It’s that time of the year when we all look back and wonder where the hell the year went. Or maybe, how the heck it’s still only 2013. Either way, I’m in a reflective mood so I thought I’d do a short little “year in review” mini series. Enjoy!
In April, I decided to make a second attempt at starting Fly On Over. After riding my trainer’s chestnut Thoroughbred mare Diamond all winter in the hopes of showing her at 2’6″, we made the decision that I would instead show Vinnie in the 2′ Limit division. I finally wrote the post that Visa deserved and took the entire day to celebrate his life the only way I knew how: by riding. To this day his passing remains… difficult at best. A fact that I know many of you know from first-hand experience, especially this year when we’ve lost way too many. I also rode in the first horse show of the season! A nice, relaxed show at the barn where I got to ride both Diamond and Vinnie. It was a lot of fun to show both horses, and as an added bonus I showed (and lived through!) my very first jumper class ever. I had a brief moment where I considered adopting a horse, but I decided against it. And thank goodness, because as we all know now, I ended up with something much, much better!
As the first horse show approached, I began to struggle with Vinnie. He started to be very strong over fences, and I started to get frustrated. During our first show I couldn’t successfully school Vinnie on my own and I began to lose some confidence. The show itself was okay, but I left not sure whether it was a net positive experience or not.
In June we went to a new horse show venue and I loved it! Vinnie was a horror for schooling on Friday and I honestly contemplated getting off and quitting… but I stuck it out and was better for it. Even though it was the first horse show I ever attended where I didn’t get a single ribbon, it was my birthday weekend and my fiance surprised me by getting his family and my parents all to the horse show to celebrate, complete with presents and cake! Best horse show ever, for just that reason alone. Also, as a funny aside, this show was the first time I ever saw Miles.
The next weekend we loaded up and went to another horse show, and the normal, calm Vinnie finally made a resurgence! I placed fairly well in a large, competitive division on a horse with no lead change. I was proud of myself for sticking through the tough times, and happy to finally be a little bit competitive. After all, that’s why I horse show in the first place!
I went to the most epic horse show ever, in which I waited all damn day to show in Equitation, had a refusal on my second course and then it poured down rain overnight so I scratched all my Sunday hunter classes. But I got to watch my trainer show in-hand, so it was sort of worth it.
I also ramped up my search for a horse of my own, and took a horse on trial for the first time. He was gorgeous, talented and I fell in love instantly… I just couldn’t jump him to save my life. So back he went, and I contemplated slitting my wrists. I was a little depressed about Trial Horse, and my blogging suffered. I posted one post the entire month about actually riding. I skipped horse shows because I felt like I had accomplished all I could with Vinnie. Henceforth we will call August 2013 “the lost month.”
September was the best month of my life. I got engaged on Sept. 7 and bought Miles on Sept. 12. What is there to say? I am blessed, and so, so lucky to have both an amazing fiance and a fabulous horse in my life. Words cannot explain how grateful I am every single day to be living this life!
In October I reveled in my new job, which didn’t include working 7 days a week! I went out to the barn constantly and took Miles to our first horse show together (Schooling, Day 1 and Day 2)! In case you missed it, he was a fucking rockstar and worth every single penny I spent on him… and then some. We placed in every class, including the hack, and even though it was bitter cold and gross out, I loved every minute. Oh yeah, I was also knee deep in wedding planning, and everyone loved the picture of these shoes I posted.
Winter started to creep in, but I was still riding all the time… including some no stirrup work for the first time in… well… a long time. I also jumped 2’6″ for the first time on Miles and true to form he was fan-freaking-tastic. In bloggerland, I posted a set of original questions dubbed The 5 Day Challenge (1, 2, 3, 4 & 5) and it caught on like wildfire. I patted myself on the back for that one. I also did my first contest, of sorts, with the Gift Exchange which seems to have gone over swimmingly. Thanks to everyone who joined in!!
Snow, freezing rain and dropping temperatures had arrived in full force and I lost some motivation to get to the barn as frequently. Plus I was in full-on wedding planning mode, which included designing Save the Dates and our Engagement Photoshoot. I’ve also embarked upon the sacred quest of finding a new saddle, which I’m sure will continue on into next year.