Posted in Living

I Love Ponies, They’re My Friends


A long time ago, I spent pretty much every waking hour doing this sort of thing.I was even pretty good at it. Look!


I uncovered a shoebox crammed with rosettes when were moving and took them out and ironed them all recently. It has done nothing to quell the rampant desire I have to get back in the saddle, quite literally.


These are the first two I ever won, back in 1987. I bet that’s before some of you were even born. I got a clear round jumping and I think the 4th was for a grooming competition (grooming ponies – how times have changed!). This is the pony, Sparky, that I was paired up with – still the best pony EVER.


He died when a girl gave him too much water when he was too hot, poor Sparky. I still miss him.


Also still miss that Puffa waistcoat, and Bubbles. He was about 900 years old when I rode him, but he lasted a very long time after that even. What a guy.


Action shot! That was my last pony, Misty. She was pretty much unhinged, but also a real beaut. She was frightened of trees, bushes, insects and used to just decide she’d had enough when we were out for a hack, turn around and cart me home, whether I liked it or not. A headstrong young lady, just like I was. I recall having to shout after my cousin, a much more experienced horsewoman than I, to point her at the sea to stop her, when were on the beach. Good times.


Ponies even featured in our honeymoon – we went riding round Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas. The horses were all going nuts because it had rained so hard that there were rivers flowing through the rocks and they’d never seen it before. I had to go after Lee after his steed took a detour down a ravine.

I miss ponies.



I’m Claire and I live near Glasgow, in Scotland. I have strong family ties to Cincinnati, too and regard it as my second home. If I had to describe myself in five words, it would be thus: Does. Not. Suffer. Fools. Gladly. I’ve been cross stitching pretty much all my life, but professionally since 2005, first as Miso Funky, then as The Bellwether and now under my own name. I'm known for my witty, sarcastic and occasionally profane typographic designs. My work has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Channel 4 and on BBC television as well as numerous media outlets across the globe. At one point, I was kind of a big deal but I mostly just dabble in it these days when I have time. My website is a repositry of cross stitch charts, travel and food blogging and you'll find it at I also love to travel and eat, ideally travelling somewhere great to eat something brilliant. I'm fascinated by social history, particularly the Victorians and will absolutely beat you hands down in a quiz about the Tudors. Dogs are LIFE. I like being in water and have lots of ideas that will never see the light of day but would definitely be a winner on Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank. I love to give people gifts. I! also! overuse! exclamation! marks! sorry!

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