Thursday, January 29, 2015

William Won Something

    In the drama of injuring myself and laughing about it for a few days, now wallowing in the painful bed I made myself, I forgot to blog about the awards banquet my man and I attended on Saturday night.  It was the annual National Capitol Horse Trials Association awards dinner and ceremony.  The NCHTA is an association who offers series of awards for events in the Eastern Ontario and Quebec region.  Since eventing is relatively small on this side of the province, they are making an effort to expand interest and reward those who are out competing and might not be able to make it to the events on the other side of the province.  They do an excellent job.

  I try to go every year to support but I didn't make it last year.  This year I was definitely going because William won an award!  Although we only completed two events in this region (3 total in Ontario), we placed 1st and 2nd in a large classes so we had enough points to tie us for second place in the Pre Entry Open division.  I won a nice plaque with our names and winning on it - except they mistakenly ordered mine showing Third place (which they emailed me about prior) so I left it with them to have corrected and mailed out to me.

  This might seem like peanuts to some riders but this is a huge deal to me and William.  Three years ago when I took him home I wasn't sure if I would even be able to take this horse out and ride him.  For two years I really questioned my skill and sanity in whether this horse would ever amount to anything.  I wrote his "giveaway" ad in my head more times than I can count.  He was barely touchable without jumping out of skin.  He wouldn't get on a trailer and once on wouldn't stay in.  You couldn't get him to even move under saddle and when he did he spent the entire time trying to buck you off.  We made progress and then we took 5 steps back, several times. 

   Through those years though, I never gave up.  I don't know why.  I probably should have.  When I dreaded getting on him, I pushed myself through it.  When I was terrified to trailer him, I trailered him every few days with help to get through it.  When I hit the dirt, I got back on, every time and rode him until my nerves were gone.  I don't know what it is, but I love this horse so much.  His deep red face and his kind personality kept drawing me back to him. Not letting me quit.  There is something about William that I just can't explain.  He is a special soul and I am so glad I never gave up through these last few years, although they were tough.

  This award is not for me, but for William.  He is worth all the hard work, and now he has truly earned his place here on the farm.  So congrats to William, and here's to many more in our future!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Leg update - Not Dead Yet

 Ok!  I'm not broken, but this meme rules.
  Thank you all for the kind wishes.  The results are in and I'm not broken - yay!  Except, my muscle tore off my bone...and as you can's pretty effin' painful!  I have a severely high tolerance for pain.  I have the crazy piercings to prove it.  Ripping your muscle off your bone HURTS.  A LOT.

  Enough whining.  I learned my lesson.  I'm not the horse whisperer.  I'm not 13 anymore...but the plus side of that is I am legal and able to drown my sorrows with some delicious Sauvignon Blanc.  So I took the day off work to rest my leg.  I hobbled around a bit, and am now relaxing by the fire with some wine.

  I should be good in about 3 weeks time...if I rest and allow it heal.  Icing and keeping it up as much as I can.  A bonus of my hospital visit was this awesome hospital grade ice bag they gave me...I was admiring it's qualities and how perfect it would be for the barn.  They let me take it home with my crutches - so now I have the absolute best ice bandage for my first aid kit!

  Only another month until I can ride outside at home I can sit out the rest of the cold and then before we know it's time to start legging up the horses.  Until then I'll let my leg heal and dream of green grass and cross country fences.  

  Don't try this at home folks.

2015 - 2, Tori - 0

  Last week it was my missing omeprezole, this week it's my broken leg.  Well I don't actually know if it's broken yet, but that's what I'm referring to it as since I can't walk, sit, put on underwear, or my boots.  I'm currently in emerge waiting to be seen by a doctor.  Then it will probably be another hour before I even get an x-Ray. Boo.

  I have no one to blame but myself.  You see this morning I woke up and was scrolling through FB in bed and I watched Elise Wallace's ride at the Mustang Makeover challenge.  Can I jut say I love the horse she picked this year! Wow!  I'm not sure if it was this inspiration that gave me my brilliant idea later in the day but I'm going to have to assume it was at least part of it.

