Thursday, December 29, 2016

The best and worst of 2016

On one hand, this year has been a set of incredible highs. If you'd told me on January 1 that I'd be taking Taran to Regional Championships and bringing home a ribbon, I'd have thought you were crazy. But it's also been a year of loss - both Cash and Brego. Cash was not unexpected - he was 28 after all. And while I was saddened to lose my first heart horse, I knew it was time. But Brego's loss left us in shock - he was so young, and so seemingly healthy - I still don't think we've entirely processed it. Some horses leave awfully big holes behind.

Anyway. Instead of looking back month-by-month, I decided to pull some highlights of the year. These are the posts that I look at when I'm bored (does anyone else do that?), and smile to remember.

Reader's favorite post
How much were Brego's shoes? Brego got a set of custom heart-bar shoes after his hoof resection. Readers guessed at how much they actually cost... $600 for a set of two, in case you were wondering.

We still have these.

My favorite post
Back to square one. Again. This post basically sums up the entire struggle of dressage for me.
...When you start something new (like, say, coming back into work after being a pasture puff for a couple of years), your horse is in disbelief. He doesn't want necessarily want to work ("I could spook instead!") and it takes the better part of an hour lesson to convince him of what his job is and that he has to do it. And then, maybe the last 10-15 minutes of your lesson, he starts to really put in some quality work - like a nice, connected trot. And just when it's starting to feel awesome, your time is up. You've been through the wringer (how much inside leg can you possibly NEED???!?!), and your horse looks like he's just run the Derby. You despair at how hard that was and how you'll never be any good and how COULD HE PLEASE JUST TROT LIKE A NORMAL HORSE and jeez. Why do you do dressage again?...

Funniest post
Sh!tt!iest Valentine's Day Present Evar! Yup, husband bought me a manure spreader for Valentines Day. It's been almost a year and I still LOVE this thing. It makes my life so much easier!

Yassssss

Best shopping experience
Austrian tack stores: SO DANGEROUS. My credit card still hasn't recovered, and I really want to go back.

I WANT ALL OF THESE!

Worst ride
Requisite sh!itty pre-show ride. What happens when you expect too much and don't give enough.

Best ride
Lesson with Grand Prix Trainer. I learned a ton, and Taran was so light and balanced and responsive. I'm hoping to ride more with her (as well as my regular trainer) in 2017.

Taran complains that doing it right is HARD.

Worst show
Sort of second level. We definitely weren't prepared (and still aren't).

Needs to go back to Intro and learn square, on-the-bit halts.

Best show
Regional Championships, Day 2. Because satin.

Love.

Worst pic
That epic moment in our first second level test when I asked for a canter-walk transition with too much hand and took my leg off, and poor Taran slammed on the brakes. Too bad you don't get bonus points for sliding stops in dressage.


Look, my horse has two legs!

Best pic
Thank you Lauren for taking this... this is the best memory I could ever ask for.


Here's to a mostly good year, and looking forward to 2017!

26 comments:

  1. Loved this post! :) Looking forward to seeing what you guys do in 2017!

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    1. I'm hoping to keep the momentum going!

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  2. The 2-legged photo still makes me giggle helplessly. He's like a springbok or something!

    Cheers to the great memories, and drinks to move forward past the hard ones. May 2017 bring you many more happy memories.

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    1. The two-legged photo is epic, I admit. In a horribly embarrassing way.

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  3. I look back on my favorite posts often too ;)

    Anyway congrats on such a solid year with Taran - it's pretty incredible what you have been able to do with him! Hugs for Brego and Cash

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    1. The highs have been pretty high... the lows were sad though.

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  4. I love this breakdown. So sorry for the loss of Brego and Cash.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, they hold special places in our hearts.

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  5. Such a great breakdown of the year, you hit all the points. Brego and Cash were so sad, hugs!

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  6. Wow, what year of big ups and downs. Congrats on all your success with Taran :)

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    Replies
    1. It was definitely a mixed year, but I'd do it again!

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  7. That last pic makes me smile so wide every time I see it <3

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    1. Lauren is a magician with a camera!

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  8. If by worst pic you mean BEST pic, I think this post is spot on! ;)

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha yeah I had a hard time deciding if that one was the best or the worst... all depends on perspective!

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  9. I love the format of this post! Highs and lows all wrapped into one. I have to say, though, I *love* your worst photo. Excellent capture!

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    Replies
    1. Worst photo is so bad it's good. Or something.

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  10. I love the format of this post - a really neat way to put it all into perspective. Love the photo of you and Cash.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, it's my fav pic ever! :)

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  11. Replies
    1. It really was, I'm so lucky to have had such a fun year!

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  12. The picture of you and Cash is special. The love you have for him, and his laid-back attitude come through so clearly.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so lucky that Lauren got such a great shot of us <3

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