Last August we had a call from Helen, whom we’ve known for years through Cotswold RDA, asking if she could buy a Gift Voucher for an Equine shoot for her lovely daughter Lois as a birthday gift. Lois’ beloved horse, Dave, who has a part time job as an RDA pony, had been poorly for some months, and his prognosis was uncertain, so Helen wanted us to create some lovely, fun, memories of Lois and Dave together, just in case.
We arranged the gift for Lois, and checked diaries for a date soon to spend an evening with Lois, Helen and Dave the horse, where he is kept in Cheltenham.
I asked Lois to share more about Dave, her ‘story’ with him, and her experience of the photoshoot, here is what she said:
“I met Dave through Cotswold RDA in 2013 and fell in love with him instantly. It really was love at first sight! Three years later I was in a position to buy him and I now loan him back to the RDA, having him home in the school holidays, which works brilliantly!
Dave is a 15hh Irish Cob X and he is 13 years old. I call him my goofball because he is a complete dope – goofy, clumsy but completely loveable and wouldn’t intentionally hurt a fly (although his big feet have hurt mine a few times!).”
“I’d had a tough first half of the year, as Dave had an ‘injury’ which took multiple tests, a couple of MRI scans and an operation to discover what was wrong. At one point we thought we might lose him depending on the outcome of the second MRI, and even when we found out it was a thrombosis in his hoof, we weren’t sure what his long-term prognosis would be.”
My family had previously done a photoshoot with Jo with our old dog, so we had a good idea of how it would go – although it’s different with a horse and multiple outfit changes!
Jo was great in giving me advice and guidance before the shoot in terms of clothing choices and the format of the shoot. We discussed ideas about photo styles, positioning in the field, taking him up the lane, etc. which meant we were able to get a great variety of shots.
The shoot itelf was brilliant. Both Jo and Nic were so helpful in guiding me and Dave to the best shots, especially when they brought out the ‘carrot stick’ to get Dave to bend his neck! We picked the perfect day weather-wise and the late afternoon/early evening sun was great for capturing some beautiful shots.
I think my favourite moment was when Dave managed to get a massive mouthful of grass – it completely sums him up, as his life revolves around food, and it created an hilarious photo!
My favourite photo of the two of us is in the lane with me in my red coat. Although it was a summer shoot, we thought the darker lane would work well with more of an autumn feel for a few shots. Dave looks so handsome and Jo managed to get him looking really alert by playing horse noises on her phone!
I also love the photo just of Dave in the shelter – he looks amazing!
I would 100% recommend an equine photoshoot with Jo and Nic. They work really well together as a team to create the best possible shots, and they’ve managed to capture some beautiful memories that I will always look back at with a smile. The whole experience from preparing for the shoot to viewing the finished photos was fab.
Thankfully, Dave is recovered and is still here today, and now I’ll have the beautiful photos to cherish forever!”
Thank you Lois for sharing your wonderful story with Dave, we loved your shoot ! If you’d like to find out more about the great work horses like Dave at Cotswold RDA, their website is here
Lois is also children’s book author working on a new series of books, where the stories are based on Dave! If you’d like to find out more about Dave’s adventures, check out Lois’ website here