  Picture this.  A cold, sunny January day.  You have just finished cleaning the barn and say goodbye to your friend.  You see your horse waiting for you by the gate and decide to go give them some scratches and hugs.  Your horse enjoys this very much.  You pull your horse closer and remember the days when you were 13, and you used to ride your Appaloosa pony Snapple bareback and bridless across hundreds of acres.  It was second nature, jumping on, being one with the horse.

  I grab my horses hood and swing a leg over.  Ahh, the feeling of a warm blanket and your favorite ride.  In my head I imagine a nice stroll around the field, alas, horse had other ideas.  Horse turns and bolts immediately galloping across the frozen ground.  Knowing this is not going to end well I try to pull the horse up by the hood with no luck, I would have  to bail.  

  At this point we are already full gallop and I go flying off the side, eating ice and failing to bounce off the hard crunchie snow.  I lay there as my horse gallops off and I can't help but burst out laughing.  I laughed and laughed and tried to drag myself out of the field before getting run over.  Horse came gleefully trotting back to me at the gate.  Ha, hilarious.

  7 hours later I still can't walk, or do much of anything, so here I am, waiting.  Fingers crossed it's not broken.  Some things you just have to leave with your youth.

 Horse shall remain nameless.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lady in Waiting (for Omeprazole)


  After spending hundreds of dollars on prescription U Gard last year for Penny, I decided to bite the bullet and order what I have heard as the ulcer "good stuff" from  From what I have read on CoTH and relayed between other bloggers and friends, this is the good stuff that will "cure" ulcers.  With the Canadian U Gard, I found Penny did improve dramatically but would slowly go back to showing signs of discomfort over time after she had been taken off.  The U Gard wasn't curing it, but helping with the symptoms.

  I placed my order last week and it I received confirmation it was shipped out right away.  The package was scheduled to arrive 2 days later, on Thursday at 5:00pm.  But it never came.  Friday came and went, then Monday, then today.  My Fed Ex tracking changed and was showing this for the last 5 days;

  Hmmmmm.  Ok then.  I called Fed Ex who told me the package has left the building and gone to customs, where they have seized it.  She gave me a number to call and said to speak with them to find what's going on with my package and where it is.

  So I called customs.  The guy on the other end of the line told me he couldn't find any information on my package.  He said it wouldn't be seized because I would be arrested by now.  He said if it was drug or medication related it might be in the area where Health Canada checks packages every Wednesday.  He told me it is either being examined now or will be examined shortly, or it is being sent to Ottawa for further investigation.  I asked him what that meant.  He said if it goes to Ottawa, they take the objects apart and do testing at the molecular level.  I laughed - "to see if there are hidden drugs"....he laughed, "you can probably figure it out".  So I asked him what happens if it goes to Ottawa.  Will I ever see the package again or be notified of the find?  He said not likely.  Great.

  The guy was really nice and helpful, he said to call back tomorrow and he will head down to the Health Canada research office and see what he can find if he doesn't have any other answers.  Hopefully we can find the package and he can explain what the contents are - otherwise I'm out 300 bucks and Penny is still waiting for some higher grade ulcer meds.

  To be continued.

Friday, January 16, 2015

BALLS OF STEEL Product Review - How to Cool Your Drink Without Watering it Down

  If you read Eventing Nations blog you might remember right before the World Equestrian Games someone had joked on the CoTH forum that the company "Balls of Steel" should sponsor the US Event Team because let's face it, you need those to compete at the 4* level.  The company somehow got ahold of this post and offered their sponsorship for WEG, something truly remarkable.  Here was a company with no ties to the equestrian world offering up product support thanks to social media.  So what are "Balls of Steel" you ask?

