Galatian Makes Gemma’s Dream Come True
Galatian, a stunning 16”3 chestnut gelding and now 10 years old, started his career as a flat racehorse, winning 5 of his 35 starts when trained by Rod Millman. Then in 2013, Freddie Hollis, my father in law, took over a share in Galatian and also trained him, getting a win and a 2nd but in 2015, the decision was made to retire Galatian from racing.
Knowing he had an amazing temperament and attitude Freddie wanted to find him a loving home, and so one morning Freddie asked me to go out for a ride with him, he said to tack up Galatian, I was so excited! Whilst out on the hack, Freddie turned around and said “when do you want to take Galatian home?” (I nearly cried.) After losing my mum to cancer in 2013, I thought I wouldn’t ride or own a horse again, Galatian coming into my life and has helped put a smile back on my face!
For the next 6 months I just hacked out a couple of times a week with him, this truly amazing boy wasn’t worried about new surroundings or coming away from his new friends, it didn’t matter if he wasn’t ridden for a week or a month, I could just tack him up for a ride and go.
Around Christmas 2015, I asked Freddie if I could bring Galatian back to his yard as I wanted him closer to where I live so I could start schooling him slowly and introduce a little jumping, it was at this point I started to think this horse is talented. His flat work and jumping lessons were going really well, I started to take him out to clinics, as most of the time I go on my own, it’s never a problem as he is so easy to load and travels so well where ever we go.
We did an adult camp which we both loved, he’s never been around a cross country course or done a full show jumping course before. He even got a little fan club at the camp, people ask to go and meet him in the stable. He liked that as he got lots of attention and Polos!
After the camp I booked a one day event at Southcott where we came 12th out of 39, first full course of Cross Country jumps. He loved it as he took me round, he started to latch onto the fences. He made me so proud that day. I couldn’t ask for a better horse. A completely different world for him and he just took it in his stride. We then did some shows, we had a couple of wins and got placed, but I think he found showing a bit boring, as at Melplash I think he nearly nodded off in the show ring during the line up. I just love his manner, at one show the whole family and friends turned up to see Galatian and I. We had Granny on a scooter, 3 prams 5 kids and 8 adults all around him, and again he just falls asleep.
Freddie then started to train another horse. Normally he would have 2 horses in training to have them work together, but he needed a second horse to train with. So Galatian and I stepped in to help train the other horse. He started by leading the young horse out on roads seeing all the traffic, then on to the gallop’s, which Galatian knew well. He was a star working upside with the other horse or behind, he did everything I asked of him. Not once did he heat up or pull me. Then next day he would have a dressage lesson and wasn’t phased at all.
My daughter Ellie (age 5) has now started riding and of course she wants to ride out with me, I was a little worried. But yet again Galatian is such a gent he lets me ride and lead. In a short time Ellie is now riding off the lead rain and can now hack out with me and Galatian.
Since we’ve joined the RoR we have been to more clinics and shows. We would love to compete alongside the RoR eventing this year. Wish us luck.