I have grown up with this horse.
I met him first as a 2 week old foal, skinny & gangly hiding behind his palomino mum & only popping his head out from behind her to have a sceptical look at the 12 year old girl climbing up the stable door to get a better look at him.
The obsession was very real from that day on. Every single day from that day on I told my mother that “I want that pony.” No other pony would compare.
Two years later he was mine. We are not a horsey family, my parents didn’t know much other than I wouldn’t shut up about this horse.
We had never heard the expression “green & green makes black & blue” but unfortunately I found out what it meant pretty quickly that year. On the advice of another, the green new owners of a 2 year old colt sent him off to be backed.
He bucked me off, he bolted every day. Little did I know he was as confused & scared as I was.
The day I screamed in terror as he galloped out of control around the arena, rocket launching me into the gate I knew I was out of my depth. I sobbed & sobbed in the car, knowing I was too afraid to get back on.
At the age of 14, with no instructor or anyone around to advise me, I started from scratch. Selling him was not an option in my eyes. Grooming him, leading him, copying what I had seen done with the breakers in the yard, I even started lunging & long reining him when no one was watching.
I would tack him up every day. One day while he was tied & tacked in the stable I got brave. I laid across his back & when nothing happened, I threw my leg over.
I sat on him in the stable. I rode him around the yard in walk. When I got bored of that I closed the gates to the yard & I trotted him up & down the lane. But I didnt dare go near the arena. It terrified me.
This was going on for weeks & no one knew. Then one day I got caught. The yard owner arrived & took one look at me & said, “good girl.”
He walked me into the arena, put a lunge rope on Solas & from there we have never looked back.
I would never advise a parent to buy an unbroken 2 year old colt for their child, but luckily for me it worked out. I learned to be up to him!
And that’s the story of my first horse, The Golden Boy & original WAR horse, Solas.
He is my bit of Fool’s Gold