  Balls of Steel are the whiskey and wine chillers that don't dilute your drink!   It's no secret that the writer at A Fillys Best Friend likes her wine and whiskey (me), and I especially like it served chilled.  There is a dilemma with wine especially, that adding ice to your drink not only dilutes it but totally ruins the flavour.  When I saw the post on Eventing Nation, they were offering 15% off to any eventer who purchased the Original BOS.  So, to thank the company for supporting fellow eventers and in search of having warm wine no more, I ordered a set online.

  The total after discount and shipping to Canada was around $30 which may seem a bit steep.  But when you realize this company shares some of the profits with testicular and prostate cancer research, it's nothing to turn your back to ;).  With it's Article Core technology, which I won't pretend to be an expert in, they claim to keep your drink at a desirable level without compromising the flavour with dilution from ice cubes.  They are made of stainless and should last a lifetime.  For more specs visit their website linked above.

  The balls arrived a few days after purchase and were presented in a lovely clear box for storage.  A note was sent outling the support your purchase provided, along with a thank you which was a nice personal touch.  I stuck them in the fridge and when I next had a drink, put them to trial.  This was several months ago but I was reminded tonight of what a great product they are.  The hubs and I went out to get beer and wine, and the wine sat on the floor of the car by the heater.  The bottle was warmer than room temperature when I poured myself a glass.  I grabbed the BOS and dropped them into my poured wine glass and let it sit for 10 minutes.

  When I went back to my drink it was completely chilled, more so than the bottle itself in the fridge.  I was able to have my wine at perfect temperature with no effort and no ice!  I highly recommend this product to anyone who is regular drinker of wine or whiskey, or wants an interesting and original gift for a family member.  They also have a variety of related products that would make any whiskey lover smile. It also happens to have a sweet name and let's face it, this product should really be the face (?) of eventing.  Let's hear it for Balls of Steel!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sinew X 30 Day Trial for Eventing Nation

  Something fun has come along for Penny and I.  A while back Eventing Nation requested bloggers to do a 30 day trial of Omega Alpha's product Sinew X.  As a satisfied customer of Omega Alpha in the past I was eager to get a chance at this.  I submitted an application and about a month later was advised that we were chosen to participate in the blogger product trial review! Woot!

  Tonight my 30 day supply came, along with a a sweet new syringe (you can never have too many of these!) and a cute Omega Alpha hat.  Wow, I'm really impressed already with the customer service!

  Sinew X is a joint, ligament, and muscle supplement.  I won't pretend to know the scientific details but here are the active ingredients;

 Looking forward to this trial and to see if this product helps Pan Am Penny feel her best.  This cold, stiffening winter is just the time I would like to see some results.  Follow along on Eventing Nation if you want to learn more, I will keep you posted once our updates are up!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Horsey Blogger Christmas Gift Exchange!

  Christmas may have come and gone but it's been like Christmas all week at my homestead.  Some goodies I ordered during Boxing Week sales have arrived, but today - something special came!

 My secret Santa gift from Fly On Over's Horse Blogger Gift Exchange!  My secret Santa was Julie from Red Riding, if you don't follow her already you should definitely stop by her blog and check it out.  I was so excited when I opened my gift - covered in goodies..underneath it was a nicely wrapped beautiful bright blue bonnet from OTTB Designs!  This was super exciting because I received the sky blue OTTB saddle pad for Christmas from Nicole and her family earlier last month.  Of course, with our colours being royal blue and white, this will look super bad ass on Penny and Parker when they are out eventing this year!  This sky blue was a new colour just released by OTTB Designs and I am sooo glad they finally did.

 Thank you so much Julie and thank you for hosting Tracy!  Now if it would just warm up enough to put this to use...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Snow Fun Photo Dump

  So, it's still freezing.  I'm not complaining though because a week of cold is nothing compared to the three months of solid deep freeze we had last year.  No riding happening, but we took the dogs for a rip and I went out and played with the ponies.   Certainly the not the worst day in January :)

Friday, January 9, 2015

2015's First Snowfall

  We finally have some snow on the ground.   No more frozen mud holes.  Normally when it snows for the first time the horses go nuts rolling and playing.  I went out with my phone to get some pics of the shenanigans but I think the cold weather killed their celebrations.  They just went over and started eating hay.  Boo.

