My Birthday Present

Today is my 55th birthday.

I bought a horse.

I have to let that sink in.

I know what horse ownership is like. It means whatever I’m doing, however wonderful it is, I’m thinking, “I should be at the barn.” It means that there is a constant flow of money out. These days it means that at the end of the day my back will hurt.

But it also means this.



Chickens, goats, dogs, husband, kids. My life is already full and rich with relationships. But what happens on the back of a horse can only happen on the back of a horse.



Only a few weeks ago, Steve and I were talking about how happy I was that I was riding again. He said, “buy a horse.” And so I did.



I thought that it would take all winter to find the perfect partner, but, thanks to a HenCam reader who knew someone who knew someone, I found Tonka.

I’ll be boarding him at a stable two miles up the road from my house, where there are other horses to keep him company, and people to attend to his daily needs.



Tonka arrives the first week of December. You’ll be seeing and reading more about him then!


  1. What a beautiful horse! Can’t think of a better birthday gift! Happy B-Day!

  2. As Sandy said ….WOW! Aren’t you the lucky lady! Happy Birthday to you Terry ! And such a beautiful horse……! I’ll do my riding through you and all the pictures you’re going to post. Enjoy your day and I’m so pleased for you!

  3. Happy Birthday Terry! Wow, he is gorgeous! Look at that SMILE on your face! Will Tonka be staying where Mica resides?

  4. Happy Birthday Terry! Tonka is a very handsome horse! I will be 55 in Feb., so not only do we have a lot of the same interests, we are pretty close in age also! Even Steve sounds alot like my husband Kevin, when he encouraged you to buy a horse!

  5. Happy 55th Birthday Terry! Your ‘Birthday Present’ is Beautiful! I’m so happy for you.

  6. Happy Birthday Terry !!! Good luck with Tonka, I hope some day he will be able to meet your goats as well. I am sure all three would get along quite well.

  7. Terry – it’s not luck – it’s the Universe responding to you! You look so happy, so serene. Life is good!

  8. Happy Birthday Terry! You both look so happy. When my neighbor turned 55 her husband asked if she wanted a big party – she said no, she would rather have a barn for her horse!

  9. Happy birthday, and congratulations! :) So happy that you found each other. You look great on him!

  10. Happy Birthday!


    Having that spot open up just when you needed it, and finding Tonka so quickly, it sounds meant to be.

  11. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I hope that your Special Day is just that, very special. Of course knowing that Tonka will soon be joining your happy family makes it even more special. I know that the two of you will spend lots of wonderful days together. God bless you and yours :-)

  12. Happy birthday and what a wonderful present to yourself!

    Tonka is a handsome horse and you two certainly look comfortable together. Is nice you can board him so close to your home, too.

  13. Happy Birthday. You and Tonka are beautiful . Yes, all those things are true, but the love of a horse makes up for every pain you will have. We started with one , now we have 20. One needed company, one wanted to have a baby, one liked to show, you get it. We have a program for terminally and chronically ill children as well as autistic. We have wonderful children in our program and have been blessed to be able to open our second LifeHorse Center in Culpeper , VA. next year. God’s creatures, God’s will. So happy you have joined us in our love of horses. Visit us at http//

  14. Happy Birthday and congratulations on getting Tonka! I will be looking forward to the stories and pics coming our way. Hope you put him in the next calendar. I do love my calendars, BTW. Happy Riding!

    • “But if you meet a friendly horse, will you communicate by m.o.o.o.o.r.s.e? m.o.o.o.o.r.s.e? m.o.o.o.o.r.s.e? How will you speak to that h.o.o.o.o.r.s.e?”

  15. Happy Birthday! Bonne anniversaire! Boldog szuletesnapot! to TERRY and Tonka too:)

  16. So exciting! Have a wonderful day! Tonka will be so much fun to have!

  17. Tonka is gorgeous! You deserve to have it, and we’ll learn a lot from you. Again CONGRATULATIONS!!

  18. Sometimes the planets just align. Happy, happy birthday to you. And welcome, Tonka!

  19. Happy Birthday Terry! You two look like you were made for each other!!

  20. That’s a very special birthday gift! Happy birthday, and have a wonderful time with your new friend.

  21. Tonka is beautiful and I full approve! After a one-year break training other people’s horses following the retirement and gifting to a new home of my last horse, I brought my new horse home last Jan. 2. I hope he carries me into my 70s (I just turned 52). Since I plan to ride until I die, that will mean one more horse after that…. And you know what, my back USED to hurt, but it hasn’t bothered me in years!


    Congratulations on getting Tonka – he is such a handsome horse.

  23. Happy Birthday Terry! You, Tonka, and Little Pond Farm have been a great big writing prompt for my after school writing class. Somehow Tonka became a Revolutionary War horse. You fled the farm riding him when you heard shots fired. But what will happen to The Girls, Pip and Caper, the dogs, and The Beast? We will find out on Wednesday. I’ll keep you posted. Enjoy the day!

    • Tell your students that Tonka will be living right next to the trail that the Minutemen marched on to go to Concord for the first battle of the Revolutionary War, so not so far-fetched!

  24. Happy Birthday! Lucky horse and a beauty! So glad you found each other.

  25. *~* HAPPY BIRTHDAY *~* Terry…What a wonderful gift…He’s a lucky fella to have you as a friend !!! Happy riding to you both…

  26. What a handsome horse and a classy lady looks like you two were made for each other a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you !!!

