Introducing the 2nd edition of Looking Back. I started last this last year and it's fun to take a glance back at the year to see where you started and where you ended up. I will also do a Looking Ahead post next as I did last year.
We started the year with some crazy weather, much like we have this year. We have had endless snow this year after extremely warm temperatures, and last year we had endless rain. That turned into ice. Despite the ice I managed to get some good lessons in on Archie. These lessons were the start of my learning just how imperative my riding properly is to work with Archie.
The year also started our farm hunting process, which turned out to be a very frustrating push pull experience for me. I wanted the dream so bad, it was so close, yet still out of my reach.
I celebrated Archie's very successful first season with an awards banquet, and started William back under saddle after several months of ground work and desensitization.
February started out with a potential turn around in our farm hunting. On February 12th 2012 we lost one of the greatest horses I have ever met, Mikey. I still brings tears and pain to my heart when I think of losing him.
The month ended with one my happiest days, we signed the purchase agreement and the farm I was in love with was finally ours. I blogged about how I believe the law of attraction helped me get there.
In March I blogged about the worst day of horse owning life. William made a full recovery but I won't forget that incident any time soon. I bought Archie a Micklem bridle. Not much else happened this month because we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off getting ready to move. We got the keys and moved in on on March 31st 2012! Whoo!
We moved the horses over the first week of April and they settled in great. We adopted our beloved Bentley from Poets Vision Aussie Rescue. I had several lessons on Archie and I took William for his first trip off property and dressage lesson! He was great at the lesson but had a major freak out in the trailer. I realized we need lots of work on trailering after this.
I also threw my sister a baby shower and our friends and family came over to celebrate her pregnancy and my new farm. The only blogging I did was to bitch about not having internet. Internet was going to be a long ongoing struggle for us here.
May was a really exciting month. We opened our pool. My sister had her baby girl on May 12th the day before mothers day. I helped organize a dressage show that was aimed toward amateur riders and it was a huge success. It was fun being around the farm seeing all the flowers come up. It was a daily surprise I really enjoyed.
I took Ace cross country schooling, and William was going really well. I dyed my hair blonde (big mistake) and William and Archie had their teeth done. Archie had his ankle x rayed and it was clean. He needed better shoeing. I also bought a new saddle (YAY!).
Jesse was away for work and I was terrified at home alone because that psycho from Montreal Luka Magnotta was on the loose and no one knew where he was. He was eventually caught in Berlin after hitch hiking to Toronto and catching a plane to Europe. I was a really bad blogger and my last blog post for the summer was complaining some more about blogging withdrawal.
June was the start of our eventing season and Archie did his first event at Pre Training in 2012. We finished 10th due to many time faults...taking it nice and easy! We went cross country schooling at Dreamcrest and had a blast. I had a few jumping and dressage lessons and the horses were going well. I found Parker at that time and the wheels were turning...
Jesse was still away way up North in Nunavut and I was running the farm alone and getting quite good at it. We went to Touch a Rainbow Horse Trials where I ended up taking 2 kittens home to be barn cats! We finished 5th again with a boat load of time faults but Archie was great.
We started July eventing at Dreamcrest Horse Trials. Archie was a star and jumped 2 brilliant clear rounds. Alayne and Cayden also had a great ride and it was a good day for TTE. We finally got around to painting our jumps, and I took Ace to a hunter show where she kicked butt - of course!
We spent a lot of time in the pool and I acquired a new horse - Oil Be Clever, "Parker". We went to Equus Horse Trials where Archie and I took our spill. Alayne and Cayden rocked the Prelim and other trailer buddy Emilie won the Prelim on her mare Winnie. Success despite our fall. The Olympics were on and I was glued to the computer! Canada was cursed, but I loved watching Michael Jung win.
Oakhurst was first on our list for August and although I was very nervous and unsure of how it would go after our fall, we had a great day and finished 8th. Alayne had another great round at Prelim and finished 3rd. Our second event of the month was Lane's End. We had an awful dressage test full of nerves but jumped very well in stadium and clear cross country. It was my first time at Lane's End and I will happily go back there! My other sister Carly had her baby girl Aubree!
Things were going really well with William in September and I joked that I had "tamed the beast". I am now eating my words. Alayne and I had the great idea that we would host a short course event at my place in less than a month. It turned out to be a very busy month indeed preparing the property and organizing the event. TTE travelled back to Ottawa Horse Trials and Archie proved he was back in the game and we finished 7th. We also travelled back to Oakhurst and had a terrible stadium round, but had a blasting cross country and finished 9th (2nd in Senior). I also started a new job after dealing with the co worker from hell for far too long.
