The Invisible Equestrian

The project

The Invisible Equestrian project is all about highlighting the strength we hold within the equestrian community and beyond. So many of us have dealt with trauma, loss and health problems, difficult decisions, hard-fought battles & a lot of blood, sweat & tears behind the scenes. Often, behind the scenes is exactly where it stays. 

Most of the time, it isn’t until you experience something terrible, or start to push those boundaries, that you realise that you really are not alone. That’s when people will come out of the darkness to talk to you, but sometimes not until much further down the line. I’d love to be able to reach fellow equestrians who are going through these things, and be able to show them that others have treaded their footsteps and made it out the other side. 

We all know the horsey world can be a tough one to be a part of at times, but I want to bring out the best of us and encourage an equine community that supports and cares for everyone in it. 

I’ll tell you a bit more about my background and why this project is important to me in the video below. I’d love if you could take a few minutes to watch it, and learn my story. 

I’m a mum, a wife, and a country portrait and commercial photographer. This is my story.

Meet our invisible equestrians

Francesca Simes



We all have bad days, & more bad days are coming but we haven’t lived the best days yet either and together we can do that. I want to share my story and how horses helped me through. My rescue pony Adie was found and saved the night my father found me and saved my life when I tried to end it. Our journey is in sync, I think that has a story to tell in itself.

Beth Sen

Rape survivor




Charlotte Bullard



I remember just how lonely I felt when, a few years ago, even my own brain felt like it had turned against me – but my horses became an escape and a focus amidst all the noise. Now, while I still have the occasional wobble, I refuse to be limited by what has held me back in the past. Hopefully sharing my experiences will help others realise they are not alone.

Charlie Curtis


Self harm

Panic attacks

I suddenly had a reason to speak to people,  to spend time with strangers and felt a lot less anxious in new situations. My self harming is completely under control and I haven’t harmed myself since getting Spider and my panic attacks are few and far between. 

Sally Campion

Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D)





I’ve been through the worst, it can only get better and I have big goals for 2020 with horse riding, and despite still feeling suicidal a lot, those goals somehow keep me going

Zara Bassett

2 x stroke survivor


Ovarian cysts


On 16th January I put on my tailcoat for the first time and rode an advanced test on Connie, I was so proud of us both. She survived a colic operation in November 2018. I think we are both fighters and would love to share our story

Georgia Russell


Andrea Barbagallo

Freelance groom & dressage rider

Challenges of pursuing your dreams in the industry

I want to tell to the next generation that even if is hard and your dream seems unreachable, everything is possible if you really want it.

Teresa Lewis



14 operations




Obstructive sleep apnea

The issue is complex and ever changing. I’m on chemo drugs which lower the immune system so I have to be careful. I have so much to fit in, but I will be fine. I have faced many challenges and will continue to keep going!

Raichelle Jordan

Lost sister to cancer

Necrotising pancreatitis

3 bouts of sepsis

Having a plan to get us both ready for 2021 and a BE80 event is helping me concentrate on recovery and getting back to fitness, despite having a necessary operation ahead!!

Taking part

What does it involve for you?

Telling your story:

You must be ready to share your story, and hopefully offer some guidance to people who are watching who may be going through similar troubles. 

If you would like to be considered for participation in this year’s photoshoots please fill in the form below. I will be setting up specific dates for different areas, which will be planned and announced in February.  

The shortlisted applicants will have a 20-30 minute video call with me to have a chat and go over a little more about you, your horses and how you are doing now. We will also cover a brief plan for your photoshoot, including how we might portray the ‘other side’ of your story. 

I aim to produce a portfolio from the project as a reminder to people that behind the smiles, and social media feeds, can lie so much more. 

By way of thanks:

For taking part in this project and sharing your story, you will receive:

45 minute equine photoshoot

15 minute ‘other side’ photoshoot

3 social media size files of your favourite images

15% discount on any products purchased after your photoshoot

Please fill in the form below if you are interested in taking part