First Love, First Horse

‘First loves’ come in all shapes, sizes… and animals. The first horse Andrea fell in love with came into her life out of an unbelievable series of events that date back to World War II. On the lighter and funnier side, Callie’s first horse was the result of a neighbor’s drinking and partying. Two wildly different events that through fate formed unbreakable bonds.

For news, latest updates, outtakes and more, join our email family at

Learn more about horses and riding at

Read about Andrea’s incredible Costa Rica trek in her book, Crossing Bridges

This podcast is a part of the Bright Sighted Podcast Network. Learn more here.


  • Callie King  0:00
    I was nine, of course the adults were all drinking and carrying on and I was bored. And the owner of the ranch that we were at, said, why don't you go ride? ride my horse? We'll bring him in, you know, he had his son was there and he said, Yeah, go, go bring in scotch, bring in Scotch for Kelly, right? Bring in the horses. So I'm there on scotch and going back and forth on the gravel driveway. And I remember Jim comes out of the house. And he comes out of the house and he's kind of standing there, the side of the lane. Kind of weaving a little bit collies
  • Andrea Wady 0:35
    currently weaving. I think he might have been drunk. And
  • Callie King 0:41
    he gave me probably the best writing advice that I have received to this day. Yeah. He said, you know how to ride a horse girl. All you got to do is keep your eye on the middle of their back.
  • Andrea Wady 0:59
    I mean, that's it, isn't it? Really. That's all the advice you need. Jump in with both feet. Go Big. Follow your dreams grab life by the reins. This is how we live. Where Kelly King and Andrea Wadey two horse trainers always looking for adventure and
  • Callie King 1:21
    finding it. Join us for stories of dangerous travels wild animals, new challenges,
  • Andrea Wady 1:27
    and in the end, always learning alongside
  • Callie King 1:29
    our magnificent horses. So saddle up and follow along. You're listening to grab life by the reins. So I have a question for you today. To start us off in the morning. I think a lot of girls, when they think of first love,
  • Andrea Wady 1:59
    oh my gosh.
  • Callie King 2:00
    Maybe it's a first kiss. Oh my gosh, maybe it's a romantic walk around the lake. But we have both grown up with horses. So why this
  • Andrea Wady 2:16
    is going? Okay. Yeah.
  • Callie King 2:19
    So I would ask you about your first horse. Because we both know that's our real first love 100%.
  • Andrea Wady 2:28
    So it wasn't actually my horse, but it was a horse pony that I was riding. It's funny, I knew straightaway which one? He was called Tinto. And he was a Dartmoor pony. About 12 hands. And he was amazing. Great, big, woolly thing. And I think I was about three when I started writing him. Maybe four.
  • Callie King 2:56
    Wow, you were young. Oh, I really young.
  • Andrea Wady 2:59
    I wrote in front of my grandmother when I was tiny.
  • Callie King 3:04
    Were your parents was your family? Yeah. Horses. Yeah. Parents and grandparents.
  • Andrea Wady 3:09
    Yeah. Cool. Mum and Dad didn't have horses when I was young. But they'd had horses. It's quite cool story, actually. In fact, yeah. I'll tell you about my grand. I'll tell you about Tinto as well. He was amazing. But my grandmother, one of the last conversations that I had with her. In fact, it was the last time I saw her. I got to tell her about the Liberty work that I do with horses. So part of my life and my job is I train horses at Liberty. So no equipment, no ropes attaching us just who do I need to be on that day for that horse to want to be with me. And I was showing my grandson videos. My granddad rode from a very, very young age in Cornwall, and pretty much rode her whole life. And she said, Oh, liberty, is that what they call it? I used to do that on the hunting field. Now, hunting is not my thing. I'll just say that now but you know, each to their own. But back then, you know, in the 20s and 30s. That was a big thing. You know, Graham was from quite a well to do family in England, and they hunted and she said that she had this pony called Star. And she would feel that star was getting tired because they'd ride like 10 miles to get to the start of the hunt and hunt all day and then ride home. So she said I used to jump off sometimes and just run in the hunt field which is bonkers if anyone's ever been on it's like everyone's just going full tilt with whiskey in their pocket and it's all bonkers. And she would get off tuck her reins over the saddle and run climb over the jumps that were too big for her star would jump them and wait for her on the other side. And I was like Wow, yes, incredible. I remember her telling me a story because my gran had dementia towards the end. So she would drift back in the years. And the stories were always real. And a friend of mine was a psychologist. And she said, Don't ever say no grin. Don't forget, you're in, you know, 2000 and whatever. She said, No, go there with her. But she was telling me stories that were true about when war broke out, and it was the Second World War in England, and the army would come through every town and take the horses. So they