 Still, so cute.  All decked out in their Horseware gear.  Warm, happy ponies.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Chilly Christmas Surprise

  A few weeks before Christmas I adopted three Guinea Pigs that needed a home ASAP.  I love Guinea Pigs.  I have blogged about them a lot in the past, but at the time I only had one - Louis, whom I've had for about 4 years now.  These three included 2 girls and a boy, complete with cage and all accessories.  The boy was separated from the girls and they were very friendly.  The friendliest I have owned, which is a really nice treat.

  They are very talkative, come over and want pets, take food right from you and don't scurry off.  Just the cutest things.  On Boxing Day I went out to the garage where they live (it's heated) to feed them and have a little cuddle, and noticed something strange in the girls cage.

  Upon closer observation, I noticed this not so tiny, adorable, cutest ever little baby Guinea pig!!!  Casper (the flat haired white one) must have been pregnant and thus why they wanted to re home them so quickly :(  Ugh, people.  At the very least they were already separated so I guess that was good of them.  The other fluffy white one, Major Bed Head is the sister I think.  They both take turns taking care of the baby.  The cutest little surprise Christmas baby there ever was!


  Look at this baby.  2 days old, and so big and cute already!!

And just for kicks...Mojo update pic :)


Monday, January 5, 2015

A Libra Looking Ahead to 2015

  Now comes the part where I look over what I ridiculous things I thought I could accomplish last year and see where I stand.  Making goals for this year just kind of feels weird.  I don't know why.  I guess I have nothing really pertinent I want to accomplish other than our trip to Kentucky for Midsouth.  I'm kind of just enjoying schooling my horses and seeing where that takes me at the moment.

  Reviewing last years goals:

  • Compete successfully at Training level for the season with Penny.  Improve our dressage immensely.
We did have successful events.  We started late in the season due to her aggravated SI.  We had some awesome events and I learned A LOT about eventing at Training level again.
  •   Qualify and show at the Championships. Win one of those beautiful big honking ribbons.
Yeah - definitely wasn't going to happen with the time frame I had.  Maybe this year?
  • Show William training level dressage, school Second Level.
We did! And we scored in high 60's!  We also were schooling 2nd level before his injury.
  • Event William Pre Entry eventing and be going Entry by the fall.
Yes! To the first part...and quite successfully too.  Unfortunately his accident took him out of commission early June and there was no upgrade to Entry level.
  • Show Parker walk trot dressage, School Training Level.
I didn't get him to any dressage shows but we did do lots of hunter shows, and are schooling Training level dressage.  I say success.
  • Event Parker Pre Entry eventing.
Didn't happen.  I changed my mind early spring to concentrate more on lessons and schooling over competing.
  • Show Liam either in hand or in a baby walk trot show.
Didn't happen because I gave Liam to my parents.  My dad is now riding him!  Even better :)
  • Break Sugar and have her ready to be ridden by a child.
Nope, but she was on TV and I gave her to a riding school and they broke her!
  • Ride in a clinic equivalent to the greatness of Blyth Tait last year.
Rode in a few clinics that were decent, no BT though.  Just didn't have the $$$.
  • Get Alayne on EN for her jog outfit at Bromont when she does her first CCI*
I did get Alayne on EN for our hilarious Rolex pics.  The rest didn't happen because well - long story.
  • Ride on the beach again, more than once.
  • Improve dressaging.
Yes! Improved my understanding at least.
  • Become an awesome show jumping rider.
Wow.  This is my favorite thing I accomplished.  I still need lots of work but Penny only had 2 rails all year out of all the courses she jumped, and it was only because she was wayyyy too excited and zoomied around. My skills are improving.
  • Have horses stay fat, healthy, and HAPPY.
They are most definitely this right now.

