2013 Wrap Up, Part 1

The last year was full of little injuries and letdowns, but also included a ton of learning, improving, and showing. I am really excited to do a full year wrap up and see just how far we came in 2013! 

I watch the George Morris Horsemanship clinic and pick up some masterful tips on developing contact with a fussy horse, and I marvel at Guinness’ weight and developing dressage muscling. During some research, I learn that Pig’s mama was once owned by the Queen of England. Finally, Hannah and I play in the newly thawed outdoor arena and take fancy photos.
"Look at me. I'm fancy."
Guinness bashes his leg the day after a Nancy lesson, and I manages to ding himself hard enough for a second bone bruise. Due to the application of some inferior wound care, Pig’s leg injury develops a small amount of proud flesh. To help others avoid this issue, I write a long article on equine woundcare. After Pig is back up to work, I change his hack bit to a Pelham for winter gallops, as Pig seems to be under the illusion he might be in race-training again. Our training picks back up with a review of the USDF training manual and the haunches in.

Winter never ends, Pig doesn't mind.
Guinness and I start work on the counter canter, and things are disastrous. With a lot of patience, I feel like we are making progress, but I vow to ask Nancy about it at our upcoming lesson. Nancy teaches me the weight aids for the counter canter, and Pig and I start to really understand the movement.

Getting an ultrasound ... 
Guinness comes up lame, and palpates positively on thetendons below his right knee. I freak out and immediately assume he’s ripped a tendon. I make an appointment to drive him up to the big vet clinic for an ultrasound. In the meantime, I organize the first clinic for Nancy at my boarding barn. It’s a rousing success, and we make plans to have her come out monthly. This ends up saving me a ton of money over the year. Guinness and I make it upto Purdue and find out that he has a clean set of legs. The vet decides he probably pulled a muscle in that winter’s heavy and deep mud and will just need  a little time off. I commence a happy dance and tell everyone to go to Purdue for veterinarian needs. As the month closes, I watch the Rolex 3-Day Event dressage, and get inspired.

Gross May schooling show. Grr.
Finally my horse is sound, and I spell out our showing goals and season plans for the year.  We have a lesson with Nancy where she rips apart my shoddy contact. One bright point is her praise on the counter canter, which she says doesn't need any more work. Great news, as we leave for a schooling show at 1st level the next week. The show doesn't go as planned, and I take a pretty thorough beating to my confidence. I decide to buckle down and get better at contact before doing any more showing, and fit him in a new drop noseband. Pig immediately becomes more forgiving to my hands, and we start on our journey. I volunteer at the big spring dressage show, and get to eat lunch and fraternize with Hilda Gurney and Lilo Fore. When I get back, I urge everyone to get outand work a dressage show.

Safe things. We do them.
I wonder if my German heritage taught me too much chicken dance to be good at dressage. Volunteering at IEA wears me out, but I do pick up a better fitting bridle for Pig. Meanwhile in the barn, I start sitting the trot to improve mycommunication with Pig and finally banish the hunter hunch. Towards the end of the month, I win an award and make really safe choices. Guinness and I are having more productive rides, but some of them are still peppered with hilarious meltdowns. I catch one on video


  1. Very nice! We need to have an Indiana blogger reunion in KY in 2014 :) Rolex?

    1. Haha, absolutely! I was thinking about springing for some Friday dressage tickets. What do you think?

  2. When you look back over a year, you realize how loooong a year actually is. So much changes and happens, doesn't it? :0)

    1. It's NUTS. Contact is such second nature for us now, it's amazing how terrible we were at the beginning of the year. I didn't know ANYTHING! (still don't, really!)


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