This blog hop was both a fun trip down memory lane and a real challenge at time. Some years were easy to pick one picture from, other years, not so much. I thought it would make a great last post of the decade.
We were still living in NJ and not owning horses. At the beginning of the year, I wasn’t riding and my – then boyfriend and now – husband had never ridden. He starting riding because we were planning to go on a pack trip in Colorado and he wanted to be prepared. He took one lesson, got hooked, and the next day was calling around to sign up for a second lesson a week. The rest is history.
We moved to California in 2011. We found lessons in California to be stupidly expensive, but rough board was cheap so we bought horses. We initially had Shasta and a horse named Gandolf, who I sold and then bought Dijon.
Although Dijon was (and is) awesome, I wanted a horse to jump with and decided to get an OTTB named Dreamingofaprince, nicknamed Cinder. I had a bad fall off of her which ended up dislocated my SI joint and tearing a disc in my back: injuries that plague me to this day. I sold her in 2013 because she really needed to live in a pasture and that wasn’t an option at our barn.
This was a busy year and a hard one to pick just one picture from. I sold Cinder, bought Finnick, fell off Finnick, and broke almost every bone in my back. 7 weeks later, I was on a pack trip in the Sierras. Later that summer, my husband and I went to Ireland for 2 weeks complete with a 5 day ride around Sligo where we road from B&B to B&B on beaches, through bays, on roads and forest and meadows all on our own with a map and saddle bags full of our stuff.
This was busy year: we got married, went on our honeymoon in the Mediterranean, did another trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, went on a Caribbean cruise, I started this blog and we did so much more, but the most important equestrian moment of the year was adding Nilla to our herd.
This was the year of the horse trailer. As soon as we got that trailer, we started exploring everything the equestrian world has to offer: horse camping, horse shows, trails rides, beach rides, and more. We did endurance rides, started dressage lessons, Nilla and I won our first Horse Trial, my husband and I went on a week long trip to a dude ranch, we took the horses to the Woodside Day of the Horse, and just really got out and about as much as possible.
2016 proved too challenging for me to chose just one photo. This year was huge for us in horse moments. Just as getting the trailer was a pivot point in our equestrian journey, adopting Eugene would change our equestrian story. The 2-Day Schooling HT Camelot was the closest Nilla and I would come to a rated event and it’s still one of my best memories with her. Finally, we couldn’t have just one Mustang, and added Levi to the herd.
The biggest thing to happen in 2017 was Nilla’s injury. We started the year off so well with her being in full training and then doing the some schooling events and going to Area VI’s adult camp. She was going better than ever before and it all ended with her suspensory tear. With Nilla out, I moved Levi up from the back burner and this was the year my husband and I really dove into eventing.
This was another big year: a move up to Novice for Eugene and to BN for Levi and me, going to Coconino, doing a long format, winning my first rated event, and much more, but the biggest thing to happen was buying a farm and moving to Vermont.
My equestrian life has changed a ton over the decade. I went from not riding at all, to lessons, to owning horse, to traveling and showing, and now to owning my own farm and having my horses at home. This last year has really found us settling into Vermont.
I look forward to seeing what 2020 has to bring.