December 30, 2015

Year in Review: June-December 2015

I only posted nine times in June of 2015!  That alone should tell you what kind of month I had (I usually average 20-25 posts per month)  We closed on our historic fixer-upper the first week of June.  Jumping was the theme this month with a fantastic on-property XC school, and a fantastic stadium lesson in the big field in which I learned about relaxation and balance

I bought a truck, in large part because I was being tapped to take my boss's job as Director of IT and assumed I'd have to start being an adult and move my horse closer to my house/needed a trailer.  I really started to figure out my crookedness and Connor's Dressage improved accordingly.  Walking downhill was the hardest thing Connor has ever done ever, and I was Nicole's CrossFit Games coordinator/chauffeur/cook/psychiatrist/gopher for the second year in a row (she placed 15th!)  Finally, I got poached in the nick of time for a job I wanted much more than Director of IT: end user computing engineer.

Behind the scenes of those slick graphics ESPN uses on TV

I rode in a clinic with JLC at our farm and burst into tears every time I sat on my horse for a week after that clinic.  We scored our lowest score yet on a Dressage test at Leg Up the next weekend (27.0), then scratched with that massive lead before XC when Connor landed bucking after every warmup fence.  I started my new job, and the trailer JenJ sold me arrived!  We rethought our approach with Connor and swore off jumping for a while.  Our left bend problems started to go away as our Dressage improved.

I finally was able to make good on my promise to bring Connor to a WPCSA show when I got a trailer.  Mary jumped Connor and he was great.  I was finally able to put into words how my riding had changed over the past five months, and learned just how much the placement of my weight in the saddle affected the way Connor went, for better and for worse.  I was sent to Atlanta for a week for work at the end of the month and did not ride much.
Photo by Sabrina

October was awesome!  I went on a hack with FBR, and made even more advances in my Dressage thnaks to identifying my tense hands and lack of outside thigh.  I also (finally!) had dinner with the Pennsylvania CDE drivers who broke Connor to harness and under saddle.  Sadly, the least awesome thing of October was a mouse eating a HOLE IN THE SEAT OF MY DRESSAGE SADDLE.  Ugh.  Still makes me sick.  Oh, and the indoor footing got upgraded/fixed and our lives got so much better.

This was sort of October, but my parents and husband I went tailgating at the Breeders Cup to watch American Pharoah run and win the last race of his career, the Breeders' Cup Classic!  While we were there, my trainer rode C in a JLC clinic and really helped fix his canter. I put him in partial training again to capitalize on what she learned in the clinic.  Connor started to get really sensitive to the aids, and my lessons began to be about "doing less".  We both learned half pass in hand.

Connor was basically left to my barn's staff the first two weeks of December while Nick and I raced for the finish line of the final house appraisal (that determined our mortgage) and closing out the renovation loan.  Then once that was over, I started picking up where I left off with my usual 4 rides per week.  Connor got his second clip, and his Aunt Mary jumped him and proclaimed it "the best he's ever felt".  Our lessons were awesome, probably because for a while my trainer was the only one riding him and I wasn't around to screw him up!  Finally, my Secret Santa got us a bag of Mrs. Pastures and a sweet C4 belt in our XC colors!


  1. Holy crap, that was one vicious mouse! Overall though it sounds like you had a pretty good year! I have loved seeing the pictures of your house progress on Facebook.

  2. Big year! Yay for the truck and trailer club!

    1. Yes! We both joined the club in 2015! Too bad you're too far away for trail rides now. :(

  3. What a great year! Here's wishing that 2016 will continue the trend.

  4. You've had a great year! I have absolutely loved reading about your home improvement processes- you've inspired me!

  5. What an amazing year! Wishing you and Connor all the best in 2016!

  6. 2015 house buying club for the win! A time suck, but an awesome time suck!

  7. Yay for a truck and trailer!! Still can't believe that mouse hole tho...

  8. I still can't believe that your seat got eaten