Be prepared to be overwhelmed by pictures! I should probably figure out a better way to break up this post since every year it seems to get longer and longer, but oh well. I guess this year you'll just have to suffer through it! I'm very picture oriented, so I like to do these overviews.
At the beginning of the year, these were my horses: Grady, Tux (I half owned him with my Aunt) and Jetta. I still owned Jazz, but she was being leased out to a lady until October (supposedly).
Tux was going really well, he had all of the basics down that I require of my horses and was put up for sale. I had some great rides on him around the property.
At the beginning of February, I finally sold him to a lady from Washington as a dressage horse. I was really sad to see him go because he was such an awesome horse. He had tons of talent and personality! I hope that someday she takes him in the show ring and I get to watch.
|Saying goodbye to the big guy|
We scored a 65.8% at Training Level Test 3 earning a 3rd out of 10 and a 61.724% at First Level Test 1 earning a 1st out of 2.
With the money I made from Tux, I finally (FINALLY) got new tall boots that actually fit. I'd been cutting off my circulation with my old boots for the past 7 years. Enter, my new De Niro's. Love.
March had to be one of the worst months of my life.
After 11 years of being together, I had to put my handsome old man down. He was 27 years old and I always thought he would be around until at least his 30s. He still had plenty of spring to his step and was healthy in every way. But he colicked and twisted his gut so I made the hardest decision. I still miss him so much.
|Exactly one week before, cuddles with my fuzzy man.|
Also in March, I went on a beach ride (the only one this year) to lift my spirits. Can't beat a nice gallop on the beach.
The trails finally dried out too and we started to discover some new trails.
And the xc course opened super early and we got to school xc. This was where my "one fall a year" came in, when Jetta reared because she spooked over a tree branch on the ground, I bailed. Sometimes I wonder about this horse...
After I sold Tux, my aunt (Tux's owner/breeder) asked if I could sell Tux's mom for her, since she was having no luck getting her sold through a "trainer" in her area. I agreed and welcomed Queenie in, though I wasn't really feeling it because of my loss of Grady.
Queenie definitely didn't have as much training as she was supposed to have. In fact, the first ride was rather scary when I found I didn't have brakes or steering. But, just like her babies, she proved to be a fast learner and hard worker with the sweetest personality. I had a lot of fun with her:
|Definitely not spooky|
|Lots of trail rides|
|And giving rides to friends|
|Finished product: ultimate jumbo-sized western pony|
I sold Queenie at the end of April to a lady looking for a calm horse that was "different" that she could ride on the trails and maybe someday get back into doing little open shows with. Queenie definitely won her over when she let her 10 year old daughter easily handle her.
Also in April, Jetta and I did another dressage show. Jetta did much better than at the last show and I didn't have a lot to complain about our tests. However, the judge was super hard and scored everybody very low with next to no positive comments...
We scored a 64.6% at Training Level Test 3 earning a 1st place out of 5 and a 62.42% at First Level Test 1 earning a 2nd place out of 6.
|They had recycled ribbons at this show|
I also did a jumper show in May. Jetta was really good and it was our debut into showing 3'. There were a few mishaps, but the main takeaway was that we could indeed show at 3' and do well, completing our goal of a clear round.
|Jetta showing off how crazy she can be the day before the show...|
|I think this is our 3' class? But it looks a little small here... Not sure.|
In May, I have no idea what got into me. I was casually looking for a new project horse when I saw a horse that my BO had previously owned, a cute little bay roan paint. She was listed for way, way out of my price range and I commented to the BO that I wished I could buy her, but that I didn't have any money. She finagled the current owner wayyyy down in price into my (near) price range. So I bought her on a whim. Keep in mind that this is the most I've ever spent on a horse and the fact that I only knew this horse from my barn and never actually rode her or anything. And that's how Misty (previously known as Sissy) came to be with me.
|The picture I bought her off of|
|First ride wasn't quite what I expected...|
At the beginning of the month, Jetta and I did a one day trial at Beginner Novice. We ended up getting elminated because we refused 5 (I think) cross country fences. But everything else went swimmingly and it was a major improvement over our last attempt. We even scored our lowest dressage score ever with a 25.7 putting us in 2nd after dressage (and show jumping too).
