Jumping on the bandwagon with an attempt at a blog post! I’ll do my 2019 wrapup tomorrow and then talk about new year goals later in the week.
That year had us actively training as eventers and boarding south of Boston. We did small schooling shows here and there – some dressage, some jumping. Nothing huge. This photo was taken at a XC schooling day at Scarlet Hill Farm, and it’s still one of my favorites. I was living and going to grad school right outside of Boston, and my commute was a minimum of 70 minutes to get to the barn.
Still at that farm, still doing small schooling stuff, consumed by grad school this year, mostly. We made baby steps of improvement but nothing mind-blowing. Honestly, most of 2009-2012 is a blur; I was working until 4:30, driving to the barn, riding, getting home around 9pm, starting grad school work, and just sleeping whenever I possibly could.
Whew, this year was full of extreme highs and lows. We came out swinging at an event season after I graduated with my master’s, and we made a pretty credible run at Beginner Novice. Then, he went lame and started abscessing in August, and he didn’t stop for the rest of the year. In November, I moved to Vermont, and he joined me a month later, still lame.
I’m choosing two pictures from this year, and you can’t stop me. In March, Tristan went in for surgery for a badly infected fractured coffin bone; that’s on the left. After struggling to figure out what was wrong for seven months, it was terrifying, but a relief, to address it so directly. By August of that year, we were doing our first hacks in the hay field at our barn in Vermont, recovered and regaining fitness.
One of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken, period. 2014 had lots and lots of cool hacking out, some light lessoning and schooling, and TONS of volunteering, often crewing for H. and her wonderful Tucker at endurance and CT rides, including Vermont Moonlight and the one where he got loose in the middle of the night and we drove all the back roads of New Hampshire looking for him. That fall, Tristan was diagnosed with Cushings and started on pergolide.
Lots and lots of hacking. Some lessoning. That winter, Tristan started wearing blankets for the first time as a response to his Cushings. He turned 20 years old, and he had a tail tumor and got chemo for it, I swear. He started getting hives in the summer and started wearing a fly sheet for the first time. I bought a house that spring and got married that fall and he was kind of the back burner for a while, serving mostly as my stress relief.
We struggled with some random lameness stuff (true of most years) and just general not going all that well. We did a few tests at the barn school show that fall. That’s my dad on the right, taking video of our test, which was pretty unremarkable.
I rode Tristan for the first and last time ever in polo wraps and my hand to God they are still sitting unrolled in my basement after I pulled them out of the washing machine and said “fuck it.” If that doesn’t sum me up as a rider, I don’t know what does. ANYWAY. I traveled a bunch, did a lot of hacking and some lessoning, and started my Etsy shop late in that year.
That year was all about work: the Etsy shop continued growing, I had a massive work project that took over my life for months, and Tristan had a series of dumb little injuries and/or issues that meant we basically went one week on, two weeks off all year. I took several weeks off in the summer when I got laser eye surgery. I finished the Black Stallion recap series, which I’m still kind of smugly proud of. In September, Tristan colicked badly enough to require a 1:00 am trip to the vet clinic – the actual worst-case nightmare scenario. He came off the trailer better, but – that was as close as I’ve ever gotten to losing him. He came back from that well and we actually ended the year on a high note with regular lessons.
This past year was a absolute garbage fire the likes of which I hope I never experience ever again. Despite that, my horse life actually went pretty darn well. I worked at the barn a lot, did a ton of lessons, and Tristan is going better than he ever has – even knocking at the door of First Level. The Etsy shop took off and hit all my goals and even with some vet escapades, meant I could pad my savings a little bit. I didn’t blog a lot, but I’m pretty okay with that.