One thing I LOVE about my photography, is being able to meet so many other awesome horse owners! I've always said that horse people can strike up a conversation in Nano seconds and talk for hours! It was no different with Teresa and Matt Brown! They are just an awesome couple with a beautiful farm and home and herd of beautiful fur babies!
Teresa contacted me in regards to a session for all her fur babies as well as herself and Matt in their wedding attire. The day they were married two years ago, a blizzard blew into town. So all of the photos that they wanted to get with their horses on their wedding day, did not happen. Luckily, we ended up with a beautiful March day with the sun shining!
Also, not only are the Brown's fellow horse lovers, but Teresa is also involved in Search and Rescue with the Erie County Sheriff's Department Mounted Posse and Matt is with the Fire Department. So, although I had to recently retire my K-9 partner, Oakley, due to injury, we had the "first responder" comradery as well.
So let's meet their babies!!
Clyde", a.ka. Thomass, a 5 year old miniature donkey, belonged to a woman who was diagnosed with a terminal illness and he was placed with South Fork Miniatures in search of a new home. The Browns traveled to West Virginia to pick him up along with his brother who is living on another farm in Edinboro. Donkey loves to play with his Jolly ball and "sing" for his supper everyday - even when it is not time to eat!
Blazer, now known as Cletus thanks to Farmer Brown, is a 20 year old miniature pony. Before coming to the Brown home he lived with an elderly couple who both fell ill and were no longer able to care for him. The Browns helped to kick start the horse division of the local animal rescue, The ANNA Shelter, and this little was one of the first clients to walk through the door. Teresa had always wanted a miniature horse! She told Matt to get the trailer ready to pick up a horse, little did he know it wasn't for a full size horse.. Teresa says, " "You should have seen his face when I walked Cletus out of the rescue barn right up to our four horse trailer!!"
Both Cletus and Clyde are now joined at the hip and even insist on sharing a stall, every morning they are laying down cuddled up next to each other! <3
Wedding "Fever" out of Storm Cat, is Matt's 14 year old TB mare, he acquired her from his Doctor for $1! Fever did some racing for Matt but due to a medical condition that threatened her safety during racing she was retired to a life of rolling in mud and romping through her pasture with all of her friends. Fever has the most comfortable western jog but also has been shown English a time or two and was a crowd favorite. She is the leader of the herd at the Farm but is also a big sweetheart!
Jet's "Secret" Twist, is Teresa's 18 year old American Paint mare. Teresa has been wildly fascinated with the colors of the Paint horses since she was a child and Secret was her dream come true. However, Secret was no picnic when Matthew picked her out for her. Secret was a 14 year old green-broke mare who mostly functioned as a brood mare, her wild blue eyes matched her spirit and it was a long road paved with blood sweat and tears to gain her trust. No Secret is a member of the Erie County Sheriff's Mounted Posse and specializes in Patrol as well as Search and Rescue, she is rock solid on the trail and willing to please! If a horse could be a best friend to a human she is it!
"Baby" is a 18 year old Percheron/Standardbred cross mare. Before Secret came on the scene Teresa was going to purchase her from a friend and the deal fell through last minute as her owner decided to keep her. A few months later Baby was up for sale again but the Brown's just didn't have room at the time. A year or so later Matt got called to a farm to shoe a horse and as luck would have it, it was Baby!! By this time Teresa's friend had passed away unexpectedly and they knew she had somehow intervened from Heaven, Baby was loaded on the trailer and brought to the Brown farm shortly after! She is also a member of the Erie County Sheriff's Department Mounted Posse, she loves to swim and trail ride in Benezette, PA with the Elk!
The latest addition to the heard is actually a horse Teresa had the longest. Catherine, a now 26 year old Percheron/Arab cross, came into her life when both were about 12 years old. Catherine was purchase by a collector of horses from a Inn to Inn riding resort in Vermont, she was then left to her own devices to sit in a muddy pasture staring off into the woods. Teresa's heart ached for her as a child and she couldn't bear to watch her forgotten and staring off into the distance . She was not a beautiful show pony but a wild girl with crazy hair and big black stockings that reminded Teresa of Tina Turner, she had spunk and potential. Teresa just LOVED her instantly! Teresa and Catherine both needed a project and they were it for each other and before long they had a routine and did everything together - Jumping, Hunter Paces, trail riding, and even therapeutic lessons for children with autism. Without the horse life for a teenage girl, things could have been very different, as she looked forward to seeing her everyday after school. Unfortunately, as is the case for so many young Equestrians, they were forced apart. It was promised to Teresa that when she was ready to have her back she would be waiting, but time proved otherwise and she spent nearly ten years begging and pleading to have her again. Teresa lost sleep knowing she was not getting the care she deserved and would visit as often as she could. Teresa states, "I am sure my husband was sick of my "Catherine stories"." One Tuesday morning last April Teresa prayers had been answered and the woman who had her could no longer keep her. So the Brown's packed some snacks and hooked up the trailer and were on the road to New Jersey that Saturday to get her girl!! "I couldn't sleep or think about anything else!! Fourteen hours from the time we left that morning we were back home and Catherine was in our barn - my heart was at peace!" states Teresa. "She has room to run and has gain 150 lbs since that time, I kiss her and pinch myself everyday just to make sure she is really mine again! Words can not describe what her presence in my life means to me, she is my heart and soul."
Teresa stated to me, "Having our own farm is a blessing, all of our animals have a forever home and worth all the sacrifices it takes to keep Brown's Farm alive and well! We love visitors and our doors are always open!"
Once again, all I can say is I love this part-time job of mine in photography, as meeting folks like the Brown's, for me, is a blessing. Their love for each other as well as their fur babies, certainly shined through!