dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 In Review


It has been quite the year both personally and globally. I like doing these recaps of the year because it helps me to see the progress that we've made.

First some basic statistics:
# of posts in 2016: 164 which makes an average 13.6 per month. It seems that I had a lot to say. This lines up with what every report card I had in elementary school...

Most popular post (by views): 12 Years- where I shared losing Belle.

The post with the most number of comments: Loss- where I share losing my mother. It's an adjustment to life without a parent. I still find myself thinking about stories to share with her and when I drive in the area where she used to live I want to go and visit. I take comfort that she was ready to go and that she was with her children.

Both of these statistics show the basic kindness of my blog readers and how we can all reach out and try to help one another.

January through March were fairly quiet on the riding front. With the weather riding was sporadic but when I look at my posts from that time they were all very happy and optimistic.

As March moved into April the wheels slowly began to come off and she became increasingly spooky and reactive. I changed up her diet and began giving her a digestive supplement. When I look at my posts from May it was a bit of a roller coaster: things would go well and then not well and it was becoming a bit a spiral but I persevered.

In June everything came to a screeching halt and I wrote about Throwing in the Towel. I was seriously contemplated selling her and my heart was breaking. But I couldn't risk serious injury and riding was no longer fun. I called Royce and he began working with the two of us. The training was expensive and often tiring but so worth it. I believe that he saved both of us. He gave Carmen a grounding in basics and helped me to see what I needed to do to keep her with me. Not that everything was sunshine and roses but I felt like I had the tools I needed to keep working with her. In our sessions I began to understand a bit more of her history and why she would react as she did.

I didn't get to show this year and that was disappointing. But I did ride in three clinics: two with Johanna Batista in May and October and one with Sue Leffler on Centred Riding. I have fallen in love with Centred riding and want to do more.




I took Carmen off site a few times in the fall to my friend's place around the corner and it was fun to play in another ring. I had made plans for Irish and Carmen to there and ride the trails but the weather got in the way and then hunting season started. I did start riding Carmen around the property and even took her out on my own.

In early August my niece came for horse camp. It was so much fun to share our love of horses and I'm looking forward to her returning in the summer. Irish had so much fun with her as well.



Near the end of November I finally found a dressage instructor who travels to my area. Shanea is young and talented and very very good at teaching. She is the icing on my Carmen training cake. With her coming out regularly we are progressing in our training and I'm feeling very positive about where we are going.

Other highlights of the year include my first giveaway: Milestone Post and a Giveaway and winning the Horse Hack blogger contest. I still can't believe that I won to be honest. We went on a  wonderful vacation to Arizona and I got to ride in the desert.

You don't realize all that has happened until you look back and take stock. I've learned that I can grit my teeth and get on with thing but I need a plan and a path. It doesn't have to be completely mapped out but I need to know the general direction. I am proud of what we accomplished this year even though it may look like all I'm doing is just riding around my place.

Currently my rides on Carmen are going very well. She needs much less ground work before every ride. I realized yesterday that what I consider my 'bad' rides now used to be my 'good' rides back in the spring/summer. I'm making my plans for 2017 but that's a different post.


32 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading about the growth of your partnership with Carmen this year. I'm excited to see what 2017 brings you two :)

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  2. I think more people should reflect on their year and think about things (big and small) that happened. Often we are so busy living our lives that we don't take time to see all we have accomplished. Wishing you all the best in 2017!

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    1. Same to you Sara. At first I thought that I was being too self-absorbed but it actually was quite helpful to put things in perspective.

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  3. I like this. I may borrow your approach to reviewing the year and give it a try myself. Your year can make anyone appreciate just how much dedication and hard work goes into training a young horse.

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    1. Thank you! I'd love to see your review!

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  4. 2016 was a big year of growth for you and Carmen! I loved following along :) Excited to see what 2017 brings to you two :)

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    1. Thank you. I'm kinda hoping that 2017 is more boring, lol.

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  5. What a year it has been! I'm glad you and Carmen found a way to make your relationship work. A post like this certainly puts it in perspective. I use "someday your bad rides will look like your good rides look now" when I train/teach. It is so lovely to look back and realize it's true! All the best for the new year!

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    1. It is helpful to realize that! I'm glad that it wasn't something crazy that I dreamed up. I can't wait to see what you get up to next year.

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  6. Nice look back, and isn't it fun to see the progress...all in a year! I wish I had been blogging when I got Cowboy so I could see back on those early days of falling in love with him. Memory is weird...the things we remember, the things we forget.

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    1. It is weird how memory works. I'm glad that I started this blog when I did.

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  7. your bad rides used to be your good rides? that is so incredible! i'm thrilled for you. i'm unable to recap my year cuz i don't think i've done much emotionally/mentally.

    thank you for the summary, let's see more irish?

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    1. Irish will feature in my next post!

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  8. I remember when you were thinking about throwing in the towel (and understood completely). You and Carmen have come so far this year!

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  9. It's good to review the year and see how far you've come with Carmen. You and she have made so much progress I'm sure 2017 will be a wonderful year for you both!

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    1. I'm not sure I would have appreciated it how far if I hadn't taken the time to do the recap.

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  10. You have a accomplished a lot this year. I enjoy looking back and even though I was a terrible blogger this year I still like looking back.

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    1. It's good to review and it's helpful.

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  11. You've accomplished a lot this past year! Can't wait to see where you'll be at with Carmen in 12 months time.

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  12. I started following right around when Royce was starting with Carmen. And what a difference! Also I know what you mean about how empowering and reassuring it is to find a regular trainer too - that's been a huge deal for me and my horses too!!

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    1. Thank you- I'm glad that you can see a difference.

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  13. You have really come a long way with Carmen. I have found your journey with her so inspiring. Can't wait to see what 2017 brings for you two!

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    1. Thank you! I get so much inspiration from other blogs, I'm glad that you found my journey useful. :)

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  14. Happy New Year Theresa; Best Wishes to you & yours for Health, Happiness, & Prosperity in 2017! <3

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  15. I've really enjoyed reading about your progress this year and I'm looking forward to continuing to read about your progress in 2017!

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  16. 2016 really seems like a turning point. Happy New Year!

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  17. I'm playing catch up with my blog reading so prepare for a comment onslaught --

    You and Carmen really did make leaps and bounds this year. I, too, love being able to look back and note how things have changed; good rides from the past being "bad" rides now is HUGE. Congrats to you two.

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