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We Are Flying Solo

August 21, 2009

Home At Last

It was Memorial Day weekend 2006. S.O. was away on business, so I could not drag him with me, but at least I had something to do now! I found a friend (N) to board him with. She generously drove with me to pick him up in her trailer. All the way there, I was buzzing with excitement, anticipation, and fear. What if the horse didn't like me? What if he turned out to be secretly crazy? What if he had some mysterious ailment/injury/handicap that would kill him six months from now? The horrible possibilities spun choking webs in my brain. I was stark-raving nuts.

When we turned up at the seller's farm, I turned over my envelope stuffed with a wild array of cash and money orders that I had pulled together the night before. I signed the bill of sale and collected a Coggins certificate. Naturally, Benson had stepped on his own hind foot that day and ripped open his coronet band on his white hind foot. It was bloody with a chunk missing. I choked inside, I think my eyes rolled back in my head as I thought, "See, I told you he would be hurt!" I just wanted him on the trailer and out of there.

After a brief period of uncertainty, Benson agreed to step on the trailer. The seller proceeded to turn out the mare that was his best friend, who then ran up and down the fence calling for him as rocked the trailer in a sudden panic. My heart broke for him and N was in tears for his distress as we pulled out. This wasn't starting well.

But we got him home with no further event, settled into his paddock, and let him inspect the place. "What do you want to feed him," N asked? "Ummmmmmmmm..." I knew nothing about horse feed, aside from the sweet feed we had when I worked at a boarding stable in the mid-90's. N, bless her heart, took over. Feed, amounts, hay, all taken care of. Farrier visit set up to rid us of those terrible shoes.

I was helpless to do anything but hang on the fence and stare. He was mine. Mine mine mine. Finally, no one could stop me from riding him whenever I wanted. I already had a shiny new halter and lead rope.


Grazing on the first day home.

I just needed a new name because "Benson" was horrendous and untenable for this shining hunk of a horse. So he became "Solaris" and in my star-struck eyes, he shone brighter than his namesake and his nickname, "Solo," carried its own hidden meaning: he was and is the cumulation of a lifetime of longing, my one true dream, my sole hope and goal come to fruition.

I drove home to write a name on my brush bucket.

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