…After introducing us to her beautiful horses, Flint & Cameron who modelled for our Lawless and Western Romance shoots, we wanted to know a bit more about Heidi; their beloved owner, when her love for these boys started & how they came into her life. It was clear to us from our first encounter that the bond was very strong and the love unconditional.
Born & raised outside Boston Massachusetts, Heidi was shy and lacked confidence for years in every other respect - except for when it came to animals. It was her mum, an elementary school teacher with a Masters in science, who spotted her passion, encouraging her to be around animals from a young age.
Heidi was six when she sat on her first horse, leading to summer camp lessons with the famous Steege family of Stow MA, she flourished as a rider and continued to take lessons for the rest of her life with Melody Taylor-Scott of MA & Vickie Fontaine of FL.
With positions ranging from a veterinary technician for small & exotic animals, to managing a humane society, and eventually owning & operating one of the largest pet sitting/horse livery and in-home animal businesses in South Florida - Heidi’s professions have clearly been built around her passion, equipping her with a wealth of experience when it comes to animals, and it’s her respect, for horses especially, that captured our hearts. “My horses are my best friends” she explained, and when describing them as animals went on to say “They are reflective, emotional animals -able to reflect exactly how you’re feeling. As large as they can be, they’re as sensitive as a butterfly’s wing - misunderstood by many, as i once was, but given the chance, we all flourish into our whole loving best-that-we-can-be selves.”
Flamingo is all about creating balance in life through self expression, in order to grasp this it helps to ground yourself and find confidence in the things you love - Heidi radiates this process beautifully through her relationship with Flint & Cameron "My confidence stemmed from my horses which in turn enhanced my life and shaped me to who i am today - a passionate animal welfare advocate, and the truth is, i always have to ask myself “who rescued who?” They are my therapists, my comedians, my unconditional loves."
Cameron was an ex racehorse in the USA who wasn’t built for running, after suffering much abuse, he found himself in Florida forced to try eventing instead and was again treated badly. Catching wind of this, Heidi adopted him in 2009 and describes him as “The ultimate gentleman of a horse” Kind and patient despite being a rescued equine with a horrible start to life.
In 2013 Heidi was informed that a farm in Kentucky were impregnating mares and leasing the lactating mothers out as ‘nurse mares’ for orphaned foals, with their foals being killed. Hearing this left Heidi wanting to do whatever she could to help rescue these unwanted foals, she worked closely with Pure Thoughts Horse & Foal Rescue in Loxahatchee, Florida - a non-profit horse & foal rescue, together raising funds to save these helpless baby animals.
Although never part of the plan, it wasn’t long before Heidi met and fell in love with Flint, her tiny rescued buckskin quarter horse, only weeks old at the time. Taking on the responsibility of raising an orphan, Heidi brought Flint over to the UK, with his brother Cameron - to this day they are inseparable and watch out for each other.
Both boys during our Flamingo shoots were somewhat of a comfort to be around, tons of research has confirmed the effectiveness of equine therapy, showing that it lowers blood pressure & heart rate and also reduces symptoms of anxiety & depression. Both of Heidi's horses have been used in a program for rehabilitating young adults learning horsemanship & caring for horses. “As a victim of abuse, Cameron was keen to show how one can recover and trust humans again, which was a gift to the therapy patients on the program while Flint provided comic relief as an awkward orphaned foal who would make everyone laugh, as he still does."
Heidi continues to improve the health and wellness of animal & human kind too, in her latest venture as a founder of CBD company Naked Leaf, an alternative (plant based) natural healing product company, providing pure & organic CBD for people and their pets… including equines!
The cannabidoil (CBD) is extracted from the industrial hemp plant (cannabis saliva) and contains no THC (psychoactive effect) and has been working its magic for many humans & animals in need of pain relief or simply an improved balanced lifestyle.
Flint is currently training with Lizzie Gorringe and Chris Franks from Chris Franks Equestrian in Cowfold, Horsham and is a newcomer at the local show jumper competitions. Cameron is semi retired and enjoys long walks in the English countryside.
To support the people who saved Flint’s life as well as over 2K other animals in need, please see www.pthr.org Pure Thoughts Horse & Foal Rescue Loxahatchee, Florida USA