Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 Year in Review.

I'm a little late, but here is my replay of 2011. I really wanted to do a review this year as I think it can help focus my direction for the year to come. I need to spend more time thinking about that, since I just finished reviewing the last 12 months. 

In January, I attended a fun show with Brumby. He was awesone in warm-up but fell apart a bit with the spectators etc. My coach made us trot through our first 2’6” round which made the horse rather irritable, mwhahahah! We had fun and it was a good learning experience.

February is busy with cooking, travel, and foster puppies.  My mom and her husband fall in love with and adopt the puppy we had through December and January. She is a wonderful dog and they’ve done a fabulous job with her. We also take in a puppy who was abandoned with his littermates on a night that was colder than -20°C. He was only around 4 weeks old and needed 24 hour monitoring for the first week. He gains strength and learns quickly and demonstrates his dominant nature very early but we have no problem working with him and teaching him.

Sasha and start some seedlings and delight in the smell of earth. I also make a public commitment to spruce up my blog design. Um, yeah, didn’t really happen!

I take Laura up on her offer to ride Rusty and feel pretty useless at tacking up with a western saddle. We have a good ride and listen when Rusty tells us the footing sucks.

I snap a tendon in my hand in silly circumstances and it still bothers me to this day. Our little orphan, Logan, grows.

By the end of March, things have progressed with Brumby enough that I’m confident we can make a go of the show season. Which meant I needed show clothes. I spent a small fortune but got some quality clothes. I’ve lost about 12lbs since then, so hopefully everything will still look ok!

Hazel is caught sleeping on the job. Logan is euthanized despite our fight to save him. I come to terms with the decision after a while but am quite devastated at the same time. I am still of two minds about what the right decision was and haven’t been able to foster since.
Alex and I celebrate 4 years together and our fence blows down.

Forsythia blooms on April 28th. Not as early as the previous year, but still pretty early.

Good horse work continues and we start to get to the root of some of Brumby’s issues, even though there are some struggles. I have minor surgery and don’t blog much…mostly a result of having dumped a glass of wine on my new laptop. I start planning the show season despite the rain keeping the jumping course from opening.

I talk about Will and wonder whether his skinny butt is simply due to being a growing youngster who rarely gets anything other than hay, or if there could be an underlying condition. Continued frustrations with Brumby’s owner lead me to the tentative decision to lease Will after the show season is over. This way I can move on from Brumby and get to know this guy better to see if he really is a decent purchase prospect.

My laptop, who drank too much wine in February, is slowly coming back to me, albeit in pieces.

Hazel gets a thundershirt

I am thrilled with the riding progress. Every ride gets better and better. I remember what it’s like to have fun on horseback! I’m not so happy with my game face but readers assure me its normal. Uh-huh. I’m not ugly, I just look that way ;-) lol.

We set a date for our first show. Of course, Brumby loses a shoe the week before but we luckily get it re-set before the weekend. Everything was organized and planned out. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled due to lack of entries. I was really disappointed but started planning for the next one right away.

Two days later, everything changed. It still amazes me that things can do a 180° so fast but there it is.


My garden is growing strong and beautiful and I’m getting some great produce.

August starts with one of the scariest days of my life when I hear about a helicopter that went down in one of my husband’s field areas. Two Geologists and the pilot died in the crash and a couple hours pass before I get confirmation that Alex is ok. This was not just a little worry, the details matched so closely it was all but a sure thing (to me). It took several days before I felt even somewhat normal. Even now, if I think about it too long I feel the horror all over again. So let’s move on J

I decide to try leasing Willy, the horse I’ve been on a few times over the last couple years. He’s young and green but we “click”. It also means I don’t have to leave the barn I’m at, which is a huge bonus. I feel obligated to look at other horses, and I do, but don’t find anything suitable within reasonable distance. Of course, 2 months later there would be all kinds of horses available!

Our new beginning is thrown a curve-ball when it turns out Willy has locking stifles. My coach tells me it’s happened before but she never told anyone(!). We get veterinary advice, which is to put wedge pads and condition. My coach falls off another horse and suffers a serious compound fracture that required surgery. Willy’s stifles are good for a bit and then start locking again.
Vet comes out and prescribes working at least 6 days a week and galloping twice a week. I decide I will stick with it and give it a go, partly because I like this horse and partly because if I don’t do it he will just suffer and no one will make him better.

Taking the vet’s conditioning advice to heart, I ride, ride, ride…and lose 12 pounds in 6 weeks! Somewhere in there Hazel gets skunked for the first time and I’m getting very tired of having to deal with everything on my own. Alex’s return from field “to-do” list grows ;-)

Oh, September. It broke my heart. My grandmother has a fall and breaks a hip. Although the surgery goes perfectly, other complications result in her death after weeks of ups and downs. I miss her. She always looked out for me, especially as a troubled teen. I miss being able to look in her kind eyes.

Willy and I continue our conditioning program and end up riding in a clinic with Per Meisner. I discover just how curious Willy is and use it to my advantage on the trail. My garden is still going strong and we are busy canning, freezing, and dehydrating the splendors of our garden.

It becomes increasingly obvious that Willy’s saddle doesn’t fit. I end up deciding to get our local amazing saddler to fit him and I buy my first nice saddle. Of course, this purchase necessitates buying a matching bridle ;-)

Alex and I begin to struggle with the demands of my riding schedule and having only one car between us. I contemplate some of Will’s behavior and the best way to deal with it and after trying out a new approach I figure out how to manage things.

December sees the end of our gallop sessions. I’m lucky to have been able to gallop that late in the season but I’m still sad to see it go. I’m still eating fresh produce from my garden thanks to a very mild start to the winter and we figure out how to deal with a turkey that doesn’t fit in the oven. I also learn about Xxterra cream, feel horrible for melting my horse, and learn to use a barrier cream to prevent damage to innocent tissue.   
My spirits are lifted when the month ends with a glorious hack through the snow.

Whew, so there it is!

Next up is some goal-setting, which I really need this year, and a post about the fun show I was in today!


Laura said...

2011 was a busy year for you - lots going on...

I'm glad that things are going well with Willie - he is a neat horse and I'm sure you guys will progress well together! (love the tack too - super nice!)

I'm interested to read your 2012 plans and goals!

RuckusButt said...

It's amazing putting it all together like that, isn't it?

Thank you for your charitable comments about Will! He was not on his best behaviour yesterday but I think you got to see some of the good stuff coming through.

My 2012 plans might change quite a bit if I find some courage...more to come on that!

Jason said...

I think the highlight of 2011 must be Hazel getting her thundershirt ! (Soft smile.)

Hope 2012 brings joy and contentment, and the courage to do what you want to do. ;)

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

Sorry - had to delete and re-edit my last comment...

I wasn't being charitable! lol I like him a lot - he is way out of my league for the type of riding I do, but I can see why you like him. Tall, dark, handsome, athletic, etc.etc. :-)

You've got lots of courage! Can't wait to hear about your plans!