My personal goals were as follows:

  • Organize finances and learn how to budget.
Sort of....still a work in progress.
  • finish my CAIB (Insurance stuff) designation.
Almost there, just one more exam to go.
  • Lose 20 lbs.
I lost 15 lbs mid summer/fall, then gained it back. :(
  • Blog more.
I did this! :)
  • Organize data (photos, videos, website, etc).
Yes, did this too!
  • Continue to run successful horse shows.
This was another good accomplishment!
  • Be the best wife and friend I can be.
I know I tried hard to do be there for my man and friends this year.  I let go of some relationships, and strengthened the good ones.

Now looking ahead to 2015.  

Riding goals;
  • Now that Penny's horrible tooth is gone, improve her dressage.
  • Have Penny compete at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
  • Event Parker and William at Entry level with goal of upgrading to Pre Training by fall.
  • Qualify and show at the OHTA champs on any of my horses.  Win a Champs ribbon!  Seriously...I want one!
  • Train Oliver with Nicole, have him jumping small courses by fall.
  • Put learning over showing.
  • Ride Dirk a few times just to get him going w/t. Take him for trailer ride adventures.
  • Keep improving dressage skills.
  • Have horses stay fat, healthy, and HAPPY!
  • Qualify and show at Hagyard Midsouth Three Day Event!

Personal Goals
  • Improve budgeting and financial skills still.
  • Lose 20 lbs and don't gain it back this time LOL
  • Improve cardio.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Host two successful shows.
  • Raise enough funds to cover our trip to Kentucky.
  • Blog more and be more open on my blog.
  • Inspire someone.

  I am also hoping this year will bring me more direction for my future riding plans.  I am still torn whether eventing is the sport for me anymore.  I hate the direction it is going but nothing else really feels like it fits.  Perhaps 2015 will bring me a clearer vision.

  I have no expectations for this year, in reality I just want to enjoy my horses and have a good time with my friends while sharing our passion.  And maybe Kentucky. :)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Looking Back on 2014

  Pull up a chair and grab a drink, this is a long one!

  I can hardy believe it but this is my fourth year doing a looking back post, and like last year I can happily say this year is my most blogged year.  It is very difficult for me to find time to blog with working full time, taking care of my little farm, riding all the horses and trying to have a life!  Blogging is very important to me though, not just posting but following other blogs too.  I can't quite put my finger on it but it is an integral part of my life to maintain my sanity and of course I have a passion for writing, and this keeps the juices flowing and gives the writing some direction.  That is why no matter what is happening I make the time to read, comment, and post myself.  Thank you for following along for another year.

  January was the month from hell.  Seriously.  If you recall, Penny, Parker and William were at my moms for the winter so I could use the arena.  Problem was the temperatures were SO cold that I hardly got to ride at all.  Those early morning drives over in -38 were not fun.  I also acquired Miss Piggy the pig and spent a lot of time getting to know her and pig antics.  Penny and William both got accupressure treatments, and the cold weather continued on...I tried not to stress about not riding.  To keep the spirits up I did some cute blog posts about my love of browbands and fly bonnets.

  February we were finally able to ride again although it was still really freakin' cold we had some fun doing jump schools.  I whined a lot more about the weather and we had some more fun jump schools when we could.  I helped host our first winter schooling show of the year at my friend Alayne's place and it was a great success.  We rounded the month out with lots of snow riding for Liam and Mia.

  March came and the winter was still here.  William's acupressure results came in.  Penny and William also had chiro treatments because - what else is there to do when it's too cold to ride?  The Thoroughbred racing season started and I went to Woodbine race track with Alayne a few times to help handle some of their horses.  I started thinking about fundraising for amateur eventers but didn't do much with the idea this year.  Fundraising for Weenie Eventers has given me some good ideas though and I think next year I can start the ball rolling on this.  We finished the month off hosting another schooling show at Alayne's - where Jessica rode Parker in his very first show!  To thank her I found her a wicked pink Optimum Time event watch dirt cheap at a tack sale!

