This is my new blog to continue my journey with my Dales Ponies. It will also be the story of my building a new life for myself, alone now, except for my friends, horses and dogs, since my partner died in March 2009. We had lived and worked together, mostly twenty four hours a day, for nearly 28 years and I have never lived alone before. It is a tribute to my wonderful friends that I am still here, still sane(ish) and ready to re-invent myself. I love them all more than words can ever say and can never thank them enough for all they have done and are still doing. It is also a tribute to Alexandra Kurland and 'The Click That Teaches' that I know how to save myself now. To new beginnings.......

Monday, 13 July 2009

More Inspiration and Plans.

Some people came to watch my pones perform today. They are having problems with their 4yo and are at a yard where the trainer tells them to hit it when it does anything wrong. The owner is very young and, although she hates doing it, she doesn't have the confidence to resist or the knowledge to know other ways of sorting out problems.

Bella and Jack nearly made me cry, let alone them! I have hardly given them the time of day for months, so caught up in my own problems, and yet they were so sweet, gentle and enthusiastic. They remembered everything and were even better than before. I played with them at liberty, getting them to chase me, stop dead, back up, do long strides and short strides, mimic me doing lateral work and Spanish Walk, just moving their legs in time and direction with mine, jump a jump on command, target my hand with their ears, do walk pirouettes and reverse pirouettes by moving away from the pressure of my gaze (backed up by a hand movement on Jack's partially sighted side) and I found I can control almost every movement of every foot almost imperceptibly at times. They loved every moment of it and never lost concentration for a second and my audience, coming from the whack and slap background of the other yard, were open mouthed with astonishment!

The horse should be arriving shortly and it sounds as though a lot of confidence and relationship building is needed for all parties concerned. The owners are lovely and I can't wait to get started. Half the problem with a lot of my everyday work is that I can do it on auto-pilot and I have WAY too much time for thought, which is often my downfall at the moment. Something that absorbs me and requires real mental effort is just what I need.

I also found a website called Jive Pony which has given me some real inspiration. It's a display team with a beautiful Highland Pony called Strathmore Ronan, who does similar things to Jack and Bella. The riders are vaulters and ex-circus, and one of them used to be in The Devil's Horsemen, who I am convinced I was really meant to be one of in a kinder life! Although I could never see me getting very far at my age, and I certainly wouldn't be aiming for the elegant, feminine look, I am investigating getting a vaulting roller and finding out what I am capable of.

I am SUCH a big kid!!!!

Here is a link. There is a video clip on the Homepage and photos in the gallery:

Here is a link to the blog of one of the riders, Rosie. If you click on the 2007 posts in the archive on the right hand side, on the post for 6th October 2007 there is a really great video clip. I find them brilliant, hilarious and very inspiring and entertaining. Ronan is to die for and they all, horses and humans, look to be having a ball. I would SO love to do something like this with mine!

Horse of Course, please could you tell me how I copy the 'Honest Scrap Award' logo onto my blog? I've been trying to do it, so I can claim and pass on the award you have so kindly given me, but I can't work it out at all! Thank you very much again.


  1. Bella and Jack knew how important the demo was...not for them, or for you, but for that other horse! What sweeties.

    The Jive pony stuff looks like a ton of fun, but I am way too old and way to "knee rickety" to even think of such a thing. But in my younger days....I can certainly see the allure. What fun it would be!

    Are there any vaulters in your area? Something to definitely look into. I would expect it is a discipline demanding some good training with someone who knows how to do it safely.

    Congratulations on your two stars. Surely they brightened your skies this time.

  2. That is great that the ponies were so in tune with you even after a break. I know you will be able to help the new owners without having them hit the horse for every wrong doing.

  3. Thank you both very much!

    Jean, I have a suspicion I'm too rickety too, but nothing ventured.....

    I have contacted Rosie, who writes the Jive Pony blog, and she's not a million miles away from me so I am wondering if I can get to her for some lessons at some point.

    I'm also hoping to go and see them in action at the Chiltern Show tomorrow!