2010 started off with a bang, but not with horses. I was busy riding OTTB's for a lady who rescues/rehomes them and teaching a few students. I guess that counts, but none of them were my horses which means I couldn't do a darn thing about their bad feet, ridiculous tack, or strange feed...
Anyway, January saw me through lots of therapy with the (now) betrothed boy, so I guess that was a good investment. It also saw me deliver a keynote speech to 150 of our areas top CEO's and throw a party for 500 of our employees and their spouses (whew).
February was when I was supposed to get a horse of my own (YAY) but I didn't (BOO). So in my total despair over losing a mare that I loved, I bought myself a gorgeous ring under the justification that I "wouldn't be paying board or vet bills anytime soon." That was a bad decision as my compulsive browsing of Dreamhorse, penny ads and the rest of the Internet soon landed me on a full scale horse hunting mission. I had my first date with Pia, and it was love.
March saw me criss cross the country twice, get Pia for my very own and the rest of the month was ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride ride. We broke one bridle, one set of reins, and I fell off.
April was a rude month. We broke no bridles, or reins (yay), but we had our first vet visit, and the beginning of the Wobbler saga. Pia was labeled a "3." I called vets, I called vet schools, I googled, and I searched. I looked at studies on humans, studies on dogs and studies on horses. I learned as much as I could (not a lot) and Pia got used to her daily dose of vitamin E (by the bucket).
In May Pia got her first x-rays done. She came home with a bad haircut and some ugly pictures that showed hint of compression at her C3/4 joint. We went back to riding a bit, though her "3" status limited us to big loops and no cantering. I went back east again (this time for a wedding) and dragged the boy along for his first visit to NYC. I showed him my old apartments, my old bars and my old friends.
June was bad. Pia went for her first sleepover, which would be fun - but it was at the vet. Her bad haircut got worse, and she had her spinal tap and myelogram. She did fine and I breathed easier knowing that she didn't have a seizure with the anesthesia. The fancy specialist surgeon said her myelogram was no good, and that he needed another. Pia went BACK to the vet, got another spinal tap and another picture and another overnight stay. This time she reacted badly and beat herself up in recovery. Seizures, cuts, bruises and scrapes. She was a sad mare, and I tried to promise that I wouldn't make her do that again.
July saw us prepping for surgery, but right before we went under the knife she redid her neuro test and (ta-da!) she was healed (kinda). Or at least mostly healed. Pia's "3" became a "1", presumably due to the vitamin E. We decided to go back to busy, but to make a change. So we moved, found our new home and ordered a new saddle. Pia went back to work and bucked off the BO, broke another set of reins and started the machine all over again.
August I actually got to get back on my horse for real (ye-haw!). We started working on leg yields and lengthenings. Pia went into heat. Pia became a monster. I questioned my ability to ride, and the BO questioned the mare's sanity. Pia went out of heat, and we had a blast.
September we worked. Super mom came to visit, and we worked on a medium trot. Pia went into heat, and I questioned my ability to ride. Pia came out of heat and I loved her. Pia's left front leg blew up like a balloon, the vet came out (again) and confirmed a tendon injury. We walked.
We walked and we ultrasounded.
Then we walked some more.
I groomed, and we ultrasoudned.
Then we walked some more.
In October we kept walking, then we started working again. Pia learned how to buck like a monster, I learned how to be comfortable giving ace on a regular basis. Pis became a junky and I gained confidence. Pia took some nice naps, had some nice rides and proved that (like most ladies) she doesn't like being woken up before sunrise or asked to work before breakfast. (I waxed poetic on my love affair with boots)
November we went to war. Pia went into heat, and I'm pretty sure I got altitude sickness from getting bounced SO HIGH in the air (all the time) during our rides. She added a bolt to her bucking trick and I lost my nerve. I "changed everything." so Pia moved outside, I took her food away, we switched tack, bits, everything. Pia behaved nicely and I appreciated it. I got sick (again) and P swapped her addiction from Ace to sugarcubes. A crazy cowboy got on (and made me cranky). We helped Miss Denali go to the vet, and tried to keep her mom from becoming a chopped salad. We played in the snow and we GOT OUR SADDLE! Pia approved.
December showed improvement in our training/first level movements and hinted at some possible consistency. P played with her Clammer
What a year. When 2010 started I was horseless and on the rocks with my beau. While I haven't switched jobs, or moved my physical home, I do feel like I've managed to cover some serious ground this year. I found a mare and we started our fight with a disease that will be with us forever, but already we are beating the odds. I learned that The Boy loves hauling my trailer, and loves playing tag with the mare. Those two things alone could make up for a lot, but the fact that he likes saying "I love you" eats almost as much sushi as I do, opens doors for me and somehow finds joy in shopping for pretty shiny things, all point toward him being a keeper.
Realistically, the Mare is a keeper too. We've had our rough patches this year, but her sass, looks, charm and general adorableness all point to another long and (mostly) happy relationship.
Here's to 2011. I hope that I get the chance to say as many wonderful things about it as I did for 2010. I hope that it brings just as many lessons, and new perspectives, since I tend to get bored of myself and my old thoughts pretty easily.
Eyes up and leg on!