Horse Friends Party

By Terry Golson

It’s the middle of winter. It’s dreary and cold. The horses are standing around all day on ice, or on hard ground, or in snow, and so are stiff and take a long time to warm up under saddle. We riders are tired of going around and around the indoor, or treading carefully on the short trail in the woods that is open. In other words, we are all suffering from winter rider doldrums.

Enough! I said. Let’s have a party.

I invited my students and a few others who have been a big part of this first year of The Cooperative Horse to my home.

A strand of horse party lights greeted them.



This was the centerpiece on the dining room table. It cheered everyone right up!



There was wine. With horse-themed labels, of course.



There was food appropriate for such a party. Carrot Soup with Ginger Cream, and sweets. It helps to have the right cookie cutters.



It’s essential, for a party like this, to have a dog, or two, join in.



Clothing was casual, and yes, some of us wore scarves emblazoned with horses, sweaters with bit motifs, and bracelets with stirrup bangles.


We spent several hours chatting and laughing – and it was all about horses!

It is snowing again this afternoon, but I’m fueled by friendship and cookies. I can make it to the end of the winter.



What are you doing to beat the winter rider doldrums?

8 thoughts on “Horse Friends Party

  • Gin

    You sure do know how to throw a party!! It cheered me up just reading about it and I love your centerpiece. I try and help the winter doldrums by starting to walk in the woods at home, and going to a local nature reserve and walking there, no flowers blooming of course, but interesting stuff to see there anyway, like birds and seed pods. Anyway, I need to get out and walk and exercise, the horses aren’t the only ones that have gotten stiff.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      You’re so right! I took the dogs out this morning. It was 20 degrees and I didn’t really want to go, but I had a walk date with a friend. Of course being out in the fresh air immediately made me feel healthier. Besides, it’s so beautiful when it is cold. It’s getting out that front door that is the hard part, after that, the benefits kick right in.

  • Stephanie

    I’ve actually started riding lessons again! I haven’t been on a horse since 1989 but rode every day before that in college. Boy – am I sore! 3rd lesson was this past Sunday. We stayed at a walk on the short sides of the arena, extended walk on the long sides. My core muscles are SCREAMING and the inside of my legs are slightly black and blue! My first lesson I tried a gentle posting trot – threw out my back and am now in a back brace during my lessons! I asked a rider/trainer friend how to strengthen my core muscles and get over this soreness – her response>>>RIDE MORE! But I’m still loving my weekly rides and it is such a GOOD sore!

    BTW = any suggestions would be welcome.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      Yay, Stephanie! Riding is an athletic endeavor, so give yourself time to get into shape and don’t let your riding instructor push you past what you are capable of (and what feels safe.) I’m sure you’re riding in a helmet (right?!!!) I’d suggest getting breeches and boots that fit well. That will alleviate the bruising. I have on-going back problems and do stretching and yoga exercises daily – following various YouTube videos. Always keep in mind that this is supposed to be fun, so only do what feels right at the time. And ask if you can take extra time before/after the lesson to groom and hang out with the horses. That, after all, is what it’s about.

      • stephanie

        Thank you Terry. Yes definitely I wear a helmet and am wearing breeches and good riding boots. I only do aa much in my lesson aa my back allows. And I always groom before and after….that’s how you get to know the horse you don’t ride often. As a matter of fact the instructor says I take too much time grooming before and after! And yes….always talking to him…..she thinks I’m crazy! But…when he starts leaning into me as I’m grooming it ABSOTIVELY makes my day. I’ll try the yoga…..thanks again

  • Chicken Carol

    Love this post. The cookies look amazing and little Scooter is as adorable as ever and of course Tonker is beautiful as always.

    We have just come through two whole weeks of frost which is unusual in England. The chickens spent their days perched up on the branch perches in their run to keep off the frosty ground. It is now mild again but wet. Even so they are back to scratching around and dust bathing and I can tell they like the change in the weather.

    I am glad we don’t have as harsh weather as you do but I suppose we all have to get on with whatever our weather throws at us. The party certainly looked just the tonic to cheer everybody.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      Our chickens are used to this weather and go right out on ice and frost. They’re not fond of snow, but will venture out in it if it means getting to food.

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