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.