  • Callie King 5:42
    were using the horses for for war for war, really writing them, are they using them as back down? For
  • Andrea Wady 5:48
    everything? It was heartbreaking. Hundreds of 1000s of horses left England and never came back. And they went to Africa. They went to Europe. They went everywhere. Wow, I
  • Callie King 6:00
    didn't know that happened.
  • Andrea Wady 6:01
    Oh my gosh, it was horrendous. Have you ever seen the movie warhorse?
  • Callie King 6:06
    I know of it, but I haven't seen it yet. Don't
  • Andrea Wady 6:08
    watch it. It's heartbreaking. But that's what it's based on. Okay. So there was this day where the army officer was coming. People were trying to hide horses. But my grandma's family were, you know, they believed we needed to beat what was going on. So they bought all of their horses down to the roundabout in the village where the blacksmith had his place. And they were measuring them. And anything over 14 to went with the army and anything under state. So my grands pony star, got to stay. And my aunt's horse called bridegroom. He got to stay. And the other eight horses all left. And I never saw them again. I
  • Callie King 6:53
    can't imagine how heartbreaking that would be. I mean, we know our horses aren't attached. They're not livestock, they're their friends, their family.
  • Andrea Wady 7:05
    And you'd want to think there's just no way you'd let them. Take them. But back then there wasn't a choice, then you are a traitor, then you can you know, I don't think any of us can imagine what it was like and what the threat was. That was facing the country. So they did do it. They had to do it. They didn't have a choice. But yeah, all of those horses went and my great grandfather walked home without any of his horses. Yeah, horrendous. So yeah, slight side story there. But that's my grandmother lived and breathed horses. So she went off. She enrolled in the women's Navy during the war. And she went off and she met a man in South Africa, who was from a big, wealthy family in South Africa. And they had lots of racehorses. And I have a picture on my wall of my great grandfather leading in the winner of the Durbin cup. Dawn wind the horses called was called. So horses have been a massive part of my life. But I think the horse I want to tell you about is wasn't my first horse. It was the horse that I had, from about the age of 20 when he was really truly mine, and I never think we own horses. But you know, he was one that I'd saved and paid for him. Chris helped me by him, whereas before it was always other people's ponies that I was writing. And when my grandmother came back from the war, she came back to England with her husband. And they worked at an Arabian stud that was run by Lady Wentworth and Lady Wentworth was one of the original people in England that bought Arabs back from the Arab countries. They were beautiful. I went to look at this horse. I didn't want an Arab I wanted a good native pony that I could go and jump all the hedges in the countryside and but my old riding instructor rang me up. He said he is still looking for a horse. I said, Well, yeah, I am. Because I was like, what, what is an Arab? Did you just say an Arab? I don't want an Arab said you need to come and see it. These people have no idea what they've got. They've never sat on it. He's got into some bad habits. But he's awesome. I was like, well, I'll come and have a look and a cup of tea. Well, I just fell in love with him. He was stocky. He wasn't what you see. Now these Arabs that look like they'll snap. He was a stocky, proper crabbet Arabian. So I got ahold of his pedigree. His bloodlines and I took it to my grandma. And she went hang on a minute, and she went off into the bedroom, and she came back with this stack of old fashioned Photos. Oh albums, and she's going through going through going through and then she's like, triumphant. She went there. That's me delivering his great, great, great grandfather.
  • Callie King 10:09
    Wow. I'm having that horse. That's amazing. Yes.
  • Andrea Wady 10:13
    And he literally he died about six months ago. I had to sell him when I went to Costa Rica and he went to a lady called Teresa who absolutely adored him. You just showed me his photo I did just yesterday. Yes. What was his name? Savvy, Mr. Cool savvy with NaVi. He was amazing. Yeah, I never did get to jump on him, though. Because he like he'd literally land back feet first. Arabs were not born for jumping.
  • Callie King 10:42
    And you parted with him to go to Costa Rica. And that was well, he was a dirt dirt, I would say part of what allowed you to go no, because his sale helped to fund your move.
  • Andrea Wady 10:55
