Deluxe Session ~ Mickey the horse in Samford

I’ve been a horse lover my whole life – from begging my parents for a pony when I was a kid (I was even going to settle for a donkey at one stage) to finally getting my very own ex-racing Thoroughbred in my 20’s. I’m currently horse-less, so when I get an opportunity to hang out for an afternoon and combine my love of horses and photography, it’s like heaven to me!

I’d previously photographed Kristy’s dog Ruby to assess her suitability for my commercial model database – she passed with flying colours of course. Lucky for me, Kristy saw the value in the experience and organised a shoot with her special boy Mickey as well. It was a long time in the planning stages, as Kristy was waiting until he had recovered from an injury and was back in work so he looked his absolute best. For a 23 year old horse, he looks so much younger and even a year later continues to look amazing, earning the nickname “Benjamin Button”!

Here’s what Kristy has to say about her special boy:

“Mickey isn’t just a horse, he has been my best friend for the past 12 years. He is loving, gentle and cheeky, he wants to be involved in whatever I’m doing, whether it’s sticking his head through the car window to say hello, trying to open the grooming box to get his treats, drinking out of the hose or wanting to share my food when we have a picnic.

“He will bow with my assistance and lets Ruby sit on his back. He enjoys getting out and about whether it’s to a competition where he loves to show off or for a play on the beach. Mickey and Ruby have a special bond, she runs through his legs and jumps up to kiss his nose, and when I’m cooling Mickey down Ruby runs in front and he speeds up to bunt her with his nose, then she turns around, jumps up and kisses him.”

Mickey is agisted in Samford in north west Brisbane on a beautiful horse property. We had access to a couple of different paddocks and spent the afternoon chasing him around, being chased, trying to keep Ruby out of the dam (um, not going to happen) and wandering around seeking the best light.

You wouldn’t believe it looking at the final images, but the biggest challenge was actually trying to get Mickey’s ears forward! He’s the kind guy who is generally pretty laid-back and usually has his ears quite relaxed. He only flicks them forwards for a fraction of a second at a time, so I had to be super quick and ready to take the shot or I’d miss the crucial moment!


Ruby loves coming out to see Mickey, and they had fun chasing each other around the paddock, with Mickey display that distinctive Crabbet Arabian neck arch and tail held high.


Being such large creatures (especially compared to my usual subject matter of dogs) it’s really fun to play around with some detail shots, isolating and highlighting different parts of their bodies.


Get those ears forward Mickey!


Micky and Ruby had been practicing a very special trick just for the photo session, and here it is!


A couple of favourites from the session. The second one my absolute favourite!


We were doing all manner of things behind the scenes to get Mickey interested and alert – involving plastic bags on sticks, waving branches around, running back and forth and generally acting like idiots. It was all totally worth it though.


More detail shots. Those whiskers!


I just love this image of Mickey in action, all four legs off the ground.


Racing up the fence line, hotly pursued by Ruby!


As the sun dipped closer to the horizon, we wrapped up the crazy shenanigans and headed over to a different area to capture the relationship between Mickey and his mum Kristy.


This is my favourite shot of them together.


This one is a verrrry close second! I love how Mickey’s eyes are closed and how relaxed he looks.


Right as the sun was setting, time to play with some sun flare and a few more detail shots.


Before a final silhouette shot of Mickey against the sky.


Kristy had this to say about her session:

Charlotte is an exceptional photographer with a great eye for creating amazing photos. I am absolutely thrilled with my photo album of Mickey, it is so much better than I thought it would be especially since he did not want to put his ears forward easily. I love the way Charlotte captured the special bond between Mickey and myself, as well as Mickey and Ruby.

Kristy also organised for a local artist to use the photos taken of Mickey as reference for a painting. She sent me through photos today and I just had to share, how amazingly did it turn out! The painting was done by artist Maree Davidson – make sure you check out her amazing work and like her Facebook page too.