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.......

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Decisions To Make.

I'm writing this is the middle of the night because I'm up keeping an eye on a claustrophobic horse who has to live out who I've taken into the barn with my horses as the weather is terrible - 60mph winds and heavy rain. I brought her in to try her in there after a text message just before midnight from her worried ex-owner whose beloved father is at home rapidly dying of cancer. She has not only found the time to worry about the horse but sent me a message today to say that the photo of me on Jack on my profile should be on the cover of a training DVD. I was so touched by that.

My horses have been in all day but are always so chilled out that so far she seems fine in there surrounded by them. It's getting a bit crowded in there now though with 7 horses and 2 goats!

I've got a few decisions to make. The school that we've been trying to fence has fought back every step of the way and it's in a place that I never really wanted it in the first place, as it's a spooky spot that many horses find hard to relax in, but dogs all love it in there. We've only managed to do the corner posts and along one side and I'm wondering if I should go with the flow and finish fencing it with dog proof plastic netting fencing, without trying to get anymore posts in, and think about another school for the horses in a different spot one day when I've earned enough money to pay for it. It will still be useable for the horses in the meantime and my farmer friend won't kill himself digging massive lumps of granite out to get each small post in!!!

I have had loads of enquiries from people wanting to move their horses here. We have such a brilliant atmosphere here, with everyone falling over themselves to help each other, that word is spreading. In theory I could find stabling and grazing for a few more but they'd have to walk quite a way to get to the grazing. I could also stick with what I've got and concentrate on other things now, like my confidence building courses using positive reinforcement and clicker training.

My loader tractor is a nightmare and completely unreliable despite many efforts by my farmer friends to fix it so I've sold it and two old tractors and am looking for a telehandler with a telescopic arm, which is purpose built for loader work and will make my life so much easier if I can find a reliable one.

I'm going to pick up Pascoe and son on Tuesday with an old friend who does horse and cattle transporting. I haven't seen him for years so we'll have loads of time to catch up. His wife of many, many years died a couple of years ago so we have a fair bit in common.

David's family business, which he left to his sister, is proving totally impractical for her to even try to manage herself and I can't find an agent to do it for her so I'm thinking of trying to do it myself. I'll have to do it for nothing as I'll have to learn as I go along but it shouldn't take up too much time and I'll learn loads about managing businesses and people along the way. She has two partners and none of them seem able to communicate with each other but they will all talk to me and make me feel wanted, appreciated and useful. My greatest fear in life has always been boredom so at least I should never suffer from that!!!!

A vet came yesterday and said how happy all the horses and people seem to be here, and, although he's only a horse vet now, he said that he and his friend, who is also now a horse only vet and who was a friend of ours and came to the funeral, they would both help out with any cattle veterinary work in their spare time, to keep their hands in, so to speak!!! He also wants to buy some beef when I have some.

We're having a Chilli and Reflexology night tonight with about 20 friends coming. I'm going to be dead on my feet by then, especially as my farmer friend is coming to do some work with me today and I've had no sleep so far, but it should be really good fun. I'm going back out to check on Joy, the horse, now then try and grab a couple of hours sleep!!!!!!


  1. well you know I am always the Devil's advocate. I am a born worrier, who has to work every minutes to keep positive.
    But from outside, yes your yard is happy, your horses are happy and the people are happy. All is well.

    Now I am in a 65 horses yard, 95% of people get along well, and are happy, it is because Mirella works very very very HARD at it.
    Perhaps you have already done it but conflict and jealousy will arise as you spend more time with one than another.
    Your place is new, so it might not be happening yet, but be sure it will.
    It is human nature.
    Now is there enough of you to deal with it, right now?
    Think about it before taking more livery.
    Mirella is able to do it, so I am sure YOU CAN DO IT!
    But it is very tough! She spends many many many sleepless night thinking/caring how to resolve many human problems. The horses are NEVER the problem!!!
    She has endless compassion for her human kind, and is very caring towards horses. She also has balls, and she had to kick people out.
    So think hard before expanding, you only need one person to wreck your happy equilibrium!

  2. Hi Helen,hope you are surviving this awful weather,my two came in for a pit stop and new rug change but could'nt wait to be back out in the thick of it.We have herds of Polo Ponies in the next field with not a rug between them.Lots of shelter and grass tho!

    Think Muriel's comments are wise, you are running close to being overstretched with more liveries,I would keep that extra land for the beef project,especially as you have made such an investment in it!

    Hope you find the right loader at the right price,most vital to you,coping on your own.

    We have acquired a very smart (well for us 4 wheel drive) cant help feeling guilty as its not very green, however its just what David needs,and with the river rising it may win me over.
    Enjoy the Chili evening.dont work too hard,and learn to say no! All love Jx

  3. If I were you (and I'm not and you might come to very different conclusions), I'd try to establish what are my priorities, focus on that and let the rest go or arrange for others to do it. Getting stretched too thin will not be good, and balancing that with having adequate challenges is the trick. Good luck!

  4. There is a thin line between busy and underwater. Sometimes I'll have filled life with fun busy activities, then one snarl make the entire thing go from busy to burden to disaster.

    (but I stay busy anyway :) Some things I guess I can't learn!)

  5. Thank you all very much for all your wise comments and advice - all much appreciated and much mulled over!!!!

    My problem, if it is a problem, is that I distract myself from sadness by problem solving so I have to make sure there are always plenty around to concentrate on if I need to or I start to see problems where they don't exisit. That said I don't like not being able to sort them out so I need to make sure the it is within my capablities to at least have a good chance of doing so.

    I also hate to set myself a target for the day and not be able to meet it so I have to try not to be unrealistic about how much I have the time and energy to do in a day.