dancing horses

dancing horses

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Lessons Learned: A Recap of 2022

 I can't believe that 2022 is over. It has been quite the year and I always find it helpful to review some special moments in a single post. 

January was a bit of mess, with Irish falling on ice and coming to the realization that he couldn't handle winters anymore. It is when the back of my brain began to think about what would be next. Other than that (and having to get an emergency repair to the well) the rest of winter was pretty typical. Spring was a little early and I was back in the saddle and resuming lessons pretty regularly in March. 

I was able to have regular lessons all year and they have made all the difference. It's hard to believe but Carmen and I just started with Jane last August. I believe that we have both transformed. Having a regular lesson program where I'm being pushed has been so helpful. Having a Pivo has also helped. As they say 'seeing is believing' and I've learned a lot by watching us (even when I have cringed). 

August 2021

In May I won a small bursary to put towards riding lessons. It was a small amount but felt like a nice boost. I definitely made use of it. Looking at my calendar I had approximately 14 lessons. It felt like I had more than that but it's probably pretty accurate. I will do a separate post about my goals and how we did, but what I did like was how steady our progress was. Jane said to me "I remember when you said to me that you were waiting to hit the plateau and I told you that wouldn't happen. Was I right?" Yes, Jane, you were right. I learned so much this year- mostly about myself and Carmen. Basically forward but with rhythm is the key. 

In June Carmen and I did our one and only show of the year. Overall it was a very positive experience until the we encountered the Pigeon of Doom. The learning from this was Carmen still has a pretty solid nope in her and I was not able to get her through it. This lead to a whole new plan with Jane showing me how it all starts in her neck and that is what I need to target first. I did enjoy that whole experience and it was wonderful to connect with horse show friends. 

Also in June I bought a horse off the internet- a 2 year old 3/4 Lusitano/ 1/4 QH from Alberta named Quaid TNT. 

my gosh he looks so little here

I realised that I wasn't done with horses and, to be honest, I have zero regrets about this purchase. He's just such a great horse. This opinion was solidified when I took him to an Obstacle clinic in August and he totally rocked it. 

In late August/early September Ed and I went on our trip to Scotland and Ireland. This trip had been planned for 2020 but, well, you know what happened to plans that year. It was an amazing trip and highlights included riding in both countries. 

I like horseback riding because you can see places you might not see doing the regular tourist things. But I do struggle riding horses that feel less responsive than mine. I do enjoy the smoothness of Carmen. I also learned that I love Scottish Whiskey cream. Like Baileys, only better. I also bought some gorgeous Dubarry boots. #noregrets

In mid-September I gave my notice of retirement for March 2023. It was a big decision but I am looking forward to seeing what this next phase holds. Hopefully lots of pony time. 

Then in October I said good bye to the best, red headed gelding. It was hard but the right thing to do. I find myself completely at peace with it, even while missing him terribly. It is pretty self-evident that a planned, gentle euthanasia is less horrifying than a traumatic event but I didn't realise how different it could be until I experienced it. 

Such a great guy

If anyone is struggling to make this decision, I will share that it is far better to do it when you can make sure it's kind and gentle. 

November and December were quiet (at least on the horse front, not the work front). That was okay. I tried to enjoy the time I got to spend with the best mare and baby genius. Right now the weather is warm and the sun is shining. It was great to have a little reprieve to ride and be outside. 

post ride graze. In December!!

OMG, this face. Can you stand the cuteness?

I don't know what 2023 holds but I'm looking forward to it. 

Screw that- I plan to be rambunctious


  1. What a year. It’s impossible to know what 2023 will bring, but I hope it’s a great one for you and your horse family! Happy New Year!

    1. You are right, it’s impossible to predict so might as well go for it

  2. Here's to a great 2023 for you and your crew! And yes, he does have the cutest baby face!

  3. Overall a pretty great year! The loss of Irish of course was the hardest, but knowing it was the right thing to do must bring some peace. I hope 2023 is a wonderful year, and I can't wait to follow along! Especially as Quaid grows!

    1. It really does help knowing that it was necessary. I’m excited to see what you get up to.

  4. from this side of the computer screen, it really does seem like things came together so wonderfully for your little herd of horses. Quaid is such a find, and while it's devastating to say goodbye to a horse like Irish, it must have been such a relief to be able to give him the dignity and peace of enjoying his last days in comfort. wishing you a very happy new year and looking forward to following along with Carmen and Quaid!

    1. I love your way with words. You summed it up perfectly


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