Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review


I was super gung-ho with my 2015 goals (separate post on that later), but in reality we got off to a slower start than I had wanted. Maggie had a wicked case of the shits that came on seemingly out of nowhere (actually during late 2014). I still don't have a clue what sets it off and we had problems with it off and on until I finally found the one thing that has cured it: a daily double-dose of SmartDigest. I played around with the dosing all year long - including the other Smartpak digestive supplements and none of the other ones seems to do the trick. I have no idea why.

This picture sums up the whole experience very well. 
Later on in January we had a colic episode which may or may not have been related to whatever was causing the shits. We'll never know. It was a small impaction colic and after being tubed and staying on poop alert, she recovered well. 

Not feeling so hot.
Also during January: the snow began.


It snowed more. Like, a lot more. There was no riding because I did not rent the indoor because I could not get to the indoor. 

I think I legitimately have PTSD from this winter.


I rode my horse! I had some lessons! And snow melted enough that we actually started to see the ground towards the end of the month!


The snow kept melting and I discovered how rough the outdoor ring at our barn was looking. We squeezed in a ride at the beach. I was still renting the rings next door and got some rides outside there and Maggie figured out how to stretchy trot and I really felt like I might actually have a dressage pony on my hands!


We made our first show outing of the season as we pretended to be hunters at a local open show.

Convincing, aren't we?

And we jumped around a 2'6" course!
Photo by Nature of Light Photography. Used with permission.

I also gave Maggie a new 'do, took our first jumping lesson with a local upper-level eventer, and had a grand time at our first hunter pace.   

At the very end of the month (though I didn't blog about it until June) we did a combined test, putting in a somewhat tense but respectable dressage test and a clear stadium round to clinch a yellow ribbon. 

Photo by FlatlandsFoto. Used with Permission.


June was the month that I really fell of the blogging train and unfortunately I never really recovered. Part of this was due to some personal things and part of it was taking on some other writing projects that kept me busy. Towards the end of the month (and on a very rainy day) Maggie and I did our first 3-Phase of the year (but blogged about it TWO months later and in two parts). It didn't go amazingly, but I was super proud to have completed!

Unfortunately, the frame of my truck broke the day before the event . I borrowed a friend's truck to get to the show the next day, but it pretty much sidelined us for the rest of the season and slowed down jumping lessons too.  

The husband and I also started house shopping and within two weeks had an offer accepted on a cute little ranch in my hometown!


July was a real lull. Still in my blogging funk, I hit an all time low and only posted twice all month: once with an excuse as to why I hadn't been blogging and another recapping a jump lesson from June. I have absolutely no recollection of how much I rode (since I didn't blog about it), but I think we took it fairly easy, since we weren't going anywhere in a hurry with my busted truck. Also, we closed on our house.


There was a dramatic abscess popping and that was basically it aside from writing about the 3-Phase in June. We also definitely took some dressage lessons here and there, but I must have skipped writing about some of them?

Baby's first hoof wrap.


I got a new truck which meant as soon as I had a hitch put on we were back in business! I did a little better at blogging again and wrote about a dressage lesson wherein we really started to focus on outside aids and straightness, which (along with LEG) essentially became our theme for the rest of the year. 

We had another dressage lesson later in the month, plus our first ever actual XC lesson in preparation for our second 3-Phase of the season (which, sadly, was also our last of the season). This event went much better than the last one (plus it was a lovely sunny day and not a monsoon) - we jumped clear and took home second!

So much fun. Photo by Sophiea Bitel.


I helped tack-walk a barnmate's horse and worried that I Maggie and I were a mismatch, but eventually allayed my fears. Since I had a truck with the ability to trailer again, we also continued trucking out for jump lessons and I learned that I need to work on keeping my upper body relaxed and quiet while keeping my leg on.

Oh, and we moved to the barn next door so now we have full access to their rings and indoor arena.

"Where am I?"


We did another hunter pace and once again had a great time. Later in the month Maggie was introduced to canter poles during a jumping lesson, which is a great way to get me to focus on keeping leg on. 

Photo by Nature of Light Photography. Used with permission.


We've taken another jumping lesson (which I still have yet to write about), gone on some trail rides, and done some dressaging on our own. Up until about the middle of the month it was still relatively warm and if it weren't pitch black we would have still been able to ride in the ring. We're officially stuck in the indoor now though. 

A couple weeks ago I also recapped all my adjunct writing projects and told you to stay tuned as I expanded this blog into a different domain! (I'm still working on it you'll still have to stay tuned...)


In retrospect, I feel like I can call this a "transition year" - though maybe I'm just trying to give it a label to justify feeling like I didn't actually accomplish much. But despite not having many accomplishments be evident by way of show results, I think we made progress.

Overall I think everything that has happened this year has put us in a better place in life, in my riding, and in this blog, which will hopefully set us up to be more successful next year. Despite only making it to two events (far fewer than I would have liked), the addition of having jumping lessons has made such a huge difference. Even though we're sort of starting over down at the basic, basic level it's giving me the confidence that we'll have the correct building blocks in place to come out stronger next year.

I can't be too hard on myself either for our middle of the summer lull - sometimes crap happens (like my truck kicking the bucket) that makes you just have to stop what you're doing and focus on adulting for a little while. Sometimes good things happen (like buying a house) that make you have to stop and focus on adulting for a little while too. Again, thanks to these things happening I'm in a better position to come out stronger next year (although having car payments again really sucks).

Here's to 2016!


  1. Cheers to 2016! That snow was epic; I hope it doesn't happen to you again. Also thanks for the awesome secret santa gift. I'll be posting about it soon.

    1. Yay, glad you got it!!! I really wanted to find a t-shirt or something of a minion riding the fluffy unicorn (because minion riding a horse totally relates to equestrian blogging in my mind) but alas, nothing >_< so I went for practicality!

  2. congrats on a solid year! real life happens and sometimes we have to step away or multitask or whatever, but generally i've really really enjoyed following along with your and Maggie's adventures!! hope you have an even better 2016 :)