January 1, 2023

So This is the New Year

Hello world, it's me, CobJockey. Again.

2022 was a rough year for me. For one, I got a divorce. It was amicable and as straightforward as a divorce could possibly be, but was still a major life change to absorb. New responsibilities to take on. Learning to live alone.

Two, I lost all of my fire for pushing up the levels and competing, at least for now. My personal life had something to do with it, but so too did the tiny voice in my head saying that Connor was not comfortable in Dressage, that the "bee sting" head shaking he's done for years IS pain, probably nerve pain. 

And so when we started having major technical difficulties with my phone and Pivo last summer, I took the opportunity to bow out of weekly lessons for the first time since 2011.

I stopped riding almost entirely for most of 2022, although I never stopped going to the barn, because that's life in a co-op. Connor lost topline, gained a dad bod, and was allowed to grow a full winter coat for the first time in the 11 years I've had him, partially because I wasn't riding and partially because he needed it for, um, protection.

Full time battle royale over here

But my mental health suffered. Riding has always reset me in a way that nothing else does. There is something about shutting my mind off and just being present without the possibility of distraction on the back of a horse that picks me up and puts me right side up. So last week I started riding again.

For the moment, I'm doing twenty minutes, at a walk, on the rail, five days a week, on a long but not loose rein. No leg yields, circles or anything fancy. Just getting back in the routine, beginning to build back Connor's fitness, and focusing on both of us using our bodies well.

And it feels...good. From a goals and competition perspective, I don't particularly care what Connor does this year, but I can feel myself starting to get excited about setting goals for Disco.

This is not lunging, for the record. This is walking him three times in a circle around me using voice cues and then putting him away.

So here I am. Still here, still blogging, just not as often as before. And that's okay. Welcome to 2023.


  1. Oh man - so sorry to hear the major life change news - but glad just to hear from you. Take your time, and please take care of yourself. Everything horse related will fall into place. Very best wishes for a happier, healthy new year. ❤️

  2. ♥️ you're an inspiration to me in self care, self development, and human-ing

  3. Sorry to hear 2022 was rough for you. Here's to a better 2023 with many horsey adventures!

  4. Happy New Year I am sorry for the heartache and I hope 2023 is a wonderful time for you and your horses and dogs. Disco is growing up SO FAST!!

  5. I'm very sorry to hear about the tough changes in your life. I hope 2023 brings you more joy and more time finding that peace in the saddle. Glad to see back on the blogosphere.

  6. I am sorry about your divorce. And stepping back makes a lot of sense. We have horses to enjoy so whatever you do that leads to that is perfect. Happy New Year.

  7. Welcome back. It sounds like you had quite a tough year :( In spite of that, you seem to be making thoughtful decisions for both you and your horses.

    I loved your comment about Connor's "dad bod" - you have a way with words!

  8. So glad to hear from you again! I totally understand that a blog takes a backseat to real life, but I always worry and wonder a little when my favorite blogs go silent for a while. Sorry to hear about your divorce, and I know things were tough before that.

    I'm so glad to hear that you are riding again! I agree, even if there aren't any ambitious goals or an agenda, I think there is just something so important about time spent in the saddle for horse lovers. It's so rare these days to have something give such a clarifying and grounding time in which you aren't thinking about anything else.

    I hope that 2023 is a better year for you, and that you grow in all of the ways best for you and the ponies!

  9. Welcome back! I truly missed your postings, but fully understand that you just weren't in a place to be able to do so. I am glad that the barn and your horses have been there for you, thick & thin. Doubly glad that you are getting back into the saddle again.