Monday, December 15, 2014

2014 in Review -- part 2

Here is part 2 of our 2014 review - covering more or less the second quarter of the year before I started blogging. Part 1 can be found here

The motivation behind this review is to summarize major events and celebrate any accomplishments - big and small - that may have been too incremental to notice at the time.

-Attended my first ever recognized event as a jump judge for the prelim xc course, wherein I got to watch Philip Dutton run approximately one million horses. #inspirational

-Lots of spring trail rides with friends!

-Continued trailer loading practice - with success on my own! We were officially deemed road-worthy by the pro.

-More grids at home in preparation for real training at OF... (distance/pace issues persist for stand-alone fences). This also coincided with two trainers moving their lesson program and horses into Isabel's barn GE - and we saw a HUGE uptick in activity at home, including preparations to host schooling shows (plus new jumping equipment - yay!).

-Started hauling Isabel to lessons at OF! She was an absolute professional our first time there. I would have been satisfied with just hand walking or grazing around the property, but Isabel showed up ready to go and we did our first full lesson (and actual jump course) - and showed off the issues that necessitated lessons in the first place. Score! 

-Second lesson at OF was a disaster - we had our first ever refusal, immediately followed by our next 10 or 12... Plus we crashed through a few fences just for funsies. I chased Isabel past her distances, held at the last second and got left behind (repeatedly hitting her hard in the mouth) when she made big efforts to clear the fence. So she quit on me - even after I sorta fixed my issues. It was an, uh, educational ride for both of us and, surprisingly, a turning point in our relationship for the better.

-We started dressage and bio-mechanics lessons too... and learned just how much work was ahead of us (and still is, frankly).

-Rode in our first  show together - a schooling show at Isabel's home barn GE. I was super nervous (esp bc this was only a week after our disastrous jump lesson fail), but kept my anxiety at bay with barn chores during the show. We did the 18" and 2' classes, and despite some very nice (and winning!) rounds by Isabel, I opted out of the 2'3" class.

-Went xc schooling with Isabel. We went twice between May and July - can't remember the exact dates. First time showed a lot of trepidation and hesitation (and a couple slow, sputtering stops at tiny logs). And we needed to get ponied into the water. 

Second time Isabel knew exactly what to do out there. She ate the jumps for breakfast. Didn't even notice the water as she flew out up a bank to a fence set two strides away (the lesson kids learned a few fun words from me as I desperately tried to hang on lol). And she hauled my butt over a big scary roll top while I just clung to her mane.... Good times had by all  :D

-Had our first combined training at GE (wrote about this here and here). This was our first ever dressage test (w-t), and second time showing over fences at 2'. We had some oopsie moments, but made it through well enough for 1st place.

-Had our first lesson with Dan where we started firming up our understanding of getting the 'right' canter for jumping.

-Continued trying to dressage, and was rewarded with glimpses of what Isabel will be when I get my shit together. 


  1. Replies
    1. thanks - she is pretty serious about needing to look good all the time lol

  2. Replies
    1. thanks! that was a really awesome ride for us - not perfect at all (steps immediately before and after that pic were not nearly so nice) but the first time i felt like we really 'got' it

  3. Woop woop, I am luving this recap you're doing! ☺☺☺☺
    So much wonderful improvement

    1. yay thanks! i doubt other years will show so much change - but this year we really dialed it up a notch, and it has been so cool to see the differences in both of us

  4. The engagement in that last picture <3!

    1. that picture makes me so so happy :) it's hard getting pictures of us flatting so i'm really happy to have that one!

  5. You guys have come such a long way this year!!

    1. thanks! it's been a pretty cool experience so far!

  6. I LOVE that last picture. I had to giggle about the lesson kids learning new words hehe. Also so cool that you got to jump judge a prelim course.

    1. Thanks - that last pic really is a favorite! And jump judging was definitely a great experience !