Day 30 of #Blogtober asks to “Share a photo from the past and the story behind it.” I have chosen this photo of my first horse, Solas.
I first met Solas as a 3 week old foal when he came to the local stables with his mum. It was 1998 and I was 13… He had a big, fluffy, creamy coloured head on him and despite being very curious, he wouldn’t come out from behind his mum for me to get a proper look at him.
Sol’s mum was a little 13.2 palomino Connemara x Welsh type pony called Sandy. His dad was a chestnut Irish Draught named Elvis, who was based at the yard and was my favourite horse until the little creamy ball of fluff arrived.
To me, Elvis was a dreamboat. He was a bright chestnut, with a strong white blaze and two beautiful white stockings that broke off into speckles up past his hocks and into his stifles. He was gentle giant and on occasion I was allowed into his stable to groom him. The little cream coloured colt had everything I loved most about his parents – his mum’s golden coat and his dad’s strong body and markings.
He was my dream pony.
I wouldn’t see him again until a year later when I spotted him from my school bus one day behind a house not too far from my own. I was so upset that he had been sold. That’s when it began, constantly reminding my poor mother that “I wanted that pony.”
Not just any pony – him. For 2 years I would continuously nag my mother and remind her that “I want that pony.”
In February 2000 I was told that the creamy pony down the road might be for sale. Obviously catching my mother off guard we she agreed that we could go and speak to the man who owned him.
I remember arriving to the house, walking straight up to the door and making my offer for the 2 year old colt. And just like that he was mine.
That’s why I love this photo. I could tell you about all he has taught me, how many tears he’s caused as well as the endless happiness he’s brought me, but all that is summed up in this photograph representing the last 19 years of my life.
Sol is now nearly 21 years old, but this picture was taken just a couple of months after I bought him. I was 14 years old in this photo and I paid for him myself with the money that I had obsessively saved for that day I would finally get a pony of my own.
Solas cost me £200 nearly 19 years ago….. little did I know what was ahead of us. He remains the best £200 I have ever spent – because that was the cost of all my wildest dreams come true and the start of an invaluable life long friendship.
For the love of a horse it’s true what they say – you can’t put a price on happiness.