  April was a busy blogging month for me as I participated in the A-Z challenge.  This was my second attempt and I was able to complete it!  The month didn't start out great - Penny was having some bad canter issues involving bunny hopping and just general uncomfortableness.  Since she was also having all the back issues prior to the new year - the vet came out and diagnosed a stressed SI and time off, a little bute, acupuncture and chiro was the prescribed remedy.  While that was some bummer news, I knew it was the best thing to give her a few months off to heal whatever was aggravated.  April 11th was the day we could finally ride at home again!  The month kept getting better with William going to his first show of the year and being super - bringing home a 4th and a 1st in his first Training level dressage show!  I found out later in the year that some of the people at the show had drugged their horses - ones I was competing against - so that kind of burned my ass but what can you do.  Our area is terrible for these things.  Then, William kicked me when I tried to clean his sheath while he was drugged after a visit with the vet.  We got a new foster dog Rookie - who eventually would end up severely biting my leg and having to be returned.  William and Mia went to a local Hunter Schooling show and did decent despite William refusing to move forward in a few of his courses - typical antics for him at that time.  Miss Piggy dug up my lawn and proved her stellar gardening skills.  

  Probably the biggest and most exciting part of April was ROLEX!  We had an absolutely amazing time in Lexington.  I just can't express my love for this place enough.  I blogged about the dogs of Rolex  and the rest of our vacation.  Very excited to go back in 4 months time!

  No rest for the wicked.  May came and we were busy busy.  First thing was Williams first event!  The weather was cold and majorly blustery - to the point where the awning blew away off the trailer.  William was a total ass when I first got on and wouldn't move anywhere - but I luckily got his butt going and he was most excellent in the dressage.  He required a lot of encouragement in the stadium ring but managed to jump a clear round.  We had a bobble on cross as William was like - what the hell is going on out here !?! and looking at everything, but we managed to finish his first event with a win!  We did some group jumping lessons at my place and I prepped for our annual May Short Course Event at our farm.  I also started Penny on U Gard and it changed her life.  Alayne and I took an impromptu trip to LA and had an absolute blast.  We had a successful Short Course Event and I shared the little cross country courses at our place.

  June got off to a rough start when our foster dog Rookie bit me when I tried to break up a dog fight.  Nothing can cure the blues like a little cross country though - and William went schooling at Touch A Rainbow and Fallowfield farm and was an absolute star!  He then went to his second event where he was a super pony and finished 2nd!  Eventing had some serious losses and I started to think long term and re evaluate where my place is within this sport.  Sugar my Shetland pony became a TV star on the TV series Degrassi!  William had his third event where he finished first again!  Little did I know that would be his last go of the year :(  The end of the month closed off with a surprise!  My good friend Katie gifted me with a beautiful but feral Guaranteed Gold baby who I named Dirk!

    July brought on some more schooling shows.  Parker went to his second show and did the cross rails.  He was superbly behaved and came home with some ribbons of his own.  I went to a dressage show with my mom where she won all the goodies.  Liam went to live with my parents permanently and Dirk got gelded.  I took Parker to a clinic with Kendal Lehari and he was an absolute star!  Penny was finally back in work and I took her for a nice long hack through the river.  She then went to her first jumper show of the year - a clear round jumper show at my coachs' place and jumped an awesome clear round!  Sadly, William was seriously injured in his stall freaking out over Miss Piggy.  He was given the rest of the year off and Miss Piggy was re homed to a new farm with other piggy friends.  My moms horse Ace became a National Pony Club dressage Champion, and Parker went to his second schooling show with me and showed the hunters, placing well against large classes.

