A friend of a friend contacted me asking to commission me to come and photograph her 15 year old daughter Millie, and her new horses at their yard in Hertfordshire. To create some memories of her and her passion for riding, and the start of her adventure into dressage with these beautiful horses.
I myself grew up riding and got my first pony when I was 11 with my best friend and it was our life. We spent our afternoons after school mucking out, grooming and riding, and the weekends and holidays we lived and breathed our pony and the yard was our second home. I then moved to South Africa and had to leave my best friend and my beloved pony which was heart wrenching but soon found a yard in South Africa where I helped with all the horses and broke in a couple of crazy Arab crosses, which now puts the fear of god in me, but i loved it and wouldn't have wanted to be doing anything else. When I moved back to England at the age of 16 it took a while to settle back in and my love for horses and riding was pushed to the side whilst i started my new school, took my GCSE's, built new friendships and rebuilt old ones . I then at 17 started college in London to do my A'Levels, and met my husband, and was a little more settled again. I bought a beautiful Chestnut Arab x Welsh pony called William who at the time was unbroken and I was looking forward to the challenge again. It was a chaotic journey with lots of near misses but i loved and adore him and the adventures we shared. That period soon came to an end when i finished college, decided University wasn't the route I was going to go down and I got out into the big world of working to gain work experience and start making money and paying for my pony. It was tough, and I struggled with the work, a scatty half broken pony and juggling my work and love life! So I made the painful decision to sell my beautiful pony and put riding on a back burner until the future, and apart from briefly loaning a pony for my children when they were 2.5 and 4.5 (what was i thinking) and the odd hack, I haven't lived and breathed horses like I once did for some years, but i miss it terribly. It is definitely something that's in your heart and blood. Motherhood, several house re-furbs/house moves and building a business whilst being a full time mummy has taken priority but I'm hoping that in the near future I get to re live my love for horses and share the experiences I had as a child/teenagers with my own children now life is a little more settled again.
Anyway back to Millie! Millie who is only 15 has been riding competitively with her horses for around 5 years now and 2 of those years have been full on dress. He pony Rolo started her off until she was ready for horses last year. She got her three horses, Isabelle and Jazz (pictured) in March of 2016 and kept them in Southern Spain for training with regular visits from Millie and her family, until April this year when they came over to England! Millie says that having them at home with her has widened their bonds even further, which I'm sure you can all see we have captured in these beautiful photos. He confidence and strength handling these two enormous and powerful animals is amazing! Isabelle, Millie's main horse iIsabelle s currently getting ready for competition at Junior level, and Jazz her 6 year old Stallion is working very hard with Millie in training to in the near future compete also.
Millie it was a pleasure to photograph you and your horses and wish you every bit of luck in your future with them.
x Sophie x
CLOTHING/BRANDS WORN IN THE SHOOT: