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, 17 August 2009

A Fantastic Day.

I had SUCH a wonderful day today!!!

My friend came first thing to remove the wire from the Haybob. It took forever as there was miles of it and it had got right into the gears. He was as patient and understanding as always and he just has a knack of saying the right thing to make me feel better. I asked him if he had thought it would take so long, as he'd come so early, and he said that he'd thought if I couldn't get it out he wasn't going to like it. I could have hugged him because it made me realise that they probably don't think that I'm a useless liability after all. He had also said, when he showed me briefly how to do the job, that it wasn't really fair on me to expect me to manage with so little help and instruction but I had somehow forgotten that until today!!

He also said that yesterday had been manic at their farm so my doing the turning here had been a huge help, as he had been able to sort me out when it was too early to combine, bale or turn anyway, so I had saved him valuable time inspite of the wire incident.

I didn't get the sack and was trusted to be let loose with their Haybob again and today I managed fantastically!!! With Meggie's help I turned the whole lot without disaster, plus I decided to turn the bits I missed yesterday twice, to catch up. When they text to see how I was doing I could answer, truthfully, 'NO PROBLEM AND I'M LOVING IT'!!! My self esteem was sky high, for once!

This evening I helped to introduce my newest livery's horse to targeting and the clicker. She's a four year old warmblood/TB cross and she caught on in seconds. We started in the yard then took her into the school and she touched and followed the target wherever we put it, from on the ground to high in the air, straight away. I also did some pressure and release work, backed up by the clicker, and apart from one tiny hint of a strop she was soft and compliant throughout. She came here with a bit of a reputation for being stroppy and sometimes aggressive so her young owner and I were thrilled with her, and she was pretty pleased with herself too!!!

So I am now competant to be left alone to do a tractor job, with only Meg to help me, and I have hopefully started another horse and owner along the road to a better understanding and enjoyment of each other.

Not a bad day's work by anyone's standards, even mine!!!!!

The view down my fields:

My tractor plus my friends Haybob ready for action:

Meggie on her lunch break:

My herd:

Two of my new liveries:

Megs the Land Rover driver:

The view in my rear view mirror, thanks to one of my farmer friends. They have given me my life back:


  1. How wonderful - so glad things are going better! Very interesting description of the mare and clicker - I should do more with it.

  2. I love the "ONE life live it". SUPERB, where did you find it?

    I am so happy for you!

    Would you mind to write some of your lessons again? PLEASE! I need some positive understanding inspiration.

    Thanks for all Helen!

  3. Sounds like it was just what you needed Helen - you are definitely not a liability, thats for sure. A friend sent me this little quote:

    'A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.'

    How wonderful to be in a place where liveries are also positive and interested in the clicker. I can almost feel the atmosphere through the PC!

  4. Read both posts now...what a change between the two! But probably more normal than you realize. You are still grieving in more subtle ways and trying to redefine yourself.

    What you need to do is try hard to see your capabilities rather than your shortcomings. Even all those talented farmers cannot do everything. There will always be some things you simply cannot do on your own, and that is true of everyone. There are some things you will do well, some things you will do badly. Some things you will be able to do that no one else will be able to do as well.

    You are gifted in handling the horses and other animals. Maybe you don't quite have the same "touch" with a tractor, but so what? Maybe those farmers don't have quite the same touch with a horse.

    I like it that your farmer friend suggested that if you couldn't untangle the wire yourself, then he knew it was going to be a big job. His eyes see quite a capable person there. Believe it.

  5. So glad things have turned around,it should be the sweetest hay ever made on the planet.You will remember all the heartache that went into its making with a smile on those dark winters nights.

    Having a bit of a confidence wobble myself this morning on Sophs.

    Went out a bit later than normal, 9ish, thought I would try a ride thro the two fourty acres as the corn has been cut in the top field, just went thro into the top field and Sophs goes ridged,I look to where she is concentrated and on the skyline are two riders hats going by (this is at least a quarter of a mile away!

    She was completely frozen and honking thro her nose which is her extreme alert signal,its very loud and supposed to warn every one.

    You can forget about clicking once she is like that so I went back to tried and trusted Rib Bending, I had to yank her head around with two hands,not a pretty sight,but bent her around my legs all the way up the field,and coped with the nasty steep track and turned for home,she was still lit up when I got home,but she didnt tank off,but this is riding too much on the edge for me,will spend the next few days playing in the field and try and go out with solid old Seamus at the weekend.

    I dont panic and seem to cope till I get home and then my poor old knees start to shake a bit.She is testing my confidence to much and I sometimes wonder if we will ever really ride her out of this,feel despondent as Ilove her to bits,and in someone else's hands she could be so abused,so will never sell her!


  6. Thank you so much, all of you.

    Kate, thank you.

    Jean, I'm sure that one of them would be the most talented horse trainer on earth if he wanted to be. He really can do almost anything!! I just need to know that I can do these things if I need to, so I'm not so reliant on other people. And I do have this need to try to do everything well. You always write so encouragingly and understandingly - thank you!!

    Charlotte, I love the quote! I wish that you and Hilary lived closer!

    Muriel, the sticker is from an old advertising campaign I think. It never fails to lift my spirits. I WILL start writing about training horses again, I promise!

    Janette, I wish you could bring Sophie here for a while. It's so difficult to comment when I haven't even met her. I had a little mare who used to blow like that when she was worried but she usually just needed a bit of reassurance and comforting to convince her not to over-react, but I don't know Sophie and perhaps you needed to do something major to avert disaster.

    I've just realised that could me me I'm writing about - always needed a bit of reassurance and comforting to prevent me from over-reacting, and usually about fears that are all of my own making! My poor, poor friends!!! Why they put up with me I'll never know!!!