Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015: A Full Year of Blogging in Review

My first full year of blogging has drawn to a close! This year has certainly had more lows than I would like, but it definitely ended on a higher note.

It was pretty cold for Alabama. I adopted a female guinea pig (Lila Bear), Candy was a drama queen and colicked, and Sawyer started to show his soundness issues. I started riding with my current trainer, H.

I'm so happy Sawyer is still at my barn- I still love his cranky butt.

Candy's ulcers finally resolved! Sawyer and I did a Hunter/Jumper clinic with Jason Costick and jumped a 2'9" vertical (it was a big deal!).

I finally remembered to blog and did FIVE(!) entries. I had my first show on Sawyer, and competed in the Schooling Hunters (2'3"); we didn't place, but I saw major holes in my riding that I managed to fix for our next show.  Sawyer and I placed 3rd in a Schooling Hunter (2'3") O/F and 4th in a flat class out of about 7-10 people in our second show.

The month of the lameness. It started off nice enough- I did another Jason Costick clinic with Sawyer and jumped a 3'6" vertical. But from there... April was... interesting. I was knocked out of the saddle for 2 weeks with a stomach bug, Candy came in from the field with a left hind fetlock the size of a softball, and then one week later, Sawyer developed an on-and-off lameness. Candy went on stall rest, Sawyer went on stall rest, and I got bucked off a potential lease horse (literally got one foot in a stirrup and got thrown). I took a break from riding. I started running. April was a mess.
He loved April. I did not.

I ended my lease on Sawyer, and Candy was a boss during the rehab process. Lots of exciting handwalking adventures. I finished the dreaded second year and started my research position for the summer.

I started lessoning again, and went back to the Jumper ring! Candy come off stall rest, and was back in turnout. He returned to "work" walking bareback. Wilbur "celebrated" one year with me (I'm happy-he remains indifferent).

A couple women I grew up riding with lost their horses to old age; it was a bit of a reminder to snuggle Candy a little harder every day. After almost a month of bareback rides, Candy finally bucked me off, I got the vet's permission to ride in a saddle, and a humble reminder to stop taking myself so seriously.

Candy got an A for effort in the rehab process; he rehabbed back sound from his soft tissue injury, and flunked out when his hocks had failed to fuse. I made the very difficult decision to retire him to pasture, and hung up his bridle. I had my first ride on Lexie, the fat, sassy Westphalian who has stolen my heart. I started my third year of vet school.

I started hacking Silver, Lexie, and Charlie on weekends and continued my lessons with H in the Jumper ring. Candy adjusts to retirement, and seems okay, but not entirely pleased, with "Peppermints, Grooming, Peppermints, Turn Out".

School really slammed me hard. I promise I did continue to lesson and ride, but during October, tests and surgeries really took over. I took a 6 year old OTTB on trial, but he ended up not meeting my standards.

Lexie and I did our first show together in the 0.70 and 0.80 jumpers. I managed to swing a 3rd place in the 0.70s, and nearly fall off in the 0.80s; I learn all I had was steering and no breaks when I rode Lexie. I show Lexie again at the barn year end show, and we enter the 0.75 and 0.85 jumpers; we got 1st out of 2 both rounds. I try to show again the next day, but my body just says, "Enough", and I scratched. Candy continues to be the sweetest retiree, and gets his annual chaser clip.

I finish the hardest semester of my life, and am only 6 weeks of lectures away from being in the clinic! Lexie and I clinic with Doug Payne, and really start to come together as a team; I'm comfortable over 2'9-3' fences in the clinic. Steering remains questionable, but the brakes have finally arrived, even in a loose ring snaffle! Candy continues to get snuggles and mints; I contemplate riding him or doing groundwork.... something. I decide to lease Lexie!

- K & C & L(!)


  1. congrats on a big year! Lexie is adorable :)

  2. Sounds like you really owned it this uyear - can't wait to see how 2016 shapes up for you!