    Yeah. And you know, it's a contentious issue. But I think I learned a lot in Costa Rica about animals being a part of our lives, not always, the entire bit of our life. And people said to me, how could you do that? How could you leave him and it's like, because my life needs to expand. I need to go, I wasn't happy. At home, I knew that I had a bigger mission in life, if you like, and I wanted to go. And I found a fantastic woman who I knew was going to give him everything he ever needed. I saw him lots of times when I came home, and he was happy. And I got to go and do what define me for the rest of my life. So I don't have a regret. Did I miss him? Of course I did. Of course I did. But I feel like animals. We talked about this yesterday. Funnily enough. I feel like animals have their own destiny in this life, too.
  • Callie King 11:57
    They do. I have learned that with the several animals that have come in and out of my life in the past year. And they do they have their own path. They have their own people to meet and things to do. So that's beautiful. Yeah. It
  • Andrea Wady 12:12
    was amazing. And my grandma, oh my gosh, she was an incredible horse woman. Incredible. So yes, going back to the beginning, she put me on Tinto at a very early age, although I actually learned to ride on a cow. Cow. Yeah, a dairy cow.
  • Callie King 12:28
    Or what are the dairy cows in England? Because here we've got two big black and white Holsteins mostly Yeah, Jersey
  • Andrea Wady 12:33
    cow, Alamo jersey. Yeah, she was a jersey. I just get picked up at my friend's house and shoved on him and her and I'd ride her in from the field. She was really tame. She was really cute. Very uncomfortable. I seem to remember. They
  • Callie King 12:47
    do have a bit of a spiny back. Yeah, they do. But Graham
  • Andrea Wady 12:51
    was a big fan of you can ride your ponies. But you're only allowed a saddle when you learn to stay on. I love it. Yeah, that was a steep learning curve. But you know, I don't remember a lot of that though. I've been told that because I was really young. What about you? What was your first love in a pony? Well,
  • Callie King 13:12
    he wasn't a pony.
  • Andrea Wady 13:14
    Why does that not surprise me.
  • Callie King 13:17
    And I also I didn't have a saddle. Well, technically, I did have a saddle for him. I just really didn't like using it. And it was also a Western saddle. And he was he was a big Quarter Horse. So it was really hard for me to lift the saddle up on him, which was another reason I never used it. His name was scotch. And he was my first horse.
  • Andrea Wady 13:39
    So you got given a horse or you had a horse that was massive as your first horse. Yeah,
  • Callie King 13:46
    he was given to me. He was given to me. I was extremely lucky. So when I was growing up, when I was five, my parents started spending some time in Colorado. So they they bought some land in Colorado. And we started going out there for a part of the year. And my parents made friends very quickly out there. And when I was nine, so this we've been going for a few years. Yeah. And we went with some friends of ours to a new ranch where there was a party. And I was I was nine of course the adults were all drinking and carrying on and I was bored. And the owner of the ranch that we were at, said, why don't you go ride ride my horse will bring him in, you know, he had his son was there and he said, Yeah, go go bring in scotch. Bring in Scotch for Kelly right. Bring in the horses. They bring him in. And he was about 15 Three, stock Quarter Horse chestnut big white Blaze. How old were he was 32 at the time. Wow.
  • Andrea Wady 14:51
    All those older horses are amazing, so noble, and he
  • Callie King 14:56
    had been there at this man's ranch. Since he was a two Your old so he'd lived there for 30 years. Lovely. So I got to tell you a little bit about Jim the rancher first the man that gave me Scotch to paint this picture. So Jim was a Colorado rancher through and through war a big felt cowboy hat with a deep creases in it. had, you know, Ben, his family had ranched in Colorado for years and years. He he named Scotch after his favorite drink. Yeah, shocker. But when he wasn't drinking scotch, he would crack open a beer he would drink about half the beer. And then he would pour Jack Daniels whiskey into the can drink that. So he he was a character. Yeah, I bet to say the least stories I bet. And Scotch came in. They put a bright one. They threw me up on him. I was trotting back and forth the on the How old were you? I was nine. Nice. And I had written a little bit. But to be honest, I didn't like my first lessons. My parents got me lessons when I was six.
  • Andrea Wady 16:04
    You're not the lesson type. You're free. As a bird.
  • Callie King 16:08
    I was bored to tears. Lessons, definitely the only lessons that I enjoyed is when they would put us on the lunch line, they would take away the stirrups and the rain. And they would let us like basically try to stand in the saddle and wave our hands around. And yeah,
  • Andrea Wady 16:22
    that was the only things far more your style. Yeah, well, we
  • Callie King 16:25
    had to walk when we had to walk around and steer the the horses or we had to, you know, practice our position. I couldn't stand it. So I'm there on scotch, and going back and forth on the gravel driveway. And I remember Jim comes out of the house. And he comes out of the house. And he's kind of standing there, the side of the lane. Kind of kind of weaving a little bit. Kali is