In the middle of June, we did our first weekend long show. It was not our best. It was the league show championships and we did the Training and First Level division. Jetta was not enthused about it being more than one day and by the second day decided she didn't really want to play anymore. It was quite rough. We scored a 65% in Training 2 and a 62.419% in Training 3. Then a 62.027% at First 2 and a 64% at First 3. Did I mention it was our first time basically even looking at First 3?? But, somehow we managed to place 3rd in both divisions.
|Only pic of the weekend unfortunately (or maybe fortunately).|
Then at the end of June, Jetta did her first recognized event! The goal of this show was to finish with a number and not a letter. We definitely succeeded and I had a complete and total blast. We did have two refusals in xc, but that was a major improvement. Jetta went above and beyond my expectations. We got a 33 in dressage placing us 3rd, but after xc we got knocked down to 9th. Stadium was basically a disaster, meaning we had no chance for ribbons and we ended up as 9th. Never have I ever wanted an ugly brown 8th place ribbon so badly!
|Rocking the water.|
|And foals are just too CUTE!|
July was the last of the dressage shows. I had such an amazing year for dressage shows! Jetta was finally going REALLY well and I decided to bring Misty too to test out the waters for my little stock horse in dressage.
Both horses did awesome. Misty scored a 63.125% in Intro B and a 63.25% at Intro C with consistency in tempo and contact being the main issues we needed to work on, unsurprisingly.
|Pretty dang fancy for a ranch horse.|
Jetta and I had our best dressage show to date. She was just THERE for me in everything I asked and it showed in our tests. We got a 66.724% at First Level Test 1 earning us a 1st place out of 7. Then a 66.757% in First Level Test 2. Basically it was amazing.
|Our most amazing stretchy trot ever.|
Unfortunately, that same weekend, Jetta somehow managed to untie herself and wrap the lead rope around her legs and got some bad rope burns and a lovely hematoma on her belly. So I sent her home to pasture to recoup and brought Jazz up to the barn to escape the gnats and relieve her sweet itch and find her a new home.
|Jazz enjoys the amenities of the new barn, namely the lack of gnats.|
|The lovely hema-tomata.|
|Jazz and Misty went on lots of trail rides|
|Jazz was super dressage-y and adorable.|
|Two perfect horses and one rider.|
I took her to a ranch horse competition and had a blast.
|Getting a 9 on that cow circling!|
I made Misty jump. She wasn't too sure about it...
|But eventually she figured it out and proved to be a perfect hunter princess mount.|
We even got to compete in our first ranch sorting competition, kicking butt and taking names (well, kind of). We placed first and second in each of our division meaning we left with more money than we arrived with! How cool is that?! We also did 3 trail competitions over the course of the summer, which she did very well at.
I sold Jazz in September to be a young girl's horse and to do 4-H. I know she's definitely spoiled and I love hearing updates about her. Especially when they run into people that know Jazz and they brag about how awesome she is. It makes my heart happy.
|Last day with Jazz.|
This meant I got to bring the newly healed Jetta back up to the barn and get back to work.
|Someone was going stir crazy with no work. And fat.|
And she was a complete and total brat, despite being absolutely adorable.
We hit the trials hard to prepare for our first LD endurance ride.
|Proving she actually does like water.|
We also tested out the kineton and found that it was awesome, despite Jetta's general distaste for anything that made it harder for her to lean on the bit.
Me and my friend AR did a pony photoshoot. I did get a few good photos with the girls out of it, but I was most proud of the shots that I got. Starting to expand my horizons into people photography!
|My favorite of these 3|
October was my birthday month. Misty got to give pony rides:
|What a good girl|
Jetta proved that she liked Halloween. Or at least, Halloween decorations.
And I freejumped the horses, with Jetta killing it over 5 feet.
And we got kicked out of our barn because it was "closing". So on November 1st, the horses went home to my parents.
|Home sweet home?|
From there, not a ton of interesting stuff. The horses have been getting ridden sparingly.
|Thanksgiving weekend jaunt.|
|Jetta got clipped.|
|Jetta and I had an awesome jumping lesson with KO|
|Goofing off after a ride.|
So that's basically been our year! Some incredibly low lows, but also a lot of highs. Overall, not too bad of a year, though there were definitely some things I could have done without. Looking forward to 2014 being even better!