charlie + dusan // sonoma county pet photography


Horses are very majestic creatures, and I had the honor of photographing Lizett’s two horses: Charlie & Duscan. Charlie and Duscan would often fight for Lizett’s attention, thus we had to take photos of and with them separately. It was fun hanging out with Lizett and her two horses for the afternoon!! Lizett has a special bond with each horse and seeing their personalities emerge was a treat as well!

At the time of the photo session, Duscan was doing really well and was healthy and eating away. He developed some physical and health issues a couple of months after the photo session, and unfortunately, he has passed away. Sending Lizett lots of hugs and good thoughts.


From Lizett: Luthier Fire, barn name Charlie, is an incredibly affectionate horse. He loves attention, stretches, and cookies. The biggest comment I get about him is that he always looks so innocent! Well, it's never the case. He runs, bucks, plays, and loves to break his waterer inside his stall. Perhaps flooding his stall is his past time. It's like getting a call from the Principal saying that your child is in detention.


Pretty much the feeling I get when the barn owners calls me and says, Well looks like Charlie tried to go swimming again. When allowed to play, he is like a 1400 lb. toddler running around kicking up his heels. He always tries to get attention everywhere he goes, and at least in his mind, makes every horse he crosses paths with his new friend. Originally bred for racing, his athleticism and competitiveness makes riding him like driving a Ferrari, fast and elegant.


My favorite memory of Charlie is something that he does quite often, which is stealing his bag of carrots from me and putting his head up so that I can’t reach for the bag of carrots! This particular time in the middle aisle of the barn, he took a 6-pound bag of baby carrots and did his thing— picked up the bag, put his head up and shook his head. It literally rained carrots on my bandmate’s heads, but as they say, they are a horse of course, of course. He takes advantage of being tall and full advantage of me being short.


Prize Fighter 77, barn name Dusan, in memory of my beloved boy. He was the most elegant horse I have ever had the pleasure of riding and owning. Originally born in Slovakia, and trained in Germany to be a Grand Prix jumper, he had a very successful career as a competition horse. He was retrained in dressage, which is often referred to ballet on horseback. He traveled from Europe to the US, Canada, Mexico, and Florida which is where I met him. He had a larger-than-life presence at 1600 lbs. There was nothing small about him. He had the biggest heart of gold, he was very poised and professional when ridden.


He loved to show off! Nothing was more fun than an arena filled with horses warming up, and there was Dusan, showing off his talent. He loved to give kisses— all you had to do was stand in front of him and make a smooching sound. He loved to play with his giant soccer ball and roll it around the arena. He was like a Rolls Royce Freightliner, luxurious, elegant, and large and in charge.


My favorite memory with Dusan was taking him on a trail ride with campsites around! Dusan was special, as he liked the finer things in life. Being a horse raised in beautiful pristine barns, he expected the best. So, I took him on a little camping trip per se. He was retired, and I thought that we should try a different activity. Well, that was a mistake. Between the rocky terrain, dust, campers, strollers, dogs, cows on the horizon, etc., he made it clear that riding him was not an option, so that was that.


Since I can remember, I have been in love with horses. I started riding as a child! While my parents might have regretted letting me ride the carousel at the fair when I was three and wished I could have chosen a more money-friendly hobby, horses quickly became my passion! It's a way of life, and it's my therapy. Losing Dusan last year was so hard and just heartbreaking. Sadly, it was also very hard for Charlie as they were next door neighbors. Dusan's job was to babysit his little brother.

I feel blessed to be able to support my passion. Every time I go to the barn, I look forward to seeing the pony (as I call him), he is my buddy. We have a beautiful understanding of one another with love, respect, and trust. It's a dance, a partnership and it's sure an adventure.


Need an extra dosage of animal cuteness?
Check out Lily + Sam, Rexy’s Wood/Beach Session & Charlie’s Mini-Christmas Session

Looking to incorporate furry family members into your portraits?
Let’s connect, I would love to meet your pet!