It sounds possibly as if one of the ABS sensors needs attention.
When the ABS light came on, this indicated a fault in the system and shut-down the pump. so what you felt was the brakes working without ABS.
You can check the sensors using a multimeter (if you have one or your friend has), set to read resistance. Take each wheel off in turn and undo the connector for the ABS sensor, then measure the resistance.
They usually read around 1000ohms. A failed sensor will either read high (significantly higher than this, or open circuit) or much lower. either way it will need replacing.
Other things to check whilst you have the wheels off are the rings - you will see the sensor pointing at this, which is serrated (for want of a better word!). Make sure none of the teeth are broken or there's a lot of rust blocking the gaps.