November 28, 2013

Two Year Connorversary!

What am I thankful for?  Two years ago yesterday, Connor's breeder dropped him off at the farm.

Then: Baby Connor (age 5)
Now: Age 7, with a topline, a neck, and abs!  Big change in his stomach muscles.

I'd never ridden a Dressage test, evented, jumped more than 18", put a horse on contact, sat in a Dressage saddle, shown since my IHSA days...this list could go on.  Here's the first video I have of us, from a clinic in February of 2012:

My seat wasn't even independent of my hands yet, and he was still in his weedy baby stage.  Now, 21 months later:

He's my best friend, my perfect partner, and after surviving our first events together this year, my war buddy.  Small enough that I find confidence I didn't know I had when I'm on his back, big (and athletic!) enough to jump 3' someday.

When I got him, I had no idea how I was going to juggle everything, or how I would handle living 45 minutes away from my horse, or if I was even ready for a horse, but you make it work for the right situation, and this is right.  I couldn't imagine life without this quirky little guy.  I also didn't know how ready I was to take on a green horse (obviously, since some of you were reading the blog back then, those were some pretty anguished posts), and how much I would learn right along with him.

So this Thanksgiving, I am especially thankful to and grateful for all the people and situations that have made it possible for me to have Connor in my life:

- His breeder/my "other mother" Lisa (without her, none of this ever happened)

I don't have any pictures of me and Lisa, only me and her ponies!

- My trainer (I joke that if I had Connor and not her I would be sitting on him in a paddock in someone's backyard unable to turn left)
My trainer, sympathetically keeping her own shoulders back in the vain hope that I will keep my shoulders back over this fence - which clearly did not happen.  She has a tough job.

- My mom (for showering the grandpony with gifts of things and clinic entries when I couldn't afford them myself this year - and also for understanding that she gets a grandpony instead of a grandbaby for now...)

My momma!  And brother and dad.

- My husband (for only mentioning that we could be leasing a BMW for the price of Connor's upkeep every once in a while)

My brother keeps sneaking in these pictures somehow.  Also, Nick lodged a formal complaint that I used this photo of him from June, since he's lost weight since then.  I lodged a formal complaint in return that he dodges photo opportunities so often that this is the only photo I have of us from 2013.

- Mary (who I wish I could pay for her amazing jumping training on C earlier this year.  Stupid amateur status.)

Love that kid.

- My boss (who understands what Connor means to me, lets me go to the barn while on-call, and semi-regularly makes me take a day off to recharge and spend the day at the barn)

And I am also thankful for all of you!  I've been blogging for a decade now, and blogging about horses since 2007, and recently has this little community really taken off.  Thank you for the comments, support, contests and everything else you've done this year!  This is really quite a thing to be a part of.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!


  1. Happy Connorversary! You have come so far with him :-)

  2. Isnt it amazing what you can (and did!) accomplish in 2 years?! He is looking so good :)

  3. Happy Horsey Anniversary! You and Connor make a lovely pair and I so enjoy reading your blog :)

  4. Happy Anniversary and Thanksgiving!

  5. Happy happy anniversary! :)

  6. I wrote a fab big long comment & bloody wordpress had logged me out so it all disappeared... trying to recall it all :
    A lot of WOWS Jen :
    Your riding has improved sooooo much since you got Connor!
    Conner has turned into a fab little horse - probably due to your improved riding ;D but also due to his lovely 'willing to try' attitude
    You have managed some amazing achievements this year, despite a whole pile of challenges
    You have a great family!!!
    You're blogging for 10 years??? You are like the blogging Grandma compared to my paltry two years!
    You've been a horse blogger for 6 years? You must be one of the very first ones!

    Happy Connorversary. Belated Happy Thanksgiving.

    And thanks for the long-distance support you give to me, too. x