  August came and it was finally time to get back out eventing with Penny!  Unfortunately we got eliminated on cross at our first event but we still finished - due to some overly long looks at the stairs down.  We discovered some holes in our cross country training and figured out what we needed to work on from there.  We concentrated on our dressage and Penny went to her first ever dressage show and placed 2nd and 3rd in First Level!  Jessica and I took Parker and Mia to Dreamcrest Farm for a day of unforgettable cross country schooling.  They were both fantastic and we watched some poor woman get launched into the water jump!  To conquer our issues Penny and I went schooling at Lanes End Farm with Katie and Bella.  Both horses jumped everything bravely and we had an absolute blast!  Penny got a new bridle and Dirk had his first trim.  Dana and I attended the Regional Pony Club Showjumping Championships and had such a fun day.  Dana had awesome placings in big classes and clear rounds on Archie - and Penny jumped out of her skin to bring home the Championship.  The next weekend we went to a local Short Course Event where Dana continued her winning streak and Penny did more dressage schooling.  Her tests were meh but she still managed to win an awesome basket of goodies!  Nicole and I took Parker and Mia to another local schooling show to do some hunter classes.  Both horses came home with lots of ribbons and I was extra pleased with Parker for placing second in the derby and first in the hack.  Dana and I celebrated our successful month by going for a beach ride!  Dana almost got swept up in a sink hole but luckily her and Archie walked away unscathed.  The month ended with Penny and I redeeming ourselves by finishing 5th in the Training at Lane's End Horse Trials over a very tough course.

  There wasn't any quieting down in September.  Penny and I went to another dressage show where the judges were really generous.  We also went back to the beach to do some gallop work and have a good ride with friends.  Jessica and I went to Glen Oro Farm to do some more cross country schooling and JUMPED ALL THE THINGS!  My birthday wishes came true early and we brought Mojo into our lives :)  Mia literally went MIA when she ran off from Jess at a horse show.  She was luckily found the next day which was a huge relief for us all!  I had the craziest event of my life at the end of the month and learned a valuable lesson on why not to bring a horse friend to an event with you!  Despite the antics Penny was a beast and jumped her heart out.

  Show season winded down in October.  I shared Dirks latest confo shots and took Penny to her last event of the year where I got to use my new heart stencil and we had a terrible dressage test, but a blazing cross round to finish 5th in the Training division.  I ran my second Short Course of the year - Halloween themed and it was our most successful show yet!  The costumes were amazing and the weather co operated with us for a change!

  November brought good news - William was ready to go back to work!  I took Parker to a hunter clinic that I had mixed feelings about.  More good news came when I found the dressage saddle of my dreams - and the one that fit Penny!  Probably the best news of the year came in the strangest way.  Penny was trying to tell me something all along and I finally got the message - a tooth splinter she has had for years most likely was discovered and extracted - much to her relief!  Her dressage issues finally uncovered, and the source of a few jumping errors possibly too.  This gave me hope for a much happier horse in the bridle.  More exciting news was the addition of Nicoles horse Oliver!  We had a light dusting of snow and used the free days to play with the babies.  We announced our plans to head to Kentucky next year for the Hagyard Midsouth Three Day Event!  To end the month on a positive note I was informed my blog was nominated by Haynet for Equestrian Blogger of the Year!

  December started off with backing the babies Oliver and Dirk.  I received the ultra exciting news that Penny was chosen as a showjumping horse for the Modern Pentathlon next summer at the 2015 Pan American Games.  We had a really lovely relaxed Christmas, and we played Who Wore it Best on the blog.  Parker has been in regular lessons and Penny is enjoying a little vacation before she goes back into work in the new year along with William.

 What a year it was!  Many many ups and some downs - but overall a really fun year.  I learned a lot about my horses, where we are going together, but most of all I learned what is important to me in my life and what I will not stand for.   You have to be true to yourself and what you believe in, without that what really do you have in life.

 Stay tuned for our looking ahead to 2015 post!

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