IT has been an eventful time for Presteigne author Pat Lyne.

Firstly, she saw her fourth book about Connemara ponies published and, within weeks, she was invited - one of only a handful of women to have been accorded the privilege - to give three talks based on her book Edith Stein Discovered to Caldey Island's enclosed order of Cistercian monks.

The two very different books reflect the two parallel passions that have ruled Pat's life, the two Cs she calls them - Connemara ponies and the Sacred Order of Carmel.

Connemaras arrived in her life in the shape of one small pony, a golden dun Connemara called Arctic Moon, who changed the course of Pat's life completely. Until 1963 and her first meeting with Arctic Moon in Ireland, Pat had run a livery stable, sourcing hunters for local horsemen.

"I fell in love with her," says Pat, who then brought the mare over to her Herefordshire stables, where she became the foundation mare for a hugely successful Connemara breeding programme. Pat's unerring eye for a good horse was confirmed when Arctic Moon took the title of Supreme Champion at the Royal Show for an unprecedented three years in succession.

"I had no inclination at all to write until I was about halfway through my time breeding ponies," says Pat, explaining how she became an author. "It was suggested that we Connemara owners and breeders should have our own journal. That led to us starting the Connemara Chronicle, which I edited for eight years.

"Before long somebody said: How about a book?'. So I set out to write a history of the breed, which took me seven years."

The resulting book, Shrouded in Mist, was published in 1984 and is still the only definitive history of the breed. It was followed by Out of the Mist, a study of the Connemara's expansion world wide, and Reflections Through the Mist, a personal appreciation of the people, places, and ponies Pat encountered in 35 years' immersed in the world of Connemaras.

The fourth book inspired by life with Connemaras, As I See It, subtitled Back and forth, past and present through the mist, published at the beginning of last month, is a personal overview of the Connemara breed.

Although Pat announced her retirement from the international judging scene at 75, she spent her 77th birthday "in a dusty show-ring in America".

She is adamant that it marked the end of her international travels, but she has not yet exhausted her store of anecdote and memories and has plans for a fifth volume, the story of Arctic Moon, "which means it will be my story, too," says Pat.

Pat, a member of the Secular Order of Carmel, has also written two books on the life of Carmelite saint, St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein. Edith Stein was a German Jew who converted to Christianity and became a Carmelite nun. She died in Auschwitz in 1942 and was canonized in 1998 by Pope John Paul II.

Having started writing about Connemaras it was only natural that when she learned the story of Edith Stein, she should once again put pen to paper. It was her book, Edith Stein Discovered, that led to the invitation from Caldey to give her talk.

"I was nervous, but I kept my talk short," says Pat. "But I think, from the response, that it went down well."

Pat Lyne's Connemara titles can be obtained by calling 01544 267026. Her two books on the life of Edith Stein are published by Gracewing Publishing, telephone 01568 616835.