Sunday, January 21, 2018

2017 - what an incredible year!

At the beginning of last year, I made a list of things that I hoped would happen. I set some very reasonable goals for myself and some really far-fetched ones, but even so we accomplished more than I ever thought possible.

Despite all his accomplishments, I still have to hold his ears up for pictures.

My goal of getting my bronze scores at second level was accomplished my first time out, and honestly it felt like a little bit of a cheat. There's so much more to second level than getting a 60% on 2-1, so those scores were the beginning of a much longer journey. By the end of the year we we scoring solidly mid 60s on 2-3, with plenty of room for improvement on pretty much everything (I'm looking at you, TOH).

Our haunches in game was pretty strong, despite my lovely habit of collapsing.

Along the way, we picked up three USDF Dover medals. This award is given to the highest scoring AA at 2-3 at a USDF rated show. It's honestly something that was never on my radar, because let's face it, mid 60's isn't a terribly high score. But we got lucky at several shows where there were only a couple of riders in the class, many were out for the first time, and they weren't on super fancy horses. So while I feel like the stars aligned for us to win those medals, I'm definitely not going to turn them down!

And because we got three of them, we also won a Dover National Merit Award - 37th in the nation, with an average score of 65.122. I even got a trophy - my first ever!

Maybe it's more of a scotch tasting glass than a trophy?

I also signed us up for the National Pony Cup Small Horse awards. We ended up first place at first level AA, third place 2nd level AA, and 5th place freestyle AA. 

And really, I signed up for the satin. I swear this rosette is bigger than my head.

Taran got his USDF 2nd level Performance award, for having 10 scores over 60% at second level (including 4 scores at 2-3). I got my USDF 2nd level Rider award as well. I also ended up getting my 1* rating from, which is kind of cool. I do wish our average scores at 2nd were a little higher - our poor showing at Nationals really brought it down.

Not only did Taran and I qualified for regionals at first level and first level freestyle, we also qualified at second level (although that was a long shot goal for the year). Our placing at regionals on the 1-3 national qualifying test was kind of sad, and I ended up scratching the SWDC championship 1-3 class. However, we were 7th in the national first level freestyle qualifier, and got a wildcard qualifying score. We were also 4th (behind 3 pros) on the SWDC first level freestyle championship, so I am pretty pleased with that. We actually beat all the AAs who beat us in the national qualifier, so it just goes to show that some days everything goes really well. And for the 2nd level national qualifier, my goal was not to come in last. So when we ended up third in a strong field, I was absolutely thrilled. We'd put in the best test of the year for that ride and I just couldn't have asked for more.

It was also eleventy bajillion degrees at regionals, which is why we both look kind of wilted.

As for my first level freestyle at Nationals... well, you know how awesome that turned out. The victory lap around the Alltech Arena at Kentucky Horse Park was pretty much the icing on the top of a fairy tale year.


The hardest thing about this year was keeping Taran happy, healthy, and sound. We struggled with intermittent soundness issues, ulcers, a broken tooth, and of course the PPID (Cushings) diagnosis. We seem to have found the right combination of sneakers, feed, and doses of Prascend, so hopefully we can continue to check this goal off the list.

Let's not do this again, mmkay?

As for the "crazy" goals I had this year... I did ride 3-1 at a schooling show, even though I didn't have changes. And obviously we didn't get our bronze medal scores at third. But I'm feeling like those things are going to be more than obtainable in 2018, and I'm SO looking forward to it!

Because I have hands down THE BEST pony EVER!


  1. Damn girl you cleaned house this year!! Congrats!!!! I cannot wait to see you guys out at Third next year. Bronze medal here you come!

  2. Holy crap - I hope you left some satin for the other girls lol! Well done Jen!

  3. You've worked SO hard this year and deserve all this success (and satin!) and more. Can't wait to see what amazing things you accomplish in 2018.

  4. Ugh you guys are seriously the coolest. <3

  5. Such a great year! Congrats! It's so satisfying when all your hard work pays off!

  6. So many accomplishments! Congratulations!! Those prizes are drool worthy and I hope there's more to come in 2018 with a sound happy poneh!!!

  7. That's a pretty friggin incredible year!

  8. No bigs, just going out and taking names, and satin, and medals, and neck ribbons. All in a day's work. ;) Can't wait to see you guys at Third next year!!

  9. omg the satin you got this year.. drooling. If it goes missing definitely not at my house! Last year was an AMAZEBALLS year for you and Taran, I'm so proud of you two!

  10. Wow!! Congratulations on an amazing year!

  11. You had a crazy fairy tale year, here's to 2018 topping it!!! Congrats!!

  12. What a fantastic year. That's a lot of satin...

  13. Hot diggity damn, what an outstanding year with so many accolades to your name! Congratulations =)

  14. Wow. Yall WORKED SO HARD. And it shows!! Congrats!

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