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  • Caroline Nijs

Tears and joy


horse photography close up of horse head
Callisto

Thank you session


While doing the photo session with Khol, the unexpected assistant got to see how I worked.


And when one of their "barn babes" had to take the difficult decision to put her horse to sleep, Nan figured it would be a nice gesture to gift her friend Ann a photo session with me.


Celebrate the life of heart horse Callisto


Ann told me she wanted to make it into a celebration of life, she wanted, above all, to enjoy her last days with Callisto. And she also wanted to share her love of horses with the next generation.

Ann and Callisto had brought joy into the life of two little girls over the past few months. So she felt that it would be a beautiful thing to also document this shared joy.


For me, it was a new experience as I had never done a session with such small children before. But the focus was the shared happiness of spending time with horses, and that is one of the most important reasons why I am a photographer.


Who your horse is matters to a good horse photographer: meet Callisto


Ann told me Callisto was an intelligent but challenging mare, with very outspoken opinions. But surprisingly patient with small children. Callisto had been with Ann since she was a little over three months old and together they overcame many challenges. They also excelled in dressage and earned many ribbons together. They did a pas de deux with a friend and she had many fun stories about their training sessions together.


An emotional session


The first part of the photo session was just Ann and Callisto, later joined by her husband and a few friends.

The second part was with Callisto and her little friends. The girls got to groom Callisto. They all clearly enjoyed the experience, their little faces serious while their tiny hands held the too big brushes but they were determined to get those tangles out of the tail. All the while Callisto, the horse that had her opinions known quite readily to adults, quietly and patiently let it all happen. When the tail was declared tangle-free, the girls had their pony rides. Again, Callisto was the perfect partner for these tiny humans.

And after all that hard work, Callisto was rewarded with carrots, pears, and apples!


It was a truly emotional day, full of sad joy. I was happy and honored to be there to capture this special day.


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horse photography horse neck with manes on black background and in black and white

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horse photography of woman and little girl walking away


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