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.
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.......