My mom lost her long time mare Jewlie, and Liam moved to my moms to keep Ace company. I took Ace to the Kingston Fair and she was a big winner yet again.
October was my birthday, our anniversary, and I celebrated by going eventing! We were back to Touch A Rainbow where Archie did his best most quietest stadium to date. We finished 4th (and won the Sr). Alayne won her division on her young horse Winston, and Pam won on her lease horse Nevada. It was a great end to the season.
We took in a foster deaf Aussie Talia and built three entire cross country courses in just a few weeks. We held our first short course event and it was a total success. I rode William in the dressage only portion and he was a little star! He even continued on after a TREE FELL DOWN behind the judges booth! The weekend after the show William schooled the lowest level cross country and really enjoyed it! After the show hurricane Sandy ripped apart my jump shelter :(
November I came back to blogging after a long hiatus. I updated you all on Williams progress and Archie was having the month off after a long and fun eventing season. I got my first boarder and Talia was adopted by my best friend Dana! I took a trip to Niagara to visit an old friend and realized how much I have changed, and they have changed. I was riding lots as the weather was absolutely amazing.
December brought William and I back to the start with some issues that have come up since we took a clinic and he was a bit over stressed. The Chiropractor came and assessed the boys and said they were a ok. I had a dressage lesson with William and figured out how to cope with the issues that have sprouted up and was given homework to focus on.
*** My 2012 Goals; ***
First and foremost I want to pay off all my debt! I am almost there, getting so close I can taste it but not quite there yet. I don't have much left (besides my car but I don't count that). I have been a good girl and paying off anything I owe at a steady rate and that has definitely helped.
**I sort of accomplished this but we obviously acquired more debt with moving to a farm and all.
One of the bigger lifestyle changes for me will be my attempt to become a vegetarian. I have succeeded from my start date of January 1st so far. It is amazing how hard it is to decide what to eat when you aren't eating meat. I am not a true vegetarian as I will still eat fish and seafood. I do obviously love animals, but my real reasoning is the stomach pain I experience a lot of the time. I read quite a bit on how hard it is for the body to digest meat and I just got the idea to give it a try. So far I have been feeling better. It will be interesting to see if I can stick with it and if it will help.
** I also sort of accomplished this. I really decreased my meat intake and am currently meat free juicing away. I did figure out I have a gluten intolerance so I cut that out for the most part and have felt much better.
Horse wise, I am planning on upgrading Archie to the Pre-Training (3ft) level here in Ontario at our first event pending things are going well when show season starts. My ideal scenario would be doing a couple of training levels before the fall but that all depends on how the jumping is going. The height and fear factor are not a problem. Straightness and control are our number one enemy that I vow to defeat. This is my big goal with Archie. I would love to be in the top 3 for the province again this year but that is more a bonus of a good show season. As any eventer would hope, I hope to maintain our clear cross country record and improve our dressage score.
**Archie and I had a great season, we ended up in the top ten so I am really happy about that. We were ready for Training and if I had a Passport we would have done our last event at Training. Straightness was much better as I hoped, still need work on total control. We maintained our cross country record - minus one Fall. I'm happy.
As for William, my goal is to have him going consistently and start him over fences by the summer. I want to get him to at least one event, and a few schooling shows. It is much to soon to predict whether this is doable but I am going to give it my best shot. I mostly want to make sure he has consistent, positive training throughout the year.
**This was not happening this year at all. We did manage to do one little show (on property) and he was great. He started over fences late summer/early fall. He had a few months off in the summer with an abscess and that took a toll on our training time. I do feel like we had a very positive summer, unfortunately the issues popping up now are kind of over shadowing the great work we did all summer.
Blogwise, my goal is to post a little more often and stay up to date on all my favourite blogs I follow. I really REALLY want to get a nice camera this year. We will see if the funds allow for this in the future. I also want to keep my lesson journal current and up to date. I think that could become valuable in looking back on progress over the years.
**Well I had a massive fail on this part entirely. I still want a nice camera.
In my personal life, I want to pursue my writing a bit more, and possibly take some online courses later in the year with the long term goal of finishing my degree. My biggest dream, that I have had for who knows how long I can't even remember - is to lose my property virginity and become a first time farm owner. This dream may becoming a reality sooner than expected, but I'm not counting any chickens before they hatch.
**I did do this, I started writing more and have had a few articles published. Probably the biggest thing for me in 2012 was fulfilling my lifelong dream of owning a farm. It was truly a dream come true.