One of my favorite parts of ringing in the new year in blogland is reading everyone’s year-end recaps and their goals for the next year. I started doing an extended year in review series a few years ago, and I love doing it. It helps me see how far I’ve come in the last 365 days, and always gives me some much-needed perspective at this time of the year. As has become customary for me, I’m a bit behind this year, but better late than never! So here’s the first of my 2015 in Retrospect series: a month by month recap.
I kicked off 2015 with my first ever giveaway on the blog, and started a monthly Weigh-In Wednesday blog hop in an attempt to reach my health and fitness goals for the year. I learned a lot about the basics of groundwork, and shared my findings with ya’ll. But the highlight of the month was definitely meeting my sister from another mister, Lauren of She Moved to Texas. I even rode the prolific Simon, who is amazing. Seriously, his enthusiasm knows no bounds!
I did a fun “day in the life” post that remains one of my favorites, talked about how to survive the barn in the bitter cold, and did my first blog survey. Due to terribly low temps, I didn’t ride much but I did have one particular jump school that ended with Miles and I jumping a 2’9″ vertical. The best thing about February 2015 was releasing my DIY Fly Bonnet Pattern on my etsy store — to date, it is by far my best seller still!
In March I made lots of plans: for conditioning and for show season. Plus, we GOT TO RIDE OUTSIDE. And I fell in love with my horse all over again <3 I discussed my thoughts on what success means as an equestrian, gave some tips to keep your equestrian life organized and finally reviewed my coveted Prestige Meredith Saddle. Oh, and I rode the cutest, littlest pony ever for Jess of Riding Rainbow.
I love spring… mostly because it means the end of cold, dreary winter days. I talked about my love for Ogilvy Equestrian products, tried on all the Tailored Sportsman breeches, and talked about Equus Now’s Tack Swap (P.S. I’m still using up the gift card I got for selling all of my old tack!). I also did a few how to posts: How to Do Horse Laundry, How to Spend Your Tax Refund and Spring Cleaning Equestrian Style. The toughest part of the month was missing my horse of a lifetime, on the 3rd anniversary of his death. Plus, Sam and I visited California and met the awesome L from Viva Carlos!
What else? Oh yeah, I scheduled a flat-only lesson that was full of tough exercises for both of us and I didn’t feel as prepared as I’d hoped for our 2015 show debut, but decided to take a leap of faith and remained hopeful.
Show season was officially underway with two shows this month — each had both some trials and tribulations. We had a few celebrations this month: Rocky’s 5th birthday and our first wedding anniversary. We also started shopping for our first home! I released a new product for my Etsy store (an Ogilvy Half Pad Cover Pattern) and reviewed the TuffRider Regal Field boots.
I made ribbon jars and discussed our responsibility as owners in our horse’s retirement. Plus, WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! Mostly though, it was a tough month as one of our own struggled with a staggering loss.
July was full of house stuff, like painting and buying furniture. Plus, I started a new job so I spent a lot of time getting acclimated to that. I did have a really awesome trail ride on a friend’s horse, Coal <3 while Miles was laid up.
August was a slow riding month for me, but I got to pop on both Dax and Moiya (a small bay OTTB mare). So I focused on the design of our family room, celebrated moving more stuff into the house and did a fun equitation blog hop.
I encouraged everyone to give SmartPak Piper Breeches a second chance and hosted the 3rd Annual Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange. Sam and I experienced the tragic loss of a close friend, and during that week I traveled to 7 states in 5 days. I cried harder than I have in a very, very long time and the loss affected me deeply. We miss and love you, Tino <3
The blogging community lost one of our own. A barn friend lost her husband in a car accident. My BFF fell off her horse and broke her nose. But I was able to spend some much-needed time with family over the holidays, and I am reminded of all I have to be thankful and grateful for.