  • Andrea Wady 16:51
    currently weaving. I think he might have been drunk.
  • Callie King 16:55
    And he gave me probably the best writing advice that I have received to this day. Yeah. He said, you know how to ride a horse girl. All you got to do is keep your asshole in the middle of their back.
  • Andrea Wady 17:14
    I mean, that's isn't it? Really. That's all the advice you need.
  • Callie King 17:21
    But then the next thing out of his mouth was probably the absolute highlight of my entire childhood. He said, Do you like that horse? I said, Oh, yeah, I like him a lot. They said, You can have him. And I I can even I could feel the chills in my body right now. As my parents weren't there. So right away, I was like, Well, how's this getting? How do I bridge this gap? Who's telling dad? And so Jim goes back in tells my parents that he has just given me a horse. Luckily, we had this this land. Yeah. And, and they said, okay, great trailer, but can you trailer over next week. So that was even another story
  • Andrea Wady 18:05
    itself and a big move for for the horse because he'd been on the farm for years. Well, this
  • Callie King 18:11
    tells the spirit of Scotch So 32 years old. Jim trailers him over, drops him off about six o'clock in the evening, it was going to be dark around eight o'clock. And we had what was our land, it was probably the neighbor's land. It was about a total of 200 acres that was fenced. And we also had when you come down the drive, there was a cattle guard that we went over. And if folks don't know what a cattle guard is, it's basically round, a big metal grate of round bars. Yeah, like a grid on the floor. And the reason that they use them is livestock typically won't cross over them. But you can drive a car over it. So it's kind of like a fence that you don't have to open the gate and go through. So we put Scotch in the field. I'm, of course super excited. You know, I'm out there watching him. He's running around this whole 200 acres looking like a wild stallion. I mean, he would go up on find where the ridges are, and just stand there like something out of the Spirit movie, you know, the wind blowing his mane. And I just thought this is absolutely I've got the world by the tail. Yeah, this is my horse. And then I went in for dinner. Come back out. And I can't find scotch. Oh, he's gone. And I go running back in you know, Mrs. me running around all this acreage go running back in the house. huffing and puffing data can't find him. I'm sure he's out there. Let's get on the four wheeler. We drive around. Can't find scotch. Oh, and then we got smart. We went to the cattle guard and clear as day we could see the tracks. He just ran up to that thing and leftover it jumped to so now he's out. It's almost dark. We jump in the pickup truck going to plan. It's not going to plan my hardest stinking job in the pickup truck go out looking for him. Jim ranch where Scotch lived was 20 miles away. Scotch traveled lesser miles on that road headed for home until another neighbor saw him saw horse running along the road and caught him and put him in their field. Wow, we did we we brought him back. We brought in some other horses. He ended up acclimating. Well, after a few years, we brought him back to Pennsylvania. Yeah. And he lived till he was 37. Oh, bless. But the stories they told of Scotch Supposedly he stopped stampedes of cattle on his own. Wow. I mean, he was phenomenal, phenomenal working ranch horse.
  • Andrea Wady 20:44
    They just have their own their own spirit, their own entity. Gosh, I couldn't imagine a life without horses. Yes, I just couldn't.
  • Callie King 20:53
    Yeah, we're so lucky to have grown up with horses to have them in our lives. Absolutely.
  • Andrea Wady 20:59
    And long may it last. Here's to scotch. Do we have any scotch?
  • Callie King 21:06
    That would be the time to raise a glass. Yes, it was discussion. Tyndale.
  • Andrea Wady 21:10
    We've got tea, and chocolate covered almonds. Go with that. Thanks, guys.
  • Callie King 21:20
    I have always loved being a teacher. When I was a little kid. I would make these different lectures and classes on obscure topics like equine diseases and lameness. And we're here Andrea and I are connected because of horse class. And horse class is my educational company and a community of horse people from countries all around the world that are united by wanting to be the best that we can for ourselves and for our horses. And we publish free videos, free resources and premium courses in writing tips in horse training, information and inspiration, and also how to take the best possible care of your horse. If you want to learn more, check out our website, horse We've got the link in the show notes. Thank you for listening to grab life by the reins. If you want to see ridiculous photos from our adventures be the first to know when we release new episodes and be a part of war shenanigans. Join our email family at grab life by the
  • Andrea Wady 22:35
    we'll see you in the next program.

This podcast is a part of the Bright Sighted Podcast Network. Learn more here.