When Leslie asked if her son Blake could document the love he has for his horse, I was beyond happy to help them and capture this Equine Man’s Best Friend Session of him and his horse, Gabe. I have been working with Leslie for years, using her almond farm for the annual blossom sessions in the California Central Valley.
Years ago, a close family friend of Leslie’s was the owner of Gabe’s mother. When Gabe was young, they sold him to Fresno State University where he was a rodeo horse. Now, past his rodeo days, Leslie’s family purchased him, and reconnected him with his original owner. She gifted them the turquoise + leather breast collar she had used with his Mother years ago, as well. You can see those in the images galleried below! Leslie dreamed of frame images from this session and gifting them back to Gabe’s original mother.
We spent time during the session rubbing on Gabe, and celebrating him, then headed into the almond blossoms where we avoided the rain, and let Gabe run and explore to his hearts content, all with his best friend Blake cheering him on from the saddle.
This year, California has received record amounts of rainfall, covering the mountains with over 500 inches of snow, causing parts of Highway 1, to fall into the ocean, and flooding streets.
Per Rove.me, almond orchards occupy one million acres in California (about 405,000 ha), according to the US Department of Agriculture. When the almond petals fall on the ground, they create a tender blanket, which locals call “the valley snow.” This mesmerizing phenomenon happens in early or mid-March. California actually grows about 80% of the world’s almonds.
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Location: Lemoore, California (Central Valley)