I kept telling myself I’d get back to blogging and then… never did. And to say a few things have happened since, well, would be an understatement.
Last we left off, I was finally back riding after blowing out my knee at the beginning of 2022. I ended up having a great season which was a pleasant surprise after thinking the year was gone. We ended up running a few Starters including finally finishing on our dressage score and coming home with a 4th out of a big division at Kentucky Classique.
A few weeks later, we dipped our toe into the BN waters where I promptly got ditched into the ditch at Jump Start. You’d think I’d have learned the ‘don’t lean’ lesson by now, but apparently not…
No worse for wear, we went home, schooled, jumped all the ditches and regrouped for Hagyard Team Challenge at the end of October. You know, just the course known for being the hardest of the level all year. Our dressage rode far better than it scored, stadium was Archie’s strength per usual and then Sunday we headed out on cross country. Archie was an absolute STAR. I had so much fun and the photos still make me giddy smile a year later. On paper, we had two stops, but they didn’t matter the least to me. The first was at a jump right before the water and I didn’t set him up well enough to understand, but he jumped it perfectly the second time. The second was a fake half-coffin – a tiny log with a small drop on landing down to a fake ditch. He slowed down and peeked at the ditch and definitely went sideways, but I never felt a step back before he hopped right on over. But without video, that’s life and it wasn’t worth agonizing over with one stop already.
Other parts of the course included getting to drop down into the crater in the back and up out then two strides to a rolltop, a fun gallop (DON’T @ ME IT FELT LIKE GALLOPING EMILY) up the track and a super fun ride to the open oxer second to last. The photos from the end of that course are some of my all-time favorites.
We finished out 2022 investigating some Vitamin E stuff with Archie and ordering a brand new custom saddle to address a few fit issues we’d run into. Spoiler alert: 2023 had a few plot twists to come.
In March I went down to Ocala to visit Amanda and Hillary and do some move scouting and while I was there, pretty much got to ride all the horses. Like, just kept throwing them at me and there are worse things. Henry was obvs a king, Presto is just… a full body workout, but the most fun came when they said, “Hey, get on the pony!” The pony being Nunez, the 4 year old Willow Tree homebred who had gotten to Ocala a few months before.
Ever have those lightbulb-everything-clicks moments? Yeah. It was like being back on Iggy. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The next week or two became a whirlwind that suddenly culminated in Archie selling and buying this perfect little ponykins. I’ll get into it all in more detail some other time, but it was just one of those ‘everything falls into place and is meant to be’ situations. Archie’s new mom is a teenager in Ohio and he absolutely ADORES her. From the first time she got on him and he absolutely carefully and perfectly cantered her around over a tiny course, I knew this was his person. They’ve since shown at some local jumper shows and even did their first green as grass event. More than that, they’re trail riding, hacking out, going swimming and generally having a blast… all the perfect things a kiddo should be able to do with their horse. I’m so proud of the horse he’s become and truly, there’s no better feeling than knowing a horse you love found their perfect place.
Nunez (also Nacho, Cheesy Chip, PonPon, Pony, Nachito…) meanwhile, went over to my trainer in Ocala’s in June to learn how to do Adult things. Like not turn 360 degrees in the crossties (I’m sorry do you have BONES). Or jump out of the pasture, just cause. Did I mention… pony? He’s been there all summer while I made some additional Big Life Changes.
Like.. selling my house. Moving home to my parent’s in New Mexico for four months. And as of next week, moving to my new house in Ocala!
Let’s see, in there I also bought a horse trailer, lost a fairly significant amount of weight, remodeled a house, got that custