Posted on 28th December 2019
I was very lucky to receive two Fairy Doors for Christmas, one for Solly and one for Solitaire and I thought you might like to hear their stories…
Solitaire was my original horse of a lifetime. We bought her when I was just 15 and she taught me so much, we spent 6 years having so much fun, not just SJ, XC and hours and hours of Hacking (just me and her) but playing too, there was a barn at the edge of her turnout field and she would race me to either end for a polo. I spent every spare second I could with her, sat in her field while she grazed or in her stable while she busily munched her hay. Unfortunately a change in my circumstances meant she was sold when I was 21 and, with Social Media not being as good as it is now, I lost touch with her. Selling her was the worst thing I ever did, she only got on that lorry that day because I asked her to and when she whinnied as she left the yard it absolutely broke my heart. I had promised her that we would be together again someday even though I knew that was a promise I was highly unlikely to be able to keep.
I never stopped looking in the pages of horse adverts, just in case, and 9 years later there was an advert for Solly. Same name, same breed, same height, roughly the right age (but how many times do we see people being a bit ‘economical’ with the truth about how old their horse is?!). Needless to say I arranged to go and see her straight away, my poor other half got dragged on a 3 and a half hour journey to find this horse he’d heard me going on and on about only to discover it wasn’t my Solitaire, just one with all the right credentials who happened to look scarily similar!
I didn’t exactly say that I was only coming to view this horse to check it wasn’t my girl and it suddenly dawned on me that I would be expected to ride this horse when I hadn’t ridden anything in years-eeek! Solly then became my accidental horse of a lifetime (of course she came home with us). Solly was like a grown up version of Solitaire, rode bigger, had that air of importance about her, and everyone said she made me ‘me’ again.
There is a twist in this tale. A very Black Beauty like twist…After Solly had been with me 18 months I got a message via a tracing equines site to say that if I was still looking for Solitaire, she was alive and well and living 3 and a half hours in the opposite direction, so my ever-so-patient other half got dragged on another long journey! This time it was definitely Solitaire, much older and not in a good way. The situation got too much for the people that owned her and she came home. I was absolutely terrified, I genuinely didn’t know if she could be saved, the long journey had not helped her but I knew I had to try (I had promised her afterall). After she had been home for a fortnight I plucked up the courage to tell my mum she was home-that was tearful but brilliant, we all missed her so much. Solitaire slowly gained strength and condition and after six months she looked fabulous. One sunny May morning she lay in her field and sadly didn’t get up her, she looked at me and we both knew. It was incredibly sad but such a comfort to see her with a shiny coat, well covered and most importantly she knew she was loved.
Solly and Solitaire together were so funny, they stood in the field like the two old ladies that they were putting the world to rights and were the best of friends. Solly was with me for another 2 and a half years after Solitaire went, we had so much fun, laughter and won every veteran horse class we could find. I sadly lost Solly 8 weeks ago, again, her age just got the better of her.
So that was us, I feel so lucky to have had the support from my family to enable me to have two horses that were so special, taught me so much, gave me so much love and enjoyment and who both lived into their late twenties. And now I have your beautiful fairy doors that I can look at and imagine them on the other side, in that big meadow in the sky, happy and free.
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