Not much changes about January. It's a shitty month with bad weather, which prompts survivalist posts like "The Winter Rider" where I talk about making smart choices to not die.
Apparently the weather finally decided to be less horrible, because Courage and I got ourselves back in regular(ish) lessons. In Learning Lessons, we used our trainer as a relationship counselor and started figuring out hard to get through the hard parts together.
And then there was the Fantastic or Insane post where I talked about starting to bridge the gap between Courage being nuts and Courage being rideable. We actually had a lesson where I rode the whole time and he kept his brain in his head. Proggress!
Our relationship continued changing in March. Courage was learning how to trust me, and I was realizing that riding better meant deep ass soreness.
|march trotting! (early precious sighting)|
I mentioned I was trying saddles.
On a riding front, things were very mixed. Courage went to his first show of the year and freaking killed it at training level (70% WHAT WHAT). At home, he was a nut job who wouldn't let me catch him in the field.
|april show trotting|
May was basically one start-to-finish shitshow. As per the usual, I guess.
After that, I snarked at people who felt the need to run me down and opted out of paying through the nose to go fail at recognized shows.
Disappointing is the best thing I can say about that month.
I struggled with whether to keep Courage. I got laid off from my job. I got super depressed and decked my horse out like he was going to a show.
I started seeing some progress on the lunge line from our consistency under saddle, but it was not really making up for the rest of my life.
This month at least started out on a better note--I wrote a guide to the hot, emotional horse and talked about how the little things added up to game changers for Courage. I also got my job back, which is a game changer for me.
We celebrated our three year anniversary together and he stepped out of the closet. I apparently failed at getting any under-saddle kickass trotting pictures, but we did canter sometimes.
Years in a row of posting every weekday was wearing on me though.
I was dealing with heavy personal issues and piling internet dumbasses on top proved to be too much to handle, so I signed off for a bit. Even with his struggles, Courage was helping me deal with life.
I started reflecting on the process of developing a horse without getting bogged down in the daily details. Courage and I revisited our jumper roots (with mixed results).
September ushered us in to a new era--Courage started pro training. I also discovered that a horse in training expects to be ridden by people who know what they're doing.
I also audited a Tik Maynard clinic that helped me think about how and why I did what I did with Courage.
I also wrote a craft how-to for people who don't craft. It's harder than you'd think.
We kicked things into gear on the training front--I got myself into lessons and Courage was developing well. I had a family crisis that entailed skipping a lot of barn days and buying a lot of tack.
We also tried out some new bodywork stuff that went really well. We even signed up for an open show.
What could possibly go wrong?
For reasons that I'm sure are COMPLETELY UNRELATED to 2016 taking a massive dump all over me, November landed me back on the struggle bus in terms of Courage. Our open show was a catastrophe, Courage was increasingly worse at home, and I wasn't coping well.
December is pretty anti-climactic. I had an inspired revelation about why my horse was a complete lunatic, but then my poor car got blown to smithereens and I still haven't recovered.
I was trying to stay consistent with the pro training, but the weather and the horse are stubbornly determined to not cooperate. Courage might be back under saddle this week. Or maybe not til February.
|yeah let's think that one through carefully|
I can't say I'm sad to see 2016 go. It's been a pretty terrible year on a lot of levels. Despite all that, I've learned a lot and hey, if you examine my monthly trotting pictures, there is definitely progress shown.
Onwards and upwards!