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It’s hard to believe it’s the end of 2019 and with it, the end of a decade! dating app bio did a fun ‘decade in photos’ look back that seems to have caught on and I’m nothing if not a copycat.

2010

I was in my second semester of undergrad and my mom was showing Lucy as an amateur. This is the year of her second suspensory tear and we pretty much retired her at this point to hang out at my parents’ place full time with Sancho the Mini Donk. I did go hop on a friend’s horse at Auburn once, but there’s no photographic evidence. I was burned out beyond belief at the end of high school and was thoroughly enjoying being a “regular” college kid.

2011

Still didn’t ride much (at all). Hopped on Lucy a few times over the summer before my sophomore year of college, but mostly was still being a college student. Went to Pinto Worlds to watch Coorina’s baby show (and win a world championship!)

2012

I spent my summer hacking Lucy around and riding my aunt and uncle’s horse, Harry. Interned at the Pinto World Show in one of the most awful and sleep deprived experiences of my life, but learned for once and for all I had no desire to go back to breed show life. Found my college major and went back to school for junior year in the fall as an officer on sorority exec board where some geniuses trusted a 20 year old with a half million dollars.

2013

Finished out junior year, still no ponies in my life at school. Came home for the summer and interned, lost 22lbs and took my favorite photos ever with Lucy. Turned 21, went to Vegas, enough said. Back to school, football season, the best day of my life, the Kick Six, lost a national championship by 13 seconds. Living with my best friends in the world in the best townhouse in the best city.

2014

Lane was my first OTTB and such a good boy. I also rode all summer in too long stirrups.

Did some more college senior things, interviewed for grad schools, got into grad school, put two deposits down and changed my mind on a school at the last minute. Oops. Graduated. Went home and rode a family friend’s OTTB, Lane. Moved to Chapel Hill and started grad school in August. Found a barn to ride at and started riding consistently for the first time in four years.

2015

Went XC schooling for the first time and get bucked off, but also fall in love. Decided I want to event. Started half-leasing Skylar who was spooky and scared me half to death 75% of the time. Did… grad school things. Interned in Chapel Hill over the summer, started second year of grad school, stopped riding as applying to fellowships and flying all over for interviews took over my life.

2016

Travel in the spring, watch UNC lose a national championship to a buzzer beater, compete in a case competition at Minnesota, break my foot in a Minnesota bar, graduate from grad school in a boot and move to South Carolina to start fellowship. Spend what feels like the next 7 years in a walking boot (5 months but STILL). Didn’t ride once all year, but start volunteering at Tryon for events, including working at AECs. Found out Lucy tore her deep digital flexor despite being retired and doing… nothing. She stays retired and happy.

2017

My left drift means I don’t get to jump without guide poles until I learn how to not take out standards

Adopt Finn the Jack Russell! Refinish my first piece of furniture, go on a girls’ trip to NYC, volunteer at The Fork, go to DC for a wedding, finish fellowship, move to Indiana, immediately find a horse. Start leasing Doc! Complete our first CT together in August, visit Olivia in September, fall off Doc for the first time in October. Do our first BN CT in November, buy my County and head home for Christmas!

2018

If you think I’m ever going to stop using this photo, you’re wrong

Stuck inside until March thanks to the coldest winter of my LIFE. Immediately fall off the middle of March and break my back. Out of the saddle until June, but back in it just in time to go to Event Camp! Have some of the best rounds of my life, go down to the Hoosier Horse Park and spend all day getting run away with. What can you do. Go on lots of trail rides, spend all summer conditioning and complete our first BN HT in the fall, finishing on our dressage score.

2019

Start my new (fantastic) job and readjust to my commute. Jump around BN a few times. Have an amazing week at Event Camp where we jump Novice height and some Training questions, but cut short by some funky steps. Back by the end of the summer where we have an amazing time schooling XC at the HHP including jumping a N/T trakehner. Find a dressage saddle after 10 trials. Ready to go to Team Challenge in KY when we get the news that we’ll have to retire him from jumping. Cry, drink, and in the end, say thanks that he’s still happy and healthy and nobody got hurt. Start looking for a new horse and end up taking a trip to Lousiville and making phone calls to vets, barn owners, hauling companies and send lots of fun text messages… to be continued.

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Feeling a lot like Christmas

I can’t say I have any overwhelmingly fun news to share… yet. But at the risk of jinxing anything, things are happening and 2020 is looking bright and shiny and… chestnut?

And that’s all I’m saying about that

I did get to go down to Louisville last weekend though and in between trying not to be sucked into a mud bog and getting distracted at ALL The Pretty Farms (can we agree heaven has rolling green pastures and four rail fences? K) I got to see Emily and May!

OMG she is so much fun.

And it even gets better than that because I got to ride May. Emily was trying out my jump saddle (which fits them beautifully) and so when she offered me the chance to pop on the World’s Best Thelwell Pony, the answer was obvious.

On the ground she’s a snuggly little bug with the best manners. I wanted to pack her up and take her home to live in my living room. Under saddle, she’s so sensitive (in the best way) off the leg and smooth to ride. I love her. Emily popped her over a few fences to try the saddle and May is even cuter over fences than pictures show. I was being a chicken about the footing along with not being able to feel my hands (genius, gloves are a thing for a reason) so I just flatted her around for a few minutes. She’s so safe and comfy feeling – like a very sensitive athletic couch.

In non-pony news, my office moved to the children’s hospital which means we get All the Fun Things like full blown ballets in the lobby and therapy dogs in Christmas attire.

I shipped off my blogger Secret Santa gift today (sorry for the delay!), my Christmas vacation starts at 5pm tomorrow and I will soon be on a beach soaking up every last bit of warmth before Indiana beckons me home to its cold tundra of January.

Luce still being the best retired girl, shiny and happy at 22!

I may (or may not…) write more about 2019 in summary, but I can say while it wasn’t the year I planned on (like, at all), it ended up being a great year. I’m so grateful to have a wonderful family and friends, the greatest ponies in my life, my health, a job I adore and more blessings than I can count. Signing off for the year to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and have a wonderful New Year!

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