Sydney & Zorro
Goodbye to a Horse

Goodbye to a Horse

There are absolutely no words to describe the feeling one gets when it’s time to say goodbye to your horse. It is not one I ever want to experience again and I do not wish that experience on anyone. Unfortunately, saying goodbye to our beloved horses is part of this equestrian life. Whether they are moving on to a new home, or they are leaving us for the sunny green pastures in heaven, most equestrians will go through this heart-wrenching experience. With Zorro, sadly it was the latter. The whole reason I became an equine photographer is to create portraits of people with their horses that they can cherish long after our soft muzzled friends leave us, so when I was asked if I could squeeze in an equestrian portrait session while I was home in Virginia for Christmas, I didn’t hesitate to say yes!

Zorro’s Story

Sydney and Zorro have been best buds for four years. They had just gone to a show and did very well just weeks before they trailered him to NC State to have him scoped for ulcers. What they found was much worse, Zorro had cancerous masses throughout his body. There was no cure and they could only treat him with pain meds. It was just a matter of time until they would have to make the decision to put him down. They brought him back home to Chesapeake and asked if I could fit them in for pictures. Thankfully I was home visiting for the holidays and the one day I had free worked out perfectly for them!

Equestrian Session

As I headed out to the barn on the day of Sydney & Zorro’s session, I thought to myself…what is worse? Knowing that your horse will have to be put down and having time to say goodbye, or having something happen that you don’t see coming at all, like when my horse passed away, with no warning and no time to process what is happening. Either way, they both suck. I couldn’t even imagine how Sydney must have been feeling. When I pulled up to the barn they had Zorro in the cross ties, getting up cleaned up for pictures. It was super cold and windy so we chatted in the barn with the heater blowing about what they wanted for their session.

Of course, we had to get some black background portraits of Zorro, which was a great place to start so the barn could offer a little more warmth than being outside. After just a few minutes of shooting, I couldn’t feel my fingers! Once the black background portraits were done, it was time to brave the cold and head outside. Sydney and Zorro were such great troopers dealing with the cold and Zorro was so patient and willing to please even though we all knew he wasn’t feeling well. I am so honored to be able to create portraits of this sweet pair and my heart breaks knowing everything they are going through. Here are some of my favorites from their portrait session.

portrait of a black horse on a black background equine portrait photography black background black background equine portrait equine portrait on black background horse head with a black background girl and her horse on a barn aisle girl and horse with black background girl kissing horse in barn aisle mom and daughter kissing horse mom and daughter with horse mom and daughter with horse girl hugging her horsewoman kissing horse on nose mom and daughter with horse girl looking up at her horse girl with her black horseequine photography portrait of girl and horse girl hanging from horse's neck girl leading her horse girl sitting on fence with her horsegirl hugging her horse picture of girl with horse equine photographer equestrian portrait of girl with horse girl sitting on fence with horse in chesapeake, va girl saying goodbye to horse horse nuzzling girl on cheek girl riding horse bareback in field girl looking up at black horse close up shot of girl and horse girl saying goodbye to her horse girl posing for photo with horse girl kissing black horse on eye

Sydney & Jennifer, thank you so much for allowing me to capture these portraits of you both with Zorro. I know you will cherish them forever! My heart is breaking for everything you have gone through in the past month! Zorro will live on in your hearts and memories forever. <3



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  1. Tracie Bias says:

    You did such an amazing job with their pics, the bond that Sydney had with Zorro a lot of people could only wish for, he was patient with her when she would be frustrated and he always knew exactly what she was feeling. My horse Zippy and Zorro were buddies when they were at our barn and I watched for the past two years how close they became and how Sydney improved with her hard work and with a patient horse who truly loved her no matter what. Jennifer and Zorro the bond they had together was almost like they raised Sydney together. He loved her as much. My heart breaks knowing the most adorable big guy who stole my heart ❤️ is no longer with us. Sydney and Jen we love you and praying for healing hearts. Catherine your portraits were amazing and truly captured all of their soles as one!!!

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