Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 - The Year of the Mares.

2012 has been a wild ride.  Quite literally.  But it's been a pretty fun one, and I'm happy with where I'm at with both of the girls and what we've managed to check off our list this year.  Let's have a bit of a recap, shall we?


Admittedly, our wedding sorta ate up January (whoops).  But Prairie was still down at the barn I bought her at, and Pia was still at Summer Camp.
I trekked down to P2 a couple of times for some rides on my own, and even a few lessons before the wedding.
Pia was totally ignored, but totally furry and adorable for January.


February had a great visit to P1 where we rode in a cold sunshine on a mountain, took cool thermal images, saw her poor blown out abscess and saw where we still had work on her back to get her comfortable.

I nearly died from muscle soreness after a weekend of lessons with P2 wherein I learned how many more muscles it was going to take for me to stay attached to the saddle on that big girl and then we promptly flew off to Africa for our honeymoon.  Sorry ponies.


The girls were good.  P and I had fun at Summer Camp (still) and Prairie and I had more lessons.  I made arrangements to bring Prairie home in April which meant we needed a trailer.

So we found the deal of the century on a still new 2009 and brought it home.


April was a huge month.  We brought Prairie home, bought a saddle, had sexy photos taken by Supermom, then took both the mares down to Oregon for some Mountain Trail fun and started to get a routine going... whew.

Supermom photos!
Both P's on a field trip
Pia rocking it
Hacking at home


May was fun. S and I took P2 and gelding to the park for a field trip.  P2 was reasonably brave and we managed to have a productive hack.  Good omens for a possible show season.
I got called out on using my inside rein (a lot) and my horrid, horrid wrists.  Both things I've always struggled with.

Prairie started playing with more ground pole exercises and S even ventured to see what she looked like in Hunter tack.  Pia went on night rides and found a new boyfriend.  I lost my totally inspiring grandmother and took off with the family to reconnect and relax.

field trip!


June started with another field trip for some schooling and trail rides.  Prairie had her biggest scoot ever and The Boy helpfully videoed all of it.  It was a good lesson in figuring out how much to trust the mare (at that point) and a great chance to practice our first dressage tests in a new location
Then we went to our first show where we rode Training 2 and Training 3.  We won our first (small) blue ribbon and managed to stay in the arena.  Something I wasn't totally sure we'd pull off.  Technically I excused myself from our second test, but that was a smart decision. 
I took Prairie over our first jump together and discovered a whole new world for us to explore.
I had some great rides on P out at Summer Camp and summer was off to a great start.

Oh yeah - and The Boy upped his Horse Husband skills which I decided to capture in a lovely pic of him from wine tasting... ;)


The fun continued.  Prairie and snagged a 10 at our second show together. Which might mean that we've peaked too soon. (whoops).
Prairie made it very clear that she preferred just rocket launching herself over fences, which would give us plenty of things to work on.
Supermom joined me for a trip to Summer Camp and P overcame her fears of llamas.
Also, Supermom got a killer shot of P out in front of the herd.  Pia finally has herself totally integrated into the group...

Finally I caved in and got Prairie her own Hunter Outfit and we went to a tiny little show where she dominated the groundpole and crossrail division.  Nothing like stealing ribbons from 5 year olds on ponies... (eeeesh)
Also, I finally took some trimming lessons from my vet and stumbled my way through my first trim on Prairie.  Thank god she has straight forward, solid hooves.


With Summer in full swing somehow I managed to ride both mares in one day, in spite of a 3 hour drive between the barns (extra daylight, what!)
Pia continued to be a star at Summer Camp and was cute as a button
Prairie and I had a... crappy show which resulted in a dismal 55% at FL1 but 62% on our first ride of FL2.  My comment said "brave riding" and at one point the judge actually shouted out to make sure I was ok.  I shouted back that I was. :)
I'm okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy
We had more success over fences. The mare and I tackled a 3'9" vertical But S took her all the way to 4'.
Also, I had another great ride on Pia out at camp and made plans to bring her home (eventually).


September started out with an insane tack locker makeover to boost my spirits since the Big Mare was off.  We finally figured out that P2 was basically rein lame from holding herself funny to escape real work.

But we trudged on, and hit our first rated show as a pair which happened to be in Hunter Land.

Priarie settled in well and had some big successes, along with some very frustrating moments (mostly in warm up).  But for her first real show with a lot of atmosphere I was thrilled.
A few weeks later we spent a weekend at Summer Camp with both mares and had a blast.  Pia was a stud and hopped over cavaletti without any halter/bridle/whatever.  Prairie had a few lessons in manners and grew up a little.
Our final show of the year was canceled due to wildfires and I caved in and got a jump saddle for the first time since 1996.


October was a slow and easy month.  Pia played with gymnastics out at Camp. And Prairie played with Gymnastics at home.  My saddle (!!!) finally arrived, and I remembered what sitting in a balanced seat felt like.

Prairie and made strides with our collection and balance and then lost it all.  But we got it back with some tight, technical courses in the indoor.
We found one final show to go to and Prairie was a star.  Our changes are still not there, but she was calm, balanced and adjustable through our courses.  We had our first ever HUS class without a blue ribbon (sad), but it was a great outing (without any pictures).

Also we ventured to Brass Ring Farm for a lesson and had a blast.


Prairie and I ventured out for our first trail ride together which was an unexpected success.
Also, Pia came home and that was fabulous as well.  The mares are cute together.

we spent a couple weeks of weeks on the ground with the red mare before getting back in the saddle and she has been a happy, relaxed girl for all of it.

Well.  Most of it.  Both the mares were crazy and impossible for a few days which nearly had me convinced they should be released in the wild.  But they recovered and so did my affection for them. 
My wonderful old pony Star finally moved on to greener pastures and I cried about it.  A lot.
Finally, Prairie and I had another field trip for a lesson and it feels like I'm finally getting a partnership with this mare going.  Just in time for the holidays to throw a wrench in our routine...
our respectable canter


A scattered riding schedule has made everything a little less regular than I would like, but it's been a fun few weeks with the ladies.  Pia totally outshone Prairie when I tried to ride them in the rain (Priarie protested loudly) and I remembered that P1 really has grown up a lot in the last 18 months.  I experimented with a Pelham in Prairie's mouth and found it to be a great once-a-week tool to push our collection and balance.

The Boy totally spoiled me with a new truck that I can use anytime I want to take the girls on trips.  So I did.  We got a fun field trip back to Summer Camp where we worked on hooves and the girls had a brief ground work session


  1. Perfect! Thanks for catching me up, just what I needed. Funny that you just bought a jumping saddle and now I'm shopping for a dressage saddle!

  2. Busy and wonderful year! I hope next year is just as amazing for you :)

  3. Quite a year!! Both girls have made huge strides. :) Can't wait to see what trouble you get in to in 2013.

  4. Great recap :) Can't wait to see what 2013 brings for you and your ladies!

  5. Fun year! I've loved reading your blog this year!

  6. What a great year! I hope 2013 is ever BETTER!!


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