Where do I begin this pos? It's been a journey, such an amazing and beautiful journey. It's been the greatest honour to be on this journey with Jeff Cook, his wife Kelsey and the amazing 9 year old mare Cactus Flower.
Jeff picked Flo as his Extreme Mustang Makeover horse partly based on her kind eyes. Something I noticed right away too. She has the sweetest and kindest eyes.
When he did the first touches and took her tag off, I cried while taking photos. She was no longer a number, no longer "just" a mare, she was Cactus Flower with a very bright future ahead of her.
Jeff took a chance on her and got her out of that holding pen, giving her the chance of an amazing life.
Flo is the kind of mare that is brave, that connects with you and when she really connects with you, she'll walk through fire for you. Her and Jeff had the most amazing connection. Built on respect, trust and belief.
She tried her hardest every single time. Witnessing her come out of her shell, was amazing.
She even participated in the equine therapy program that Jeff is part of, Basecamp for Veterans and I saw her change a veterans life, right before my eyes.
She turned into a snuggle bug, loves attention and her transformation has been amazing. She is so so beautiful!
Just two weeks ago it was time for the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Oklahoma City. I was incredibly honoured to be one of the two official photographers for the event and was able to watch Flo and Jeff work their magic in the arena. And magic it was. I was so proud to see her flourish in there.
When Jeff made the Top 10, we cheered and I cried. When he won the Championship on the Saturday night it felt surreal. It was an overflow of emotions, both joy and also sadness, because this meant she'd now be auctioned and leave for her new home.
I watched the first touches through my lens and I watched the last touches between Jeff & Flo through my lens.
I miss her, I know Jeff misses her TONS but she got the most amazing new home, where she gets to roam 16 beautiful acres when her lovely new owner isn't riding her. Her new owner loves her, says she's amazing. And she is, she really is.
Every time a trainer picks up a Mustang out of the holding pens, it's a life saved from being stuck in holding. They are given the chance of an amazing life with people who adore them.
Let's save more of them, one horse at a time.