  27. God Bless you, Terry. This day is meant to be celebrated your way. I love seeing you on your new horse, Tonka. Your smiles say it all! You give so much joy to others, and it comes back to you a thousand fold. Congratulations on your 55th birthday. You deserve all that joy and happiness and so much more!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TO YOU!

  28. Happy Birthday Terry. You deserve all the happiness that comes your way. You make so many people happy with sharing your Hencam. Does this mean we will see a “Horsecam” in the near future ?

  29. Happy Birthday Terry!
    -Tonka is so completely handsome! Looking forward to more photos! (Any Breyer collectors reading this? Somebody should customize one to look like Tonka! I’m thinking the Western Prancer has the prettiest face and the spunk…)

    • BTW, according to Wikipedia, the horse has the largest eye of all land mammals! Hard to believe, but I guess that’s part of their charm.

  30. Happy Birthday Terry and congratulations on the new addition. Tonka is a handome looking boy and BTW you look pretty darn good too…

  31. The wonder of it all shines from your face and Tonka is such a lucky beauty. Happy Birthday Terry… :o)

  32. Hope you’ve had an awesome Birthday and sounds like a wonderful year ahead. Much joy to you and all your family: especially the furry & feathered ones.

  33. Happy Birthday Terry!!! You and Tonka make a beautiful couple. Happy trails.

  34. Tonka is beautiful Terry!
    He looks to be well schooled from the photos, and possibly part Arab?

    Happy birthday too! XXXX

  35. Happy birthday!! You definitely got the best birthday present ever! Brought tears to my eyes to read your post. Yes, horses are lots of work; yes, they cost lots (and lots, and lots) of money. But for me, whether I’m riding them, or just being with them, horses are the only place I find true peace. Wishing lots of peace to you!

  36. Look how many of your blog buddies are wishing you a happy birthday, Terry..I just couldn’t be left out of the celebration! Best wishes for the next year to you, your new found friend Tonka, and everyone on Little Pond Farm.

  37. Mazel Tov! Oh he is just Beautiful!! Happy Happy Birthday!!
    And good man Steve to tell your wife if it makes her happy she can buy a horse!

  38. Happy Birthday, indeed! Your smile and joy are contagious—I’m sitting here grinning like a fool!

  39. Happy birthday! You two look great together. I’m so happy for you!

  40. what joyful look on your face, and what a. lovely horse! so happy for you!

  41. Happy Birthday!! I don’t know which one of you is happier at having found each other. I look forward to hearing much more about Tonka.

  42. Happy Birthday Terry! :) Snoopy and I wish you the happiest year ahead for you and your family! Dreams do come true!

  43. Congrats Terry! I’m so happy for you…..

    Also it was really wonderful to meet you in person at Equine Affaire.

    Looking forward to your continued poultry, leporine, caprine & equine adventures!

    All best wishes,
    Jen Stamps

  44. So wonderful for you both! Happy Birthday Terry and I’d say that handsome boy Tonka has landed butter side up with you as his new owner and companion. You look perfect together…congratulations!

  45. Happy Birthday! Congrats on the horse. He is beautiful, and you look so full of joy and happiness. Glad to see you do something just for you!

  46. God’s blessings to you on your 55th, Terry! Tonka is one lucky pony to be able to share riding adventures with you :-)

  47. What an amazingly beautiful boy! Happy birthday from England. I often check in with your hens. It’s fun to see what they’re up to thousands of miles from my girls…

  48. We send you our best wishes on this special day! What an excellent year this has been for you and your family…Tonka looks just superb! We will look forward to hearing all about him when he joins you.

  49. How wonderful!!! Happy Birthday,and thank you for sharing those beautiful photots!

  50. Tonka is truly a handsome beast. I know he will stable down the road, but I hope he will appear on the section of Who’s Who. I’ll bet your face will get tired from all the smiling.

  51. Happy Birthday and Congratulations!!! I’ll be looking forward to horse pictures and stories in the future. I’m sure I will grow to enjoy reading and seeing him as much as I do all your other animals. Thanks for continuing to let us “look” into your animal life!!!

  52. Happy Birthday Terry! You two look good together. I look forward to reading about your adventures with him.

  53. What a beautiful horse. For a horse, that is. Congratulations and Happy Birthday! Just keep him out of the Peanuts. I’m just sayin’…

  54. Happy Birthday Terry! Congratulations regarding Tonka. But most of all, Bless You for finding the most understanding, loving, kind and gentle husband, Steve, that I have ever been witness to. You are Blessed.

    • Steve was quite pleased by your comment – and I told him to live up to it next month when he only has frozen dinners to eat because I’ll be at the barn :)

  55. Happy Birthday Terry! You look so happy up there on Tonka. You make a nice looking pair. Congratulations

  56. I can relate to that feeling of having a horse in your life.
    What is that saying..”There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man/woman.”

    Happy Birthday!

  57. What a beautiful horse what a wonderful birthday present! It was very nice meeting you last night at the book signing!

  58. great life i always dreamed of a farm in kentucky we have pretty looking horses in venezuela arabian argentinian and arab champions i owned a speckled horse named seawnind i bought him cheap he was a champion won races in sven states also did a bad thing chicken fights i regreted because i like to see roosters frree good luck to steve n yu n all yur friends by ramb