Posted by: Admin | May 15, 2012

Don’t Scare the Horses, but…

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my job? 😉 But it ain’t always easy. Take yesterday. Off I go to capture another 50 Facing 50 volunteer. Kit ready, break in the rain, shoulder holding up. So far so good. Find the village, then the house, no problem, arrive on time.

Yvonne is lovely: kettle on, dressed ready for the shoot, raring to go. So we shoot a couple of quick portraits, talk about what we were aiming for and head off to the paddock. Yep – the paddock. Did I mention I’m scared of horses?

To be honest, I’d all but forgotten myself – it’s been a while since I tried to ride one. That occasion led to me having to be lifted from the back by a young man with well-developed biceps because my hips froze into “astride” position and I couldn’t swing a leg over to dismount. But I digress…

Striding into the field after Yvonne to meet Andy and his two grazing companions, a little voice says in the back of my head: “Blimey, they’re a bit bloody BIG! They’ve spotted me… they’re coming towards me… they’re ALL coming towards me… now they’re trotting…. SH*T!!!!!!!!! What do I do now?”

“Are you nervous of horses?” asks my host as she catches sight of my face. “A little bit,” says a small, strangled voice that seems to be coming from my throat. “Just stand still – they’re coming to say hello.”

I’d rather they didn’t, to be honest – I’d be happy with a polite nod from across the way, but I can hardly outrun them, can I? Especially not with a camera and lens bag slung across my shoulders. I man up, let them snort and sniff around me and try to pat one nonchalantly on the nose. It nips me. Is that a precursor to trampling? Or eating? I turn my attention to Yvonne, who is trying to persuade Andy away from the sweet new grass. I’ve decided to use a long lens, (surprise, surprise!) which Andy suddenly finds fascinating, so he trots up to have a closer look…

Andy… and that wink…

I start to relax a little once we move into the paddock away from the other horses. I have a shot in mind that I’d really like to capture, but apart from that, I go with the flow, forget my fear and roll happily around in the fresh, wet sheep droppings… Ok, that’s a lie. I kneel in it and grimace, roll in it and squeal like a little girl and eye the sheep (who have ridiculously long, curly, pointy-tipped horns) with distrust.

Andy is a character, though, and I have to confess I rather like him by the time we’ve finished. I swear he even winks at me once, but that could just be the relief of having survived the shoot…

I’m a country girl until it comes to non-human living things. Then I turn into a city girl complete with metaphorical inappropriate footwear. Loved the shoot though. And if you ever need an equine photographer… I can put you in touch with a couple of experts! 😉


Yvonne and Andy’s shoot will be featured on the Photography blog in the next few weeks, followed by Yvonne’s interview here



  1. Lovely images Jo!

  2. I love it – I could hear and feel your fear. They are big and as my partner says of horses “they are dangerous at each corner and uncomfotable in the middle!” However I love them!
    You will not have that trouble with the quad bike Jo, or maybe we should fire up a smoker and show you what we do at Smoky Jo’s!

  3. They may be bloody BIG animals that scare the bejeebies out of you…but you did a lovely job of taking photos of them 🙂

  4. Case of “feel the fear and do it anyway!” lol. Thanks for your comments 😉

  5. Lovely pics, I did suggest a photo shoot with horses when we meet soon but after what I have just heard about your fear I will think again! My other passion is scuba diving, how are you under water…………..ha!

    • !!!! What is WRONG with you people… lol

  6. Jo, you are so funny ( and such a weed)!!! Love you sis xxxxxxxxxxx

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