It's been a wild ride this year! I was getting pictures ready for this post, and I had to just take a minute to be grateful for just how far I've come this year, both as a person and as a rider. I haven't made a lot of material changes, but the immaterial progress is pretty fun to chart. Let's give it a shot!
|January 2012. Handwalking.|
January was cold and dreary. I was
|February 2012. Too cute.|
Along came February and with it, a giant red gelding.
Cuna opened up new worlds for me. I loved him within days of meeting him and became more and more obsessed as time went on. It was on his back that the final decision to sell Izzy was made. He carried me through it all like the gentleman he can be. We were jumping crossrails and little fences and I was scared stiff, but he took care of me.
|March 2012. We are champs.|
I picked up more hours at both jobs so Izzy could come back to the barn and Cuna could stay with me through the sale process. We went to our first show together and won the 2'6" jumpers.
|April. One of my all time fav pics|
We hacked. We galloped. We jumped. We babysat. We played with tack and Cuna learned to model.
|May. My favorite Cuna pic ever.|
After two weeks, we got the best jumping pictures of our lives together.
Cuna looked amazing in his summer coat and we were gearing up for the show season.
|June. Rocking the course.|
We went to a jumper schooling show and I started to figure out that this whole competition scene could be fun from the saddle.
|July. "Just hang on".|
It was my first ever ride around the course on a horse I hadn't trained, and it was amazing. We snagged a ribbon on our first-ever BN after moving up from intro because I finally realized that we could do this.
Steph headed up to her summer base camp, but Cuna and I spent the (smokey) summer hacking around and really enjoy our all-access-pass to the local hills.
|August. Champs again.|
I was completely thrilled. And I wanted to move up.
|September. Freely forward.|
September saw us headed up to summer camp for a weekend away. Cuna and I jumped some of the biggest and most technical course I have ever done and we had a blast the whole time. We hacked in wooded hills, grazed in green pastures, and leaped giant things without a second thought.
Although we were mostly on our own back home, we spent lots of time building condition and enjoying our time together. Anything that could be done on horseback was just better on a big red TB gelding.
|October. Last solo hack.|
We rode through the hills and took in the scenery, then packed up and headed to the new home base.
|November. Best canter yet.|
Despite my assuring everyone that "I didn't buy him to do dressage", Cuna and I hit the dressage hard to improve our balance and collection for jumping.
|It paid off.|
We're on to December! I was going to wait until later in the month to do this, but we're officially done showing for the year. We don't have our gorgeous hills on demand any more, but we've been busy adventure hacking through subdivisions and even occasionally riding in the sandbox.
I made several sets of goals for the year and threw them all out the window, so I don't have a lot of concrete comparisons to make. That said, I started the year on Izzy, terrified of crossrails. I'm finishing it out jumping 3' courses and (and 3'3" singles) confidently while getting ready for what promises to be an exciting 2013!!