New Year 2009

As I look back on 2008, it has been quite an eventful year, with a lot of good memories and a few sad ones as well. As you all know we lost Charkie in the summer, then in the autumn poor Taz, and in December dear old Cassie had to be put down. A few year back I wrote a poem about her, here it is:


You folk here will never know
The Cassie I was ten years ago
I came all crippled with a hobbled walk
But I heard from others, all their talk
The ride, the kids, the dogs, the fun
And I joined in and I became one
Of the little mad ponies, faster than most
Like a jet propelled pencil, Debbie would boast
But to ride on me you had to have skill
Because I galloped off and never was still
Finally, my legs gave way and bent out the side
Sad to say now I can't give a ride
But whenever you go to the 'old horses end'
Remember me, I could be your friend

Needless to say you can't visit her now but due to Katherine's and Jane's extreme care, she lived to a ripe old age of 30. Considering when I got her at the age of 14 she could hardly walk, she did remarkably well and certainly has enjoyed these past 8 years of retirement. A really pretty horse with a curious bend in the neck whenever the other horses went past. She can now join her old friends. Goodbye Cassie.

On a happier note, we had shows organized by Vickie, pictures taken by Andre, my 50th birthday bash and a few extra additions to the stable, both horses and new people. Sunny, one very naughty little horse, has made himself very at home and is a firm favorite of quite a few teenage riders. Herbie, with his enormous leap jump is a really sweet natured horse with a desire to please. Beautiful Jasper, who loves being petted by all new comers to the yard. The massively strong Felix, with his donkey friend Sava, who came as a pair. The compact Gizmo, with his peg legged gorgeous Chloe, also came together. Tilly and Grace, inseparable at first, but now much more relaxed. Dear little Percy, with a gigantic leap that unseats most children, and, last but not least, Sandy, a young traveller pony who cheerily resides with the other ponies, but even at a quarter their size, he rules the roost.

The Stables has continued to do well, with jobs being done to generally keep the place up and running, with thanks to all the old riders who have been coming for a long period of time and have supported us both in summer and winter. Also thanks to the new up and coming riders who are now also enjoying all that Bridge Farm has to offer, in its horses, jobs, friendships and general fun. For others, who are finding that they have other commitments and are no longer such regular visitors, always remember the horses that you have partnered and hopefully they shall still be there when you come back to visit, as hopefully you will, as we are all only to happy to see old familiar faces. A big thank-you to all the adults who helped to keep me and the horses going and lets hope 2009 will be a bumper year despite the "credit crunch".


In early January, Omar died too. The "old lot" now sadly has just Magic remaining.
Here is a poem Debbie wrote about Omar. I'll always remember him lying down in the field -- Andre.


My name is Omar, I'm black and white
I used to be a stunning sight
Now I'm older and a little bit thinner
My white is not quite and my black is dimmer
I've loved my jumping and my salutary rides
Wandering round Cottenham with friends on either side
I came from Luton and so did Jane
To take up residence on the Cottenham plain
The flat lands been good for my asthma and chest
But Jane is the one I love best
She comes to see me twice a week
And I know that she secretly weeps
So that Baron and I keep going forever
We'll never give up, not ever, never
Although I lay down in the field for a rest
My Saturday ride makes me feel at my best
So may I say as I stand across the stable
I'll go on as long as I'm able.

PS. Katie has written a poem about the horses and regular riders.
So keep on coming and she might include you in another one.

Katie's Poem

Bridge Farm Riding School is a very special place
Where a smile spreads from face to face
With forty horses big and small
And lots of riders short and tall
Everyone there has a friendly smile
Which makes you enjoy your time there, while
You help muck out, groom and sweep
Walk, Trot , Canter, Gallop and Leap
Have your favourite or love them all
We'll pick you up when you fall
Riding in the country or jumping in the ring
You'll be so happy you'll want to sing
Clear round jumping, Gymkhana or speedy day
Pony nuts, molly chaff, Carrots, apples and hay
We have them all to use or have fun
So if you want to join in you'll have to come
Clare, Lakota, Mary, Toushka and Harry
All these horses are willing to carry
Dodger, Damson, Regie, Suzy and Storm
They'd all be happy to munch on your lawn
Boyce, Tango , Taz and Friday too
Will always be pleased to see you
Caffrey, Chloe, Jasper and Fred
All with a clean stable and bed
Felix and Save came together
And are a pair through any weather
Bilbo and Frodo can not be apart
Or they will go mad with a broken heart
Dudley, Shamrock, Paddy, Zeeby and Cracker
None of these horses are any kind of slacker
Rosie, Charkie, Gypsy, Molly and Poppy
All work hard and are never sloppy
Gizmo and Yanto and Rainbow too
Would all be pleased to meet you
The old guys, Omar, Magic and Cassie
Are as loyal as any dog called Lassie
Iddy and George are also there
Who don't want to miss out on love and care
There will always be a horse to suit you
As long as you don't mind shoveling poo
Lesson, Hack, Jumping or show

We have a horse for each fast or slow
Maddie and Lottie and Katie and Anna
Ellen and Emma and Holly and Hannah
Jade, Chad and Ellen and Jemma
Hannah, Muirin, Ellie and Emma
Jake and Becca and Rachael too
Sarah and Ani and Steph and You!
Cloe, Iona, Holly and more
Are all here to help ten to four
Vicky and Andre and Hilary too
Laura and Catherine and also Sue
Jane takes care of the old guys so well
She loves any horse from Shetland to fell
Debbie is in charge and keeps us under her thumb
Toes up, heels down, sit with that bum
She is the person, who taught us to ride
Watched us canter, jump and glide
The yard is where I spend most of my time
Nose to tail, all in a line

Bridge Farm Riding School