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.......

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Party of a Lifetime!

The party was just wonderful! About 50 or more people turned up and I have never laughed so much in my entire life! I didn't have a drop of alcohol all evening but my friends made me feel like the teenager I never was, with university acquired drinking games that were just hilarious, especially as I was only drinking tea!!!

It was just brilliant to have so many friends here and to have them all meet each other. My internet friends Hilary and Charlotte came. Hilary drove all the way from Yorkshire, and back again, and Charlotte, who I hadn't met before, drove from Surrey and back. They met everyone including my two farmer friends and most of my friends who keep their horses here. It was so lovely to meet Charlotte, who I felt as though I'd known for ages, and to see Hilary again. It was so good of them to come.

I loved seeing three friends, who are not party people and don't go out much, having a wonderful time joining in the drinking games and falling about laughing. The best of the fun was because of Sapphires young owner organising us and cajoling us to join in. She is the loveliest person, wise far beyond her years, and looks after us all. Resistance is futile when she is determined to make you enjoy yourself to the full!!!

I have had a couple of people remark on how badly I walk recently, due to a bad back from too many years bent over a muckfork and wheelbarrow, but Hilary came up with the way to motivate me into trying to do something about it. She said that because I've trained my horses to mirror me if I'm downhill then they always will be too. I knew my posture was terrible but had been trying to convince myself that it didn't really matter. The thought that improving it might improve my horses way of going is the motivation I need to try and do something about it!

The party didn't end until nearly 2am but I woke up full of energy and enthusiasm today. I rode Bella for the first time in months and she was so pleased. She went beautifully and in the yard afterwards she stood with the front of her face pressed against my forehead. Her friend Russell was calling for her from the field but she just wanted to be close to me. It brought tears to my eyes and made me realise that she is a pony of a lifetime in the making. She deserves much more than I've been giving her for the last few months. I fell in love with her all over again today.

I rode Jack for the 2nd time in six months, the first being several months ago. He was so willing and eager to please, and feels so steady in his mind now. He too deserves much more of my attention. They have both been so patient with me.

I rode Grace out with Joy's owner and her daughter, Sapphire's owner, and loved being out with both of them. They really have made me feel like part of their family and I'm so grateful to them for that.

Even after having everyone here together for so long last night I still felt the old anxiety again today when everyone had gone - that they wouldn't come back and I'd never see them again. This time I didn't go in for frantic texting for reassurance. I just tried to ignore it and concentrated on my ponies and by the end of the day they had nearly all either returned or text me to thank me for the party.

I have come to the conclusion that the secret of life for me, on the whole, apart from trying to learn how to do as many different things as I can, is merely trying to hold my nerve and, on occasions, blagging it - acting as though I'm confident, in control of myself and cheerful, even when I feel the complete reverse. Those, along with making sure people know how much I care about them and appreciate them, and always being scrupulously polite and thanking everyone for everything should be enough to make sure that my friends do keep on coming back here indefinitely. The thought of losing even one of them would be too much to bear.

It's my birthday tomorrow and I'm going out for a meal in the evening with 3 friends, I told someone today that I had jokingly said that it would be a "sad singles" night out but one of them has just begun a new relationship and the other two would not appreciate the term "sad", so if they find out I could find myself eating alone!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Happy "almost birthday!" Sounds as if you celebrated the best of it early. *G*

    How wonderful to have your horses prefer your company over that of four legged friends. When a horse chooses to step into our worlds out of his own, then we have been truly blessed.

    Keep riding. It will help your back. Remember to sit up straight in the saddle...lift your core. That will make your horses go better, help their backs stay well, and help you too.

  2. Happy birthday (early)! Your horses, and your relationship with them, are marvelous, and deeply to be treasured. I also have a bad back, and find riding, trying to stay in a balanced position, has helped quite a bit. So an excuse for more riding for you!

  3. Happy Birthday Helen.
    I hope you have a ton of presents and chocolate too ^-^

  4. Happy Birthday,So glad the party was such a success.

    It creases me up that you were on tea all night,no wonder you didnt have a hangover!

    Have a nice meal out tonight.All Love j

  5. Happy Birthday for today! You'll be out as I am typing this. It was great to see you again, and meet all the people that we have heard so much about. And lovely to se how much you have done since I last came down.

    Have to equate anything to horses for you Helen! Now you have to do it, just to find out!! I do find that Lottie comes up ( when I am on the ground) a lot when I am "up" if you know what I mean. And with those amazing lateral steps.... It was great seeing you play with your ponies

    Actually, this conversation might just have motivated me to find a class of pilates! - am much better at giving advice rather than taking my own

    HAve a great time at HOYS on Sunday.

    And may you have a wonderful, exciting and joyful year ahead of you.
    Hope you had a nice dinner, and I am happy that the party was a success!

  7. Happy Birthday, Helen and here is to many more!!( Those niggling little self-doubt thoughts that creep in trying to destroy you new-found confidence and life---PISH!!!! Just brush them off and do a redirect. One thing I was told by a therapist when I felt like I was going down for the third time; look at yourself in the mirror and in a very firm voice tell yourself every good thing you can do and every good thing in your life. If your niggles can withstand that, which I doubt, go out and have a heart-to-heart with Bella.) Have a wonderful dinner, and know that there are people everywhere who care.

  8. Thank you all SO much! You are all so kind to me.

    I had so many cards, presents, texts and visitors that I felt like the most popular person in the whole world! My favourite was a hand drawn card by an 8yo and it was handed to me in great excitement by her 3yo brother. It nearly made me cry. Good job I'm so tough!!!!

    And I did get loads of chocolate Muriel!!!

    Have been very busy with solicitors, etc. and also mucking out some heavy horses a couple of miles from here at 5am this morning. Their owner is in hospital and the goats who are on livery here's owner has been doing the horses by herself everyday for 3 weeks before work and was getting very tired and depressed, with six weeks more to go yet. I told her we would race through it together and volunteered to help for a while. She says that I'm mad but I say that being mad is actually what keeps me sane!!!

    They are lovely, huge gentle horses and I will write about them asap, plus go back in daylight to take some photos.

    Thank you all again for all your good wishes and kind comments. They really do help and mean the world to me. Thank you so much.