Photography Friday: Alex and Bo

As you know, I did a couple photo shoots last weekend for a couple dear friends of mine. The second of these was for my BFF (going to pretend like I’m not too old to say that), Alex. Alex and I have been buds for forever, even before she acquired Bo, the four legged love of her life. Bo is a 15 year old Appendix gelding with a personality goofy enough to match that of Alex’s. The understanding these two have for each other is inspiring and hilarious to witness- they are the perfect compliment of each other.

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In the last few years, Alex has transitioned from Hunter-Jumper princess to the dark side eventing, and asked me to photograph Bo now that he is at the peak of fitness. Mere days after capturing these images, Alex felt there was something not-quite-right with Bo, even though he was, even to vet-trained eyes, sound. But from insistence from her, ultrasounds showed the mineralization of an old tendon injury. It’s still unclear how things will continue, but I’m all the more grateful that we were able to take these photos before that news. It all goes to show that horses are such fragile animals for all their size, and every moment we have with them is precious.

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Bo marveled at my umbrella holding/camera shooting skills

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As you can see, it was actually raining pretty hard- thank goodness for these beautiful crape myrtle trees!

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fb_DSC4781Have a great weekend!

 

Photography Friday: The story of Baron

 

Alright, y’all. This is a photo shoot that has been on my mind and heart for a very long time before we ever picked up the camera.

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Here’s why…

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I met Ali and Baron when I bought Foster, as fellow boarders at the beautiful old barn I left not too long ago. Ali, an adult amateur like me, was bringing up a young horse with the intention to event. Enter Baron- a fiesty little 15.1 hh former racehorse whose sweet disposition and occasional exuberance made for an exceptional event horse in the making.

fb_DSC4039Ali and Baron have joined Foster and I on almost all of our adventures, and so I’ve watched them grow together. I saw them jump their first roll top, that first 3′ fence (both of these accompanied by exclamations from Ali that I can’t list here- did I mention his exuberance?), watched them master lead changes and find success in the dressage ring. Ali and Baron are a great pair, and it’s been joyful watching them progress so much in just a few years.

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Fast forward to last April. I was riding a train through Scotland on my honeymoon, and I was reading an email from Ali about a bump that had formed on Baron’s face. We thought many things- maybe he had been kicked, maybe he had a tooth issue, but eventually the worst was thought; maybe he had cancer. A trip to NC State’s veterinary school confirmed that Baron had Plasma Cell Myeloma, a cancer that has only been diagnosed in 12 horses before. Heartbroken is the only word fit to describe that day.

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Still, more than a year later, Baron has been mostly unaware of the sickness. He still does daily gallops around the field, begs for attention, and continues his normal antics. Ali was able to continue riding him for some time, until soreness in the sternum prevented him from being girthed and saddled. Now Baron is retired, enjoying his days steeped in peppermints and affection. We know those days are limited, but for now, he is happy, and that is enough.

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I did this photo shoot with Ali and Baron, for two reasons. One is simply because I owe her so much- she has become a wonderful friend and I will never be able to pay her back for the generosity she has shown me over the years. The second reason, is that this horse deserves a moment to be celebrated, for all he has done and simply because he is a beautiful animal, and that is always to be celebrated.

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With these photos, I attempted to capture some of the heart of Baron and the relationship he has with his owner, who is a brave, brave woman and so fully deserving of having these moments to keep with her forever.

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