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, 3 August 2009


I rode Grace around to the local show yesterday. I didn't go to compete as I didn't really feel like it and my show gear is all three sizes too big now anyway, but I wanted to catch up with a few people I thought might be there.

Grace has become a people magnet - she draws people over to talk to me, even people who say they're a bit wary of horses usually. One of those people told me that she wanted to get close to Grace because of the look in her eyes, which I thought was lovely.

A mother and daughter, who asked if they could take her photo, asked all about her and the mother said to the daughter "You push her off and I'll grab the horse!", which made me laugh. Someone else said that they'd been looking to see which was their favourite horse on the showground and it was definitely Grace.

It was the first time I've ridden her at a show, as I was only given her at the end of last season and had only shown her in hand before that. She was just lovely, concentrating on me and ignoring the others cantering around, and her canter has improved beyond all recognition. I spent the whole day beaming from ear to ear.

I caught up with some old friends too and talked so much I was hoarse. One lady came over and asked if I remembered her. I didn't to start with, but she was the nurse in intensive care who switched off David's ventilator and looked after us both while he died. She said that she had been looking for me at several shows and had been worried about how I was coping on my own. She had only spotted me as she remembered I'd told her about my ponies while talking to her in intensive care, and had asked her friend if she'd seen a Dales anywhere just as I happened to be riding past. I was really touched.

People are all so kind. I get people giving me thumbs up driving past in cars while I'm riding through the village and I don't even know half of them. I had never realised before just how many kind, generous, lovely people there are out there.

I spent yesterday with Grace and surrounded by friends old and new. I was so proud of Grace and had such a wonderful day, and much of it was because of her. She is my little superstar!!!

I'd had a tough week last week, due to a bit of a disaster which was much of my own making, and had a couple of days when I was really low again. Having my friend living here and being able to keep talking about it made the world of difference and I would have really crashed if she hadn't been there.

The other huge difference has been Meggie, one of my dogs. The other two can't be left on the loose as they go off hunting and I've always kept Meggie in the yard with them most of the time. My main inspiration suggested that I stopped feeling guilty for singling her out and let her wander around loose with me, so whenever I feel down she's there beside me.

Meggie has been wonderful. She stays close to me and now is my Land Rover dog too, coming for rides around the farm, which she loves already. I love having her with me and she makes me smile and laugh often. My main inspiration now refers to her as Super Dog! I've clipped her too and she was tiny even when hairy, so it's a big title for a very small dog!

I have another plan for drawing more friends old and new to the farm, which will be my next post, and I already have loads of people interested. My enthusiasm for life and for horses is returning by the day and I have so much to be grateful for and excited about.

I have some wonderful, extraordinary friends who have kept me alive and made my life worth living again, and Grace is right up there with them.


  1. So glad you had a great day with your little treasure,relieved to hear that you are OK,always get concerned when I dont hear from you!
    Have you managed to make your hay yet,I know the weather has been so unpredictable. Jx

  2. Hi Helen!
    I am catching up on posts, summer vacation finally over.
    Sounds as if you have had some good days lately?
    Both with Grace yesterday, and the trip to the show?
    And such good news with your friend moving in, and the boarders. Lovely idea to help people, and to show them how to work with clicker training instead of confrontations. I am really looking forward to hear about it!

    Re. the award: just right-click on the picture and choose "Save picture as..." and save it on your computer. Then just add it to your post as you do with other pictures.
    Did that answer your question?

    I thought about your post a while ago where you said that you loved well formulated thoughts and words. Have you read anything by Charles de Kunffy? He is not only a master with horses, but also with words. Sometimes I feel I could quote the whole book, lol!

    We are taking our horses home from summer pasture this week, and I am really looking forward to that. It is nice to have some time off, I believe, both for the horses and the riders, but now I miss them a lot!

  3. Grace certainly does live up to her name. How nice to be able to ride to a show and enjoy yourself on the way.

    Meggie too appears to be a special gift from God. The love and devotion of our animals can do much to heal us.

    Which reminds me. A while ago I read an article about "medicine horses." I need to find that again. These horses have the power to heal people. I wonder, perhaps if your Grace has some of those powers as well.

  4. How lovely that you have a horse named Grace - what an excellent time at the show you seem to have had - you are right, there are many good and well-intentioned people in the world if we just take the time to notice them!

  5. I loved your account of riding Grace at the show.
    It was a very special day.

    You seem to draw good folk to you so I am sure your new venture will be successful, whatever it is.

  6. Thank you all very much for your lovely comments and I'm sorry I haven't emailed you lately Janette. There's so much to tell and so little time to tell it in. My life is a whirlwind at the moment, but in a very good way!

    Horse of Course, thank you very much for the instructions. That is such a coincidence regarding Charles de Kunffy as my old blog is plastered with quotes from his books! I kept writing "one final quote" and then "one more final quote"!!! I LOVE his writing and have every book of his I can get my hands on. 'The Ethics and Passions of Dressage' is my favourite.

  7. That is nice, Helen! Then you have read more about him than I have ;)
    I only have "Dressage Principles Illuminated", but I will put your favourite on my wish list immediately, lol!
    Thanks for the tip!