Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Year in Review!!

Probably my favorite aspect of having a blog is just the ability it gives me to look back over my life and see where I've been and where I'm headed. I love this time of year--I look through my posts from the past year and pick out one per month that really summarized what that month was about. I usually try to do a goals wrap up, but that was an epic fail this year for reasons completely out of my control. Instead of worrying about that, let's look at what happened in 2013!

I hate winter


This goes down as the second most miserable month of my life and I was I was being hyperbolic. I was laid off from my office job and picked up full time hours at the barn just in time for Idaho to experience three weeks of record breaking cold. Highs in the single digits, lows below zero, and I was struggling just to put gas in my car. Did I mention the barn had no power and the hydrants all froze and I was hand-carrying buckets to all 17 horses? Here's a post I wrote just before the cold really got bad: Winter Sets In.

Best Valentines


Basically I just appreciated what Cuna and I had going. I wrote One Year and One Day to celebrate our first anniversary. The real take away from February was just reflecting on what great things Cuna had been able to do for me.

From the day we met <3

I realized the value of a schoolmaster and overcame some lingering mental blocks about what I perceived as failures on my part with the mare I sold last year. Here's the post that sums up my feelings on the matter: Honesty and Horsemanship

handwalking is not his favorite


Cuna and I were taking some dressage lessons and advancing quickly. In Fancy Pants Dressage, I talk about the progress we were making. My blogging was down that month--Cuna was having some odd problems that didn't make sense. Little things here and there were popping up. None of them were concerning on their own, but putting the pieces together wasn't making a lot of sense. Cuna tied up on a trail ride in March, summed up in the post: A Scare

flicky toes


More changes. Cuna and I kept working hard at the dressage with an occasional jump lesson. Elbows on Fire is a post where I talk about our breakthroughs. I got his hocks injected again and he was in fine form. His body looked like a proper dressage horse and his neck was incredible.

hacking out
We were also getting pretty burned out on arena work. He and I started hacking down the roads around the barn to visit friends and meet new people. I could trust him in the worst of conditions and one of our friends took pictures of him in her field, chronicled in Coversation Starter.

more handwalking


The shit hit the fan in May. Cuna was brilliant in our jumping clinic and exceptional at our dressage show. That was the last time he was sound. Again, little things weren't adding up and I blogged about it in Stuck.

His team at work

After his public successes, Cuna continued to get progressively more lame despite all the management changes that were made. We made a joint appointment with his vet and farrier and took him in. It wasn't all smooth sailing. I summarized the appointment in Cuna Update.

a moment in time


There was nothing easy about June. Cuna was trying to get better, but it was a very long process. He made strides at first and we took his picture in Happy. Shortly after that, he regressed. I kept away from the show barn as much as possible, because it was just too hard to watch everyone else doing what I knew Cuna couldn't.

still together
I spent in a new part of the horse industry: the racetrack. It went from a fun night out with friends to showing up to help out several times a week and get my horsey fix as noted in At the Track. At the end of the month, I made the decision to retire Cuna instead of torturing both of us over something we couldn't change in the post Towards Healing.

after a bath


It started out slow. We hit record high temperatures while Cuna hung out in the shade at his new home. In The New Normal, I talk about the dealing with the emotions of letting go of a career for the horse I love the most. His shoes got pulled and he just got to be a horse with no plans or goals.

meet Courage!
I spent increasingly more time at the track. I was having fun out of the saddle and things were going along just swimmingly until I accidentally ended up bringing a second horse home. It was the beginning of a more hopeful era summed up in The Road Goes Ever On and On.

important Cuna stuff to do


Courage came to join us, but Cuna was still my main man. He was taking it slow in the field, which I talk about in Can't Forget Cuna.

bay ears!
Courage came straight off the track and started under saddle. He continued to prove that he was the second most awesome horse on the planet by going on field trips to group lessons and getting his first set of real horse shoes which he tried to eat in Taking Off the Gym Shoes. He learned important skills like eating cookies and lunging and was the first bright spot for me all summer, which I talk about in One Month of Awesome.

first show!


I was dealing with the emotions of letting Cuna retire. In Honesty, I talk about how hard it was for me when our relationship changed. Courage was helping me stay focused and upbeat. He demonstrated his road-warrior brain when he didn't even flinch about going to his first horse show in Showtime for Courage.

artsy fun!
Based on our success there, I took him to his first ever XC clinic and wrote the Wrapup here. As long as we were out and about, I also took him to a big group lesson so we could practice having horses go by and jumps fall down. He rocked my world in Only the Best Idea Ever.

love them


In keeping with our up tempo pace, Courage and I participated in the two point challenge. I talked about the year for Cuna and why I decided to retire him.

Courage continued to impress as he went on his first ever trail ride and acted like a total pro. Ellie came out to visit with us. She got to be in the Cuna photoshoot and she did the first ever proper pictures of Courage.

Courage got his own micklem bridle and he finally started to figure out this whole jumping thing.


We carried on, full speed ahead! We went on another trail ride with an exciting adventure. Courage started to really get this jumping thing down. He got clipped for the first time as a sporthorse and rocked out with his stars. We also had to work through some residual groundwork issues.

the best at lessons
We hit the lesson circuit hard at the end of the month.

legit cold lesson
December: It's been really quiet this month. We did get to ride one time. I talked about my past and why I make some of the choices I do in Amateur Hour. The boys are taking some well-deserved time off due to absolutely miserable weather that refuses to end.

love this
It's been a wild ride! This year went absolutely nothing like I planned or expected it to. Let's face it: I started the year working full time at a show barn with Cuna all set to move up and ended the year sans barn job but with two horses.


  1. What part of Idaho do you live in? I grew up in Southeast Idaho, between Blackfoot and Idaho Falls and lived for several years just outside of Boise. I was curious.

  2. You definitely had a roller coaster year. Here's hoping you and Courage continue to knock everyone's socks off and Cuna continues to enjoy retirement in 2014! Happy New Year!

  3. Wow what an eventful year! I currently live in Idaho too, what part do you live in?

    1. Hi Emmi! I avoid discussing fine details like location on a public blog. I'm happy to chat if you send me an email. :-)

  4. The ups and downs of the year were a really hard for you. With Courage, though I think you came out winning. And your love and respect for Cuna shine through your decision to retire him. Happy New Year. May it be full of good things.

  5. You had some hard moments this year but I'm glad you got Courage out of the deal! Thanks for keeping us involved in your adventure.

  6. It's been one heck of a crazy year! I choose to remember all the wonderful new horses we have all met.. instead of dwelling on the stuff that sucks. :-)

  7. Big year of highs and lows. I bet 2014 will be great!

  8. You continue to be an amazing horsey mommy and it is wonderful that you've been open to the universe taking you on a different path than what you had planned for 2013. Wishing you and Cunafish and C-Rage all the best for 2014!!

  9. It always amazes me how much can change in a year. You have taken everything in stride, can't wait to see what next year brings you!

  10. What a difference a year makes. Here's to a great 2014!

  11. Wow- crazy year! I can understand the challenge of making the decision to retire Cuna but it sounds like Courage has been keeping you busy!

  12. The only guarantee in life is that it's not going to go like you think, eh? Says the beyond broke girl who is not even riding right now and wondering about fencing details. Whew. My hope is that 2014 will be completely uneventful!!

  13. I love seeing all those pictures of Cuna again! You really have been through a lot this year.

  14. Lots of highs and lows this year but from an outside view it looks like you rose to the challenges quite well. I hope 2014 is a smooth and positive year for you guys!

  15. That's a lot of changes in 2013. Here's to hoping next years a great one!

  16. It really has been a surprising and sometimes rocky year for you. Here's to hoping that 2014 is a great year for the three of you!

  17. Eek you had a rough year! I hope you got a good job and you can progress leaps and bounds with Courage in the next year! (As I know you will!) Retiring our loved boys can be so hard, but I'm glad you made the right decision :)

  18. We still need to do the Wine and Whine thing about this year. I'm glad it ended well for you! <3

  19. what a great review of the year! Will Cuna remain in your care for his retirement? I always wonder about the future for Laz in his retirement, which he'll be with me of course but what that will look like...Does he do any ground work? Or just is living as a happy grazing pasture ornament? Happy New Year! Hugs to both your boys!


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