The Story of the New Forest Ponies and Me…
Facebook reminded me today about a shoot that I can remember all too clearly, and I think you may enjoy hearing about it.
‘Twas a chilly February day and I was awoken by my alarm at 3:30 to be picked up and taken to Babington House for a photoshoot for the Mail.
We started out with shots mercifully close to the hotel so I could run back in and warm up for a few minutes every now and then, but for the second shoot we were to head out to the New Forest for some wild ‘n’ windy pics of me wrapped up in sensible knitwear.
The stylist stated that, “We’ll be getting a shot of you stroking some New Forest ponies too, it’ll be lovely.”
Now I’m not sure if you’re aware, but New Forest ponies are wild and, I’m pretty sure, protected. I certainly know the wild part, because when I was about 14 I went to stroke one, thinking we had a bond, and it turned around and kicked me in the fanny. It hurt.
However it’s not my place to question why, so I sagely nodded and got back to my double espresso and hugged my hot water bottle closer, enjoying the heat while I still could.
Out we went to the New Forest, at around midday, on a hunt for wild ponies to do a photoshoot with. Of course, the area is pretty big and, it being winter, the ponies were huddled somewhere ungettable. But wait! Over in the distance were two diminutive beasts, huddled together for warmth.
“Over there!” Cried the stylist, and we heaved ourselves over, carrying the general accoutrements of a photoshoot – enormous lighting, make up bags, various shoes, blankets, suitcases…It was muddy. Like, The Bog of Eternal Stench muddy. And, of course, I was in heels.
Every time we made it across a field towards the ponies, they just skittered off further. Onwards we trudged.
Eventually the smell of the carrots proved too sweet for the ponies, and they stood still. I gingerly concealed a carrot behind my poncho and smiled near the horses, praying for the safe passage of my fanny from their hooves. Of course, every time the ENORMOUS FLASH went off the ponies started, so we chased them, and even though I knew we had the shot of course it went on for that *bit* too long.
“Please. Get the shot before I die,” I dramatically thought to myself* as I smiled and laughed for the camera.
But we got the shot. The horses survived. I survived. My fanny survived. The client was happy. We got a huge lunch.
I have to say, modelling has taught me: if it’s impossible, but you have enough gung-ho…You’ll somehow make it happen.
*And so has every model at least once during her career