Yesterday I had the most amazing opportunity to photograph Victoria Smith horse whisperer working with some beautiful horses

Sunday nights for me are always a time to relax and get ready for the week ahead, and watching Countryfile has become part of the ritual. A few weeks ago they featured Victoria Smith working on breaking a beautiful Fell pony called Elijah so that he could be ridden.

I’ve always been a horse lover and growing up I was a massive fan of Monty Roberts – an American horse trainer who used natural techniques and a message of nonviolence. I still am a huge fan of his and never get tired of watching how he calmly and patiently works with the horses – many of whom have troubles caused by us humans. So when I saw Victoria advocating the same principles and kindness I was watching on the edge of my seat!

As you may know I love to document with my camera, so on the off-chance I dropped her a line to see if she would mind me tagging along. Victoria was so kind and open and invited me straight away. Well yesterday I finally managed to go and see her in action.

Despite a rocky road through life, she exudes a calm confidence, where others may have crumbled Victoria has used her experiences to shape who she is today.

If you have a horse or pony that needs help I know Victoria can help.

Victoria Smith Horse Whisperer

Meet Elijah

No stranger to being in front of a camera, Elijah the Fell pony is a wonderful little character. Since being featured on Countryfile he has now well and truly settled into being ridden, and in fact wears a bitless bridle – a testament to Victoria’s training method as a bit adds extra control, which wasn’t needed for little Elijah and his amazing moustache.

And Solomon (Solly)

Solly is a beautiful Welsh. His stunning colour was a delightful surprise for his owner – as a foal he was black. Now his winter coat is coming and he’s getting hairy he is losing his dapples and will look a lot darker over the winter months – apparently he even gets markings that look like spectacles! How sweet!

And of course Bartholomew (Bartie)

When I first pulled up at the property, Bartie was seriously letting loose in the field, and he didn’t disappoint in Victoria’s session – bucking and prancing around before settling down and having a good roll around. His gait was like he was trotting on air, such a beautiful horse.


Elijah is now enjoying going out for hacks with his owner Colette. Victoria was working on fitting his new saddle – a treeless saddle which is much more comfortable for him, and to be fair looked more comfortable for the rider too!


Victoria was doing a classic join-up with Solly. See how she shoos him away whilst carefully watching his body language, before crossing his path and turning her back to him to allow him to trust and follow her. Solly was a beautiful, gentle horse and a joy to watch.


Bartie was the one who was tearing up the field when I arrived, and didn’t disappoint when Victoria worked with him in the field and the arena. When he trotted it was like he was floating on air. Bartie suffers from separation anxiety and Victoria is working with him to help him settle. Her join up with Bartie was more eventful than with Solly. There was bucking and rolling but by the end he was relaxed and happy – fantastic to watch and learn.