Introducing Sam, my horse of a lifetime

Updated: 6 days ago

In my blog posts, I spend a lot of time speaking about my lovely clients and their animals, so I thought it's about time I dedicated a blog post to my own horse Sam - or if we're going by his fancy name: Zephestion!


Sam is a Dutch Warmblood gelding, born in 2004. Which makes him 17-years old this year. My mum and I bought Sam as a 3-year-old stallion, with the plan was to break him in and then sell him on. Well, it's safe to say that my cunning plan didn't quite work out... I fell in love with his kind eyes and gentle nature as soon as I saw him for the very first time. This is Sam as a baby stallion arriving at our yard in the Netherlands. (In case you are wondering, yes, that's me in the background.)


For those of you interested in breeding, Sam is by Metall (Ferro x Ramiro Z) x Bentley x Ulft.

We've already established that Sam stayed with me and didn't get sold. As a 4-year old I started competing him and in his first outdoor season, he managed to win the regional championship in his class. That success continued through the levels and before we moved to Scotland we were competing at the

Dutch equivalent of advanced medium dressage. Sam loved competing, always gave it his all and has an impressive collection of ribbons to show for.

He now lives a very different lifestyle - changed days from the pampered dressage horse to a hairy happy hacker who loves living out 24/7.


This is one of my all-time favourite photos of Sam and me. Taken by my friend and mentor Janie Barclay a few months after our wedding. This photo featured in a magazine and sums Sam up perfectly - a fun-loving, cheeky, mostly sensible horse, who loves a good gallop and buck around stubble fields.

The next few photos are of Sam's career as a dressage horse, as well as photos of us taken by other professional photographers.

And these are photos that I have taken of Sam over the years, he's definitely got what we photographers call 'photographers child syndrome'... He's not very interested in having his photo taken at all, but with assistance and bribery, he can be convinced to stand and smile for a minute.

Bloopers and outtakes... This is what happens when I attempt to photograph Sam on my own - personal space? What's that...

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favourite photos of my own and very special boy Sam.


If you'd like to know more about my equine photo sessions, head over to my website, or ping me a message. I'd love to hear all about you and your horse.


Lots of love

Iska xx


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Iska Birnie

Multitasking Ninja and Award-Winning Photographer

Tel 07807 776016

hello@iskabirniephotography.co.uk

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