The idea for Little Viking Horse® came about as an extension of my ‘voicing over’ our horses, Johnny Morris style. (If you are not from the UK, or too young to remember Johnny Morris, Google him. I believe he was a major influence on me eventually becoming an author). In particular, Fleygur’s voice seemed to just come to me. He was so expressive, and had strong opinions about what he liked and what he wanted. He still does! Fleygur was a little horse with big ideas and when I looked at him I felt I could hear what he might be saying. A horse with ‘issues’ for sure, but he thought he was awesome. Roger, my husband found it highly amusing, so I set up the Facebook page, just for a bit of fun. Before I knew it I had 70 followers, then 100, then 200…and now over 2700!
I blogged to entertain but also to promote the Icelandic horse breed that I had become so passionate about. I created this website to provide more information. Fleygur (LVH) and Roger (My Mate Roger or MMR) soon became well known in the small Icelandic horse community in the UK, and LVH was appointed as a PR celebrity by the Icelandic Horse Society GB and features on the Website www.ihsgb.co.uk. Because the blog featured Roger and Fleygur people initially thought that Roger wrote the blog, but I was soon outed as the writer, even though I tried to keep myself in the background, not even using my own name and rarely appearing in the photos.
My little Icelandic mare Gydia (My Mare Gydja) and my Welsh Cob cross, Beanie (Big Fat Cob) also featured in the blog. We added to our little herd with Svipur, the Baby Blondie (who went on to have many names!) and later Good Boy Jandi – and we were having a fine old time. Roger encouraged me to fulfil my dream of writing and I started my first children’s book, Little Viking Horse.
Then, in May 2016, Roger died suddenly of a heart attack. I was devastated. The horses were part of what got me through those early days and weeks of shock, but for a while I could not ‘hear’ Fleygur’s voice. I did not know if this blog would continue, and for a short while I didn’t even know if I would continue to write. Then I posted about Roger’s death on the Facebook page and the website. I was inundated with messages of love and support.
As well as the crushing loss of my soulmate, I lost a lot of confidence with the horses – without Roger around to encourage and support me. Throughout 2016 and 2017 I battled with anxiety. I even considered giving up my beloved horses. In the end my youngster, Jandi went on loan and was later sold to some good friends, but Gydja, Svipur (aka Blondie) and of course Little Viking Horse Fleygur remain.
I continued to write. I found it cathartic and received nothing but love and encouragement from Little Viking Horse followers around the world. My confidence continues to improve and periodically (but not very often!) I write about my struggles, successes and set backs with the horses on the blog page of this website.
Little Viking Horse, the book was finally published on 5th October 2021. You can connect with my on my author Facebook Page – Catherine Holland-Bax, and on my publishing website eponawise.com.