. Every field, tree, pheasant, sun ray was a novelty to her tourist-eyes and it’s such an energiser for me, especially when it’s foggy, raining, windy and dull. Perfect day for a shoot. For Robin, every day is a perfect day – she’s an inspiration and is accompanying me on the next few months of travel…carrying out something of a behind-the-scenes-making-of-the-book type documentation. More, on that, will follow.
Today we cuddled Caspians. Full of character and nerve, these sturdy yet dainty beings were remedy to my mood. Each horse peered over its stable door with ease, and upon further inspection I discovered that they all used their upturned buckets to stand on so they could see out properly without too much neck strain. It was hilarious and extremely resourceful. Such little horses, but such big hearts. If we hadn’t had so much kit in the van we would most certainly have brought one home….
Now sitting in a lovely country pub, very much welly-clad and dirty, but happy to be able to tick another breed off the list… downloading with a very ritualistic glass of red wine.
|The Hunter, Appaloosa stallion and world champ. Sheeny shiny!|
I’d envisioned a wonderfully relaxing, indulgent last day in the Floridian sunshine. Things never go according to plan. But it was a good send off. Four striking stallions danced for me, and when all was said and done, it was still only 10am. Play day commences. Next came breakfast, then a drive out to Fort Desoto for some activities. Biking and rollerblading. My first attempt at the latter lasted about 2 minutes, by which time I had concussion, whiplash and a desire to get on a horse. Much safer. So biking was the next best option, as beach was out. WINDY and on the edge of coldness. Wrong. The Gulf of Mexico looked like a stormy British coastline. We nearly blew off the pontoon as we hooned along it, scaring most of the fisherman we had to swerve to miss.
Ice-cream, coffee, book reading in the sunshine. And that’s it….time to go. Farewell to my friends. I am overwhelmed right now, with feelings of gratitude, nostalgia, excitement and pure delight that I’ve managed to get what I have got done. A certain amount of pride lurks too, it’s really quite incredible what I’ve had to achieve, where I’ve had to go, the places I have visited and located in the middle of rolling hills and winding lanes, ranches, farms, big and small, towns, cities, mountains. Dusty, dirty, exhausted and satisfied I now leave the USA and venture onwards, over one pond for now…but this time in a month I shall be leaving Dubai, India bound. Something kinda crazy.
I long for the day I get to sit back, glass of wine in hand, and flick quietly through the pages of The Majesty of the Horse. Tamsin I KNOW is writing some powerful stuff, and once her words are married with my images, I know it will be quite a read.
|On the road to this morning’s shoot…somewhere near St Pete, Florida|
|At the airport. Final point of call, where I write this blog…and now rush to board the plane, London-bound.|
Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3……. I love this guy. Robert Clark, wonderful equine artist, helps me get warmed up for the shoot. Ha ha ha, I haven’t laughed this much in a long time!
|The beautiful Mr Besilu before his shoot this morning. Wakey, wakey!|
Glad to know he was excited as I was to get up for the shoot today! If it wasn’t for the thick blanket of clouds above, the stars would still have been out. But this guy was still pushing out zzz’s when I reached him. Lucky, lucky boy. And his stall is bigger than my bedroom. I want to live in a stable (on this farm, anyway).
2 days left in Florida…am I really going back to England or do I live here now?
|Barbie in amongst setting sun and Spanish moss|
|Ali and I|
I did it, I found the long awaited and much talked about Pony of the Americas. It has been one of the more serious challenges to date, but I found them and their wonderful owners, in a beautiful place called Astatula near Disney World, Florida. Kinda like my name, so I automatically liked it. Shallow. I obviously liked it enormously because something was trying to tell me to stay – keys locked in cars are not a good idea though. Really not. Hire car, deadlines, strange country, strange town, no money, no jacket, no mosquito spray, no phone…..I think I learned my lesson and through doing so have made some very good new friends! Every cloud has a silver lining.
So today certainly has been an adventure. I had contemplated swinging past Disney World to say hello to Minnie and Mickey, but I have realised that I don’t need such extravagances to get my kicks. Clambering over hay bales chasing spotty ponies with my camera is undoubtedly entertainment enough.