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23 March 2011

Poor Louie

Horses.  They are big strong creatures.  Yet so fragile.  Here one moment, and gone the next.  What's that saying?  Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today?  And just leaping in and going for something because you mightn't get another opportunity?

Well, here's to Louie.  I took these images of him last May, purely because he took my eye.  I was photographing for someone else that day, then in came this wonderful looking horse so the camera came up pretty quickly.  My good friend Angela had taken him on 6 weeks ago, under a very informal lease, as his lovely owner wanted him ridden by someone good and to have a nice life living out of a paddock again, instead of being cooped up in the yard he'd been in at the Hayshed.  Angela, for those who are familiar with me and my work, is my wonderful assistant, who travels with me on stallion photoshoots.  Her knowledge of horses and horse management is vast, and she's an invaluable asset on shoots.  She's also a fine rider in her own right, and a great instructor.  So Louie was in the safest of hands and she had great plans for him on the dressage circuit as her high level horse.

Yet she came home last Thursday to find the horse standing with his head dropped and his ears out, looking miserable but able to move.  He ate up, and at first she suspected mild colic, because the horse was clearly uncomfortable but not looking stricken.  She called the vet and arranged for him to come out.  However it soon became apparent that the horse was in real trouble.  There was  a sinister looking graze behind the poll, and his neck was beginning to bulge and swell, and knowing horses, her heart was beginning to sink as it became clearer what the problem was.  He was beginning to collapse and lose his balance, and not eating anymore, and he couldn't turn his head to look at her.  The vet came and diagnosed a broken neck, I can't remember what vertebrae it was though.  They had to put him down on the spot. 

Suffice it to say that Freelance got tucked into bed tonight with a warm rug to guard against the cold wind and cooler temperature tonight, along with a hug and a kiss, and a whisper into her ear to take it easy in the paddock and to not play funny buggers and do something stupid........

Poor Louie.  Photographed 12 May 2010, just because he was lovely and took my eye.

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