We kicked off the year with a visit from the vet, confirming Pig's suspected diagnosis of "being real old." We developed a comprehensive conditioning and treatment plan to get the old man back in full work after his substantial time off at the end of 2015, including estrone shots, hock injections, and lots of hill work.
|Hello year; Goodbye money|
|The world always needs more snow dogs.|
By the start of February, I was starting to worry about how little muscular improvement I was seeing from Pig. But I wrote about what I was doing to support his development, and gave myself permission to rethink stifle injections at the end of the month. To help me better track the improvement, I started posting each ride recap as a haiku. Honestly, best idea ever.
|Also had to start riding in the morning before work to avoid the hell-traffic that was DC post apocalyptic snow storm.|
|Looking like a BAMF|
|Well, that's one interesting diversion on the path to success...|
Our first show snuck up on us in April. I prepped as best as I could. Pig started on Adequan, and we planned to show in the double. Of course, the best laid plans all go astray sometimes. The weather ended up pushing us to haul in the night before, and everything was a rush. The show day itself was frigid with blowing snow, but Pig and I made solid use of our history of training hard in all weather.
|A 62% at 3rd? We'll take it!|
|Don't lie. You love it.|
|Horse looks like his brains are installed. No worries. That's a lie.|
|Pig may have disagreed.|
After the wild days that were April, you'd think May would be quiet. You would be wrong. We started off by calling the vet back out and injecting Pig's sticky stifle. Of course, Pig is extremely ticklish around his stifles so we ended up having to drug the crap out of him. Amazingly, he still found it possible to kick, even though he was so drunk he could barely stand. This horse, man. Dedication is his thing.
|"I'm not drunk! I'm just sleeping" -- every drunk and punchy pig-headed Irish|
|Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeeeee!|
Photo by PICSOFYOU.COM
|But seriously, guys. The rain was ridiculous.|
|And I love him for it.|
All the awards we finished in May arrived, and I wondered how you approach riding when you've accomplished all the goals you set. Ultimately I decided those awards are amazing, but don't mean we have to stop immediately. I said I'd look into leasing him, but let him tell me where we headed.
|Spoiler alert, he's not ready to quit yet.|
|Loved watching these two go!|
|So much cantering. It's a damn good thing this horse and I were at peak fitness!|
I wrote a bit about the unique markings that can be found in the thoroughbred lines, pointing out where they appear on Pig. Then, I released the amazing family photo's taken by Allison of Ponytude's husband during our busy April.
|Because these "kids" make my life awesome.|
This month was outrageously busy, but I didn't manage to post much. What I did get out was a piece about the process of being awarded my bronze.
|Yay lapel pin!|
Finally I got around to posting some quick updates. Then I wrote about a quick jumping session I got to do with Pig, even though his jumping days are long over. He had so much fun!
|Somewhere in those updates I might've mentioned kicking ass at another dressage show...|
|Q and I had a blast!|
Photo by Becky Pearman
After much delay, I finally finished my endurance ride recap. This ended up getting picked up by a bunch of Facebook pages, Horse and Eventing Nation. My blog traffic exploded. Though my time was still short, I managed to squeak out a quick post about how Pig and I's training was going, hinting at the good work we were laying down.
|Do we look like a pair messing around with piaffe/passage? Cause we were...|
I wrote nothing. So sorry, guys. Life got a bit crazy.
|Just imagine that it looked much like this...|
I started reflecting on the year early, by looking at how cyclical our training had become. Then I wrote about the development of my understanding of the dressage frame. Both may have just been an excuse to post some old photos of Pig.
|And some other ones from our summer show!|
Photo by Redline Photography
|Stephen is basically our relationship counselor.|
|Cheers to you, 2016!!|