To say I was thrilled when Andria reached out to me to photograph her and her horse, Nugget, is almost an understatement. Maybe it's a "chick thing" (according to my husband!), maybe it's because being a horse lover is in my blood, but mostly I think it's because of the touching story of how Andria and Nugget's bond formed. They've worked through their fears together and learned to completely trust each other. Fact about breaking in a horse: When running a horse in a small pen or round pen, when you turn your back to the horse, if it walks up behind you and is licking its lips, it means the horse has accepted you as the lead horse and wants to become a part of your herd. The have learned that you are a loyal and trustworthy leader. Horses are fascinating creatures; intuitive, compassionate, intelligent creatures. I went on a trail ride with Andria before we started shooting so Nugget could get familiar with me and I could hear all about his story.
- From Andria:
"When I started working and earning money for myself, my goal was to one day buy a horse of my own. So, when the time was right, I started looking. While browsing the internet I came across an ad on Craigslist that sounded too good to be true. I had to check it out! It was an ad for horse boarding in Chapin. When I went to visit the barn, I instantly fell in love with the location, the people and the feel! I knew at that moment this was a place I wanted to belong to. The only problem was I didn't have a horse yet. Mrs. Sandy (the owner) knew that I was looking to buy a horse and offered to let me borrow one of hers until I was fully ready to buy a horse of my own. She told me to come out to the barn and "test drive" some horses. This was the day I met my handsome man! The first horse she offered to let me try was Nugget. At the time, he was skinny, small and didn't look happy. I moved on to another horse but as we were walking away from Nugget, something told me to give him another chance. I saddled him up and Mrs. Sandy and I went for a trail ride. I've always loved to run in a horse, so I had to see what Nugget could do. I felt like he knew in that very moment it was now or never to show me what he was made of. Every day after that I would go to the barn after work and spend time with him. It was during those days together that I knew he was the horse for me. I learned that he came from a rough past and that only made me love him more because I, too, had a rough past. As the months went by, our trust for each other grew stronger and stronger. I knew in those months spent with him I wasn't just buying a horse, I was earning a best friend. The bond I share with my horse wasn't just given, it was earned. There were countless days that we both had to give in and trust each other, but it made us truly become one."
"I believe there is no secret so close as that between a horse and his rider."