Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year

It’s already January , and as I surf the web I see that the “unwritten blogger code” seems to mandate a year-in-review blog, a best-of blog, or a new-year’s resolution blog.  Who am I to break the rules?

The year in Review

Frankly, 2010 was not my favorite year.  It started with the passing of our landlord, Ted Gorman, followed six months later Red Bridge Farm going on the market, and a subsequent search for Straight Forward Dressage’s new home. Then, of course, there was the move itself.  That stress overshadowed most of the year.

Plus my show plans for 2010 went south.  In February, Venus, my super-fun red mare, was injured, knocking her out for the show season.  I went through a huge emotional roller-coaster while we sorted out her injuries and her rehab plan. During this time, I rode poorly the Klimke clinic, and in my already vulnerable state, it rocked my confidence a bit.  Then, shortly after the show season started, Eclipse, the Stud-boy with a heart of gold, started uncharacteristically stopping in the show ring. Sure enough, a raging Lyme’s titer benched him for the show season. 

Lest you think the year was all bad, Secret and I felt like stars at the Region 1 Adult Dressage Symposium, and even got our photo in USDF Connections Magazine.  She continued to be a star all season, winning at first and second levels and finishing with all-breeds awards and a new ‘/’ after her name.

Frankly, my horses and my students got me through this year.  Pikasso, Flash, Sling and Silly each made amazing progress in their training, which helped keep me going. Pikasso’s awesome progress was caught on film.  I had watched Flash, an Art Deco-line mare, run away with her owner for years, and this year I got the opportunity to teach Flash to turn that speed into suspension, improving her attitude in the process.  Sling,  Wendy's awkward yearling bloomed into a swan of a 4-year-old.  And Silly, the mare I bought in December 2008 to resale and had been frustrated by her lack of progress, figured out how to use her back and let her talent come out.

The amazing progress my students have made also kept me going.  Last weekend, we had our annual “Winter Workshop, formerly known as Winter Camp.” Watching my students now compared to last year, wow, it was really impressive.  Linda, Liz, Joyce, Kristen, Paige and Wendy were so much more confident horse people this year than last year.  It made my teacher’s heart warm.  As soon as I get the pictures, I’ll tell you more about it.

And, of course, the year had a happy ending with us finding a home a Journey’s End Farm in Glenmoore.  We were all anxious about sharing the facility with the two businesses already in residence, Point of View farm as well as Journey’s End Farm, but our anxieties were not warranted.  Sharing with Pixie and Deb is pleasant and comfortable.

Plus, as an additional happy ending, I became a Custom Saddlery Sponsored rider.  When I look at the list of riders they sponsored, I’m humbled to be in the same company.

Best of Blogs

My favorite blogs were also noticed by others, which I think is really cool.  The Warm-Up Ring Safety blog was picked up by OVCTA and LVDA for their newsletters, and Retread Eventer listed it in her “best blogs” column.  The Michael Klimke Clinic blog was painful and therapeutic to write, and my old college newspaper editor stumbled across it and sent me a compliment, making my day. I also liked my Band Nerd blog, but it was actually December 2009, so I’m kinda cheating on this one.

New Year’s Resolutions

This year, I want to become a better trainer for my horses, competitor for my clients, teacher for my students, and boss to my amazing, reliable and hardworking staff. 

Competitively, I’d love to make a run for the Young Horse Championships with Sling, see how Venus, Silly, and Secret do at 3rd level, and see if Eclipse and I can hit the show ring in tails and a top hat, but horses are horses, so we’ll see how the season unfolds.

I’d like to get better at blocking off non-horse time for my patient husband and circle of good friends.
I’d like to get to the gym more, to be as fit of an athlete as I ask my horses to be. 

Ok,  2011, bring it on.

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