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!