2015 Year in Review – January through June


In January I set out a few goals for the year. I also posted pictures of the adorable wild donkeys we met on our cruise.

I bought a PS of Sweden bridle which didn’t fit very well. We finally bought a trailer and started getting out for trail rides away from home. We started taking lessons with the trainer that I didn’t really like.


Lessons continued though we struggled with getting up early to ride before work any day we didn’t have a lesson. We were more successful at trail riding: we rode to the winery a few times and we went to Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch twice. Arena work wasn’t going very well since my saddle didn’t fit either Nilla or me.

Dog Photo Shoot


I started using the treeless saddle with Nilla. I couldn’t use that saddle for arena work, so I spent some lessons just watching my husband ride. I posted some How To posts including the wood stall signs.

This was a pretty adventurous month. We rode ranch horses in the snow in Colorado. We rode our own horses on the beach. We even took our horses overnight camping in Henry Coe. I rode Dijon a lot this month, which seems off to me in looking back as I so rarely ride him now. I talked about the problems I was having with the trainer. My husband and I started doing some harder rides in preparation for doing an endurance ride.


Lessons continued with the traveling trainer despite my misgivings. I did have some good lessons with the seasonal trainer who comes to our barn only in the spring and fall. We went to a mule dressage clinic with Laura Hermanson. We also did a western mule clinic and then I left Nilla with Laura for training.

We went to Rolex and it was amazing: Friday, Saturday, Sunday.


At the beginning of the month I was still without Nilla, so I rode Dijon and watch my husband’s lessons. Then I went to get Nilla and had a few lessons with Laura. Nilla suddenly seemed like she might actually be capable of doing dressage.

There was no rest for the weary this month. We started doing conditioning rides as soon as Nilla got back and then spent Memorial Day weekend horse camping and doing even more trail riding.


May’s conditioning work was all in preparation for the 2015 AERC Run for the Gold endurance ride, which was a great success. We returned to lessons where Nilla continued to do well with seasonal trainer, but not so well in the lessons with traveling trainer that my husband continued to enjoy. I did ride with the traveling trainer, but didn’t enjoy it, so I finally found a really good dressage trainer to work with us.

We also rode a lot out of the arena. This includes a pretty epic trip to go horse camping in Yosemite National Park. We saw the sites from Glacier Point, rode out to a high alpine lake, and saw the giant redwoods at Wawona. And finally, we went to our first horse show, where both my husband and I were champions in our divisions.

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