A look back at the progress we made this year.
In January, we were happily boarding on the south end of the valley, playing around with western pleasure and sporting new dressage boots from Denali's Mom.
Feburary 1, we celebrated two years together.
Izzy also got her teeth done, which made for some interesting tack configurations.
Tack whore note: I still own this saddle pad. Everything else has moved on.
March brought mildly warmer weather and more fun toys to play with. Izzy sports a Micklem bridle that she looks perfectly adorable in.
Also in March we had a fun photoshoot and got some super cute pictures.
And our riding progress in March. Note my odd position and Izzy's even odder response to it. Her tail looks nice though.
April brought pretty weather and a sleek, shiny pony who'd wintered well. She moved into pasture board with the horrid geldings, but our dressage work was coming along nicely.
We also sold our old dressage saddle to a friend and came up with one that works well for both of us. The saddle fitting journey begins!
In May, Ms Sexyface made too much trouble in the pasture (hellooooo raging hormones) and ended up with a solo turnout gig that worked out swimmingly.
We sold another saddle and got a jumping saddle that actually works for us. It also matched all my tacked, which means it will probably live with me forever. (Thank you Gingham!!)
We also had our first jumping lesson, which was ridiculously bad. Apparently I tend to get nervous: who knew?
It was also the month of pony rides. Izzy was so calm and relaxed (and behind my leg) that she gave lessons to several of my friends. Here she canters with everyone's favorite Megan.
Tack whore note: I still own all the tack in this photo except the boots.
June put us firmly in the jumping tack. Izzy and I were learning together and making some decent progress.
We even conquered the scary blue barrels. We weren't pushing hard, but we were gearing up for what was supposed to be a kick-ass show season after the EHV-1 died down.
We conquered XC!!
All except one little hiccup. The day before what was supposed to be our first show, I managed to break three bones and ground myself for 6 very long weeks.
Still loving my pony mare.
In July, Izzy and I spent time trail walking in absence of my ability to ride. We enjoyed the view and had some good times.
A fellow boarder did some dressage on her, for which I am very grateful.
And our favorite western trainer both rode Izzy and put her into ground work bootcamp 101.
I had to watch it all from the sidelines. It was hot and wearing a splint was unfun. Eating smoothies became a way of life.
In August, Izzy got a stunningly pink halter, but spent most of her time hanging out in the pasture.
I was at least functional enough to pull her mane, bang her tail, and wrap her for lunging.
Finally!!! Back in the saddle in mid August after what seemed like the longest six weeks of my life. Izzy had picked up some interesting habits after all this training by other people. Some things were good, others were odd, but by golly, I was finally getting to deal with them!
After spending a grueling month with no stirrups, September brought Izzy and I to our best ever dressage form. We worked hard and the best Ellie I know was there to document it.
I still love this picture.
Jumping needed work, but we had a lesson here and there and were making progress.
Izzy remained generally fabulous and completely gorgeous. Slobber was a new thing for us.
In October, we began prepping for winter. We had to get it done early, because there was something exciting on the horizon for us.
(Only horse in this sequence who is not Izzy).
I started as a working student for our jumping instructor because I knew we needed lessons and could never afford them in the necessary volume. I get to take care of a whole barnfull of beautiful horses and it's wonderful.
Izzy got the short end of the stick for a while, but out in her big, green, grassy pasture, I don't think she minded.
In November, Izzy joined me at the new barn. She was a bit perplexed as to where her solo pasture had gone, but as a newly-grown-up pony, she integrated shockingly well.
She also tested some boundaries and got to play with Stephanie occasionally.
December was an exciting month of learning and growing for us. Izzy saw the chiropractor, went to her first show in years, and started to really develop.
We tackled new and more difficult challenges. I had a crisis of confidence, but we worked through it.
And then Izzy was shaved for the new year. We can't wait to attack next year's challenges together!