Brittany and I go way back. I am talking like 15 years back. I first met her at my mom’s farm out in Cedar Creek NC during her first riding lesson. To be honest, we did NOT get along at first. I thought she was a spoiled city girl who like most girls who came out, didn’t want to do any of the work that came with horse back riding. She thought I was a 8 year old know it all. It usually consisted of us not speaking to each other, and lots and lots of eye rolls. Hahaha!
One day one of our miniature ponies got very sick. She volunteered to come out to the barn and help take care of her through the cold winter night. We both realized that we both have something in common, that we loved horses and would do anything to be around them. After that we were inseparable!
After a couple of months (maybe even a year or two) Brittany’s grandparents bought her this pretty paint gelding. She named him Spirit and boy was that an understatement. Spirit was one of the most spirited horses I had ever seen. We both got dumped by him a few times. Hahaha but we definitely grew as equestrians because of him!
A few years later, my family had to move to Washington state and Brittany moved her horse to another barn. At that point we were like sisters, and she visited me in WA several times. Fast forward to March 2014. I had just moved back to North Carolina and Brittany and I reconnected. It was like old times for sure! When I started my equine photography business, she was the first person I thought of for an epic equine portrait session. I drove up to Raleigh to see a team I hadn’t seen together in over 10 years.
And man was I shocked! Brittany and Spirit went from being this awkward pair, always frustrated with each other to being this team so deeply connected with each other.
Brittany could work around him with ease, and Spirit was totally comfortable and trusted Brittany with anything she asked him to do. She even taught him to hug her!
It was amazing to see how much Brittany grew as a horsewoman and how confident she was around him.
It was amazing to see how calm and collected he was. She was able to ride him bareback in the middle of the woods. I couldn’t believe this was the same horse!
Brittany and Spirit were so in tune with each other. I knew that they had something so special and I was honored to be able to photograph it!
I even got to take Spirit for a spin myself! We cantered down a dirt road bareback. I couldn’t believe it!
It was amazing connecting with old friends and seeing how we have all grown. It was so wonderful seeing a horse and rider relationship like Brittany’s and Spirit’s blossom into what it is today.
Spirit is Brittany’s once in a lifetime horse. He was there through middle and high school, carrying all her heartbreaks and troubles. He followed her as she moved to Raleigh and the two got closer each day. They have been there for each other for so long, and I honestly cannot think of one without thinking of the other.