If ever there was a theme of “It didn’t go as planned,”
it would be this year. Due to some personal health issues, I spent the vast majority of the year unable to work, let alone ride. By the time the ducks had mostly been rounded back up into the pond and everything fell into line, it was time for Pumpkin Spice everything to descend, the leaves to change, and my favorite holiday to come; Halloween! While fall is absolutely spectacular around these parts, the beauty is tainted around the fringe with the knowledge that after that last leaf drops and the spectacular oranges, reds and yellows fade to brown, winter will soon descend and the fields will turn to cascades of white snow, or worse; churning torrents of mud. We equestrians are unable to properly enjoy winter with hungry horses to feed, after all. But, I digress. For more about that, check back in at the end of the blog post.
The horses seemed entirely unaffected by the reprieve, and went as far as to enjoy it, no doubt (said tongue in cheek, I’m fairly certain Rain gives me the side eye when I go in the barn to ensure there is no saddle in my arms). There was one neat side effect of not being able to ride, and that was that Keno turned into such a neat little trick pony! He learned so many different things, including the Spanish Walk, lay down, rear, and improved his jumping as well. I’m working on some other things and he is getting better at his liberty work. He also has been driving some, but due to weather and work duties he’s been chilling in his field. It’s good weather to start playing again.
Atlas went back into professional training in April and will stay there until he sells or goes into a free lease with a qualified rider. I love him dearly, but at the moment we are not a good fit (which is no fault of his own) and he needs to have a rider who can utilize his talent. Hopefully he will find his match soon. If you are interested, shoot me an email.
Initially, when January 1st rolled over, the calendar was packed full of riding and events. After an injury, personal health issues, and then finding out there was no possibility I could ride until about August, there were two options: be miserable or find other things to do that involved horses but not riding. To combat this, I started focusing more on photography. By chance, one of the photographers at Shawn McMillan Photography was nice and let me shadow them one day at the Hunter/Jumper summer series. Another time, I sat with one of the photographers at the Kentucky Classique Horse Trial and learned more about what eventers are looking for. It gave me an opportunity to refine my technique and while there is still so very, very much to learn, I feel I grew quite a bit in the last few months with my camera. Since then, I’ve been doing shoots for friends.
The opportunity arose to volunteer as a photographer at the New Vocations Hunter Pace, where the proceeds were used to raise funds for retired thoroughbred race horses that are prepped for a second career. They also hold the Charity Thoroughbred Horse Show and there is also the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program in place to show and earn points. Yes, I realize this is a Mountain Horse farm, but Atlas is an off the track thoroughbred and this is very near to my heart. These horses give their all and have a lot of talent and potential to be successful in another career. This is hopefully the beginning of a wonderful volunteer experience with them – I’ve been invited back to help with photographing the horses that are ready to be placed up for adoption. (PSA over.)
Ever since I was young, I loved writing and wanted to be a published writer. That milestone has been met! The first article I’ve written was published in the Rocky Mountain Horse Association magazine, Spring 2016, “Equine Marketing”. It is a condensed version of the Equine Marketing 101 Article. In Summer 2016, two articles were published: “Competing on a Budget” and “Trail Obstacle for Pennies on the Dollar.” I’ve been renewed as a member of the board responsible for the magazine and will continue in to 2017 – there are already several great magazines by all the writers planned for this year and next! The next article that will be in the Fall issue may have something to do with my enormous dislike of winter and everything that accompanies it… They wouldn’t accept a 10 page diatribe on why I should give up and move to Florida or Arizona instead of just grumble about it, so instead it will be on how to survive winter when you despise it.
Hopefully, over time there will be other magazines I can publish my articles with, but I am very happy to write for the magazine responsible for the breed I love so dearly! In addition, when not running around like crazy I’ve been chipping away at the Equine Marketing 101 book as well as a separate novel. They are unfortunately regularly placed on the back burner as I other things have shorter deadlines that require completion first, but I try and grab a few pages here and there. I’m hoping to have them completed by mid-2017. (Maybe writing this down and putting it out into the universe will make it come true? Where are you accountability…)
These articles will be published on the blog over the next few weeks and will also be available on the website in the original form via PDF soon as well. It may take a bit, as it sure is pretty weather out there… 😉