|Super excited for 1000 posts|
It seems like possibly the nerdiest thing ever to have a blog about a strange niche topic with a whole 1000 posts, but here I am.
Rocking the nerdy.
Let's revisit the high points of five years of blogging and see how things have changed both in my horse life and through the blog. And then let's have a contest because I love contests and I can't ever seem to win them, but dammit, someone should. Read the end for details!
|Ms Izzy learning to canter under saddle|
I started this blog way back in June of 2009. I was newly married, in college, and I had a brand new horse of my very own. I was new to the horse blogging world, but I had kept a personal blog of sorts in highschool. I think that's now buried in the depths of the internet and I'm ok with it. Here's my first post ever on iamthesprinklerbandit: Starting with a little history
It's really funny to me to look back at these posts now. I don't feel or think or sound like the same person any more. My blog reads like it's written by a clueless college student and it was. This was back before I discovered the joys of pictures in every post or developed my voice and writing style. Blogging is a process, that's for sure.
|This is how you jump with three broken bones|
Let's zoom ahead a couple of years to June of 2011. I was still working with Izzy, but I was mostly on my own. I took the mare XC schooling with a local trainer and I came away with several broken bones (arm and jaw in a couple places), despite my initial optimisim on the blog: We Conquer XC
This is a fascinating post for me to read. The whole era had me sort of juxtaposed between a lack luster junior career and finding my way as an adult ammy. I loved that mare and I believed the best about her, even though looking back I know that she was absolutely toxic for me. My voice as a blogger has definitely developed and I'm loving the incorporation of pictures, if not my position in any of those pictures. Win some, lose some.
|Only the handsomest horse that ever was|
2012 brought me to a more training-focused situation and more importantly, to the old man horse who would completely rock the very foundations of my world. Out with Izzy, in with Cuna and onward to my very favorite moments of the Sprinklerbandits blog! Here's the post where I finally accepted what was probably obvious to everyone in my life, from my husband to the clerk at the grocery store: Crossing the Rubicon
I was still apologizing and making excuses for Izzy at that point. I wanted it to work SO FREAKING BAD and it just wouldn't and I couldn't see it. In the post, I say it's because she wasn't a forward horse, but that's really not the case.
|We both loved every single minute|
Izzy had my number big time and Izzy dialed it EVERY SINGLE DAY. I was scared shitless and I only sort of knew it. This is why I ride you if you have a horse in the same place--I have been there and I know how it feels, but I also know how liberating and awesome and amazing every day can be if you have the right horse for you instead. /soapbox
Cuna completely changed me, not only as a rider, but also as a person. In terms of the blog, I found my confidence and my voice. It's amazing how the posts practically write themselves when you love your horse and it's even more amazing how people respond when you are really, truly happy. One of my favorite legacies of Cuna is the other bloggers he inspired to take that next step and end toxic relationships because we gave them hope for something better.
2013 brought a lot of heartbreak and a little joy. I think most of you have been along for the ride, but for those that are new to the blog, it wasn't pretty. Cuna had to step down from jumping to flat work and from flat work to retirement and even then I couldn't keep him comfortable. It was an absolutely horrific process that I really don't like to talk about right now. I wrote a post about the retirement: Towards Healing
I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the blog community and I was thankful for each and every one of the comments I received from people who knew the same pain and wanted to be there for me in some way. Cuna touched a lot of lives in a lot of ways and I'm not the only one who misses him.
|The best at putting pieces back together|
I'm going to editorialize again though and say that if you have a friend going through that sort of horsey hardship, be kind and loving and supportive, but please also do them the honor of assuming they are taking care of their horse. Constant inferences that a grief stricken person just isn't trying hard enough are straight-up cruel. /soapbox #2
2013 also brought the little bay horse into my life that we all know and love. Courage ushered in another era for the SprinklerBandits blog. The only reason can work with him is because of all the things my old man horse taught me.
It feels like redemption. I'm getting another chance to work on things I screwed up with Izzy and Courage is a really cool guy who isn't trying to kill me. Win win. Courage was introduced in: The Road Goes Ever On and On
2014 has been something of an unparalleled shit show on every possible level of life so far. That said, Courage has been my constant. t's a long process for both of us, but he's gone from being the back up to my #1, which I talk about here: Bonding or It Doesn't All Happen At Once
Blogging has really been a fun process for me. started it as a way to connect with people about my equine journey so I would annoy my husband less. While it certainly does that, I have really loved my ability to track my progress both in training and as a person. I have made some great friends and had good times.
So thank you, readers, for 5 great years and sticking it out for 1000 sometimes great, sometimes average, and frequently scattered posts. I love readers and comments and feedback and I love meeting all of you. If you don't already blog, I'd strongly encourage you to start. It is such a great experience to share your equine journey with friends to encourage you on the sad days and applaud on the happy ones.
|Loving those upgraded beads!!|
To honor the history of SprinklerBandits, I want to give away one of my all-time favorite products: a custom sparkle browband from Dark Jewel Designs
. I love them and so should you! The prize is one browband of the size/ color you choose. Amelia has graciously offered to include 3 sparkly strands for the browband PLUS NO CHARGE FOR BEAD UPGRADES. :-D.
God. Now I want to win.
To enter, just leave a comment on this post with your favorite blog post from Sprinklerbandits Blog and your email address (or preferred method to be contacted by) and I will do a random drawing one week from today. Entries close Sunday, August 24th at midnight.
Noted: it's enough to remember the content of a post or something. You do not have to provide the specific URL. And yes, you can totally use this post or the last one if you're like "screw this I just want a sparkle browband".