FYI, I might just break the rule of '1 photo'
It felt like a big year to me. My son graduated high school and we bought the property that we now live in. At that point we hadn't moved- we spent the year renovating.
Meanwhile, I had Irish and he was 10 at the time. We were showing but not a lot. He was a really solid horse by this point. I could hack him out and take him places. He might have been tense but he always tried to be a good boy.
|Irish not sure what the fuss about with the ribbons.|
We sold our house and moved into our farm and began building the barn. It was a the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to bring Irish home.
Steele came to live with us. I started the blog to chronicle the adventures of raising a charming, intelligent and mischievous yearling.
|still one of my favourite photos|
I was spending my days taking care of the horses and working out the routines. Irish was getting ridden lightly and Steele was learning about being a grown up.
|Steele not sure that this is in his job description but willing to try|
This year was an epic one with the horses.
Steele was fitted with a saddle and then backed.
|both of us so intent on the learning|
Then in December my world crashed with the horrible, traumatic and fucking should-never-have-happened death of Steele.
In the beginning I was still reeling from the death of Steele. To be honest, it has taken years to come to terms with it. At this point I was having trouble sleeping, everything seemed pretty gray and I was a complete mess.
I knew I needed to do something to help myself and Irish. Which led to a road trip with Karen and the purchase of Carmen. It was an epic winter and we had so much snow that it was a nightmare. Carmen came home to me in March and we still had like 4 feet of snow on the ground.
|Carmen wondering what the hell is going on|
It was a bit of a difficult year for Carmen and I. She was quite reactive to a lot of things and I was struggling to understand her and how to deal.
Irish had developed headshaking but I found he responded really well to Magnesium.
I came very very close to selling Carmen. She was being really spooky and bolting all over the place. It was like there was no horse to talk to and it was frightening. I ended up hiring a trainer to come and help me with her and that made a huge difference. While there might be some things I would do differently now, at the time he literally saved both of us and I would be profoundly grateful for that. He helped me to see a lot of holes that were in her training and we began to fill them.
I started taking clinics with Johanna and she was a godsend as well. I did a Centered Riding clinic which blew my mind and really started me thinking differently about my aids.
|at the clnic with Johanna|
You can ask me why I didn't sell her that year and move on and I honestly couldn't tell you. There were enough times that things were good that I could see how thing could be. I am also pretty stubborn so that probably played a role. To be honest, I think that whatever was broken in Carmen spoke to what was broken in me.
This was the 'do all the things' year for Carmen and I. We did a few clinics, did a trail obstacle clinic that was amazing and has impacted my work with Carmen consistently since then. We went to four shows and we had scores that ranged from 4-8.
But it began to feel that our partnership was coming together and I was really happy with our progress.
This was a mixed year for us. We started off with a great year at clinics and shows. In the fall the wheels began to come off again and I was in despair. I actually had to scratch a test while I was riding it because she became un-rideable. Again I thought about selling her. Then I decided to try ucler treatment and it was like a veil lifted. Carmen became transformed. Not that she was/is spook free but the mindless melt downs were diminished.
Again, I am blown away by how brave a horse that can be terrified by a goldfinch can be! We did another trail obstacle clinic in the summer and she was a rock star. I joined the TRT training website and it helped a ton with our groundwork and learning to deal with scary things.
|more of this horse please|
|and less of this one|
To be honest, I spent a large part of this year waiting for the wheels to come off. While there were periodic issues things have been on a pretty steady trajectory (this will be a whole post/recap).
|not for sale|
I wonder what the next 10 years will bring?