Every single shoot I have I get nervous. Saturday was filled with excitement and nerves as I thought about my session with Whitney and Jake. I was driving to a city I've never been to before, meeting completely new people and horses, and I was using new gear. My nerves finally subsided until I messed up my directions and ended up being late to our session together. As I pulled up to Stohfus Stock Farm, I was kicking myself for messing up the directions, for being so late, and questioning whether or not it was the right place. I entered the barn door and Whitney and Jen welcomed me. I felt a sense of relief, realizing just how laid back and outgoing both of these ladies are.
Whitney had contacted me about my model call in the Twin Cities area, and left me a message with Jake's history. Initially, I was overwhelmed since she was the only one who filled me in about Jake and why a photoshoot with him in the winter would mean so much. As I continued to reach out to others who had expressed interest in my model call, I realized just how much I appreciated hearing about Jake. He had a show career in AQHA before being sold. His new owner eventually stopped paying board on Jake and never came back for him. After a lesson on Jake, Whitney fell in love with his gentle disposition and wanted to have him as her own. The boarding facility Jake was at locked him in a small paddock with hardly any hay after his owner disappeared. Three long months later, Whitney was able to call Jake her own and take him to a facility she trusted. His body score was a two* and was worn down. He has come a long ways from that winter two years ago, and now he's a happy and healthy guy.
After riding on Jake when we were done with our session, I understand how Whitney fell in love with Jake right away.
"The only thing I can say is he is special. He is the definition of my heart horse and he will always have a forever home with me. He has proven to be the 'go to' horse at my barn for kids and people who lack confidence. He is your typical sorrel horse, he's not a horse with flashy colors - just a horse with big heart. Anyone who gets around him just feels his energy. He is just simply one of a kind."
*Horses are scored in numerical value based on the amount of fat they have on their body. 1 is extremely emaciated, whereas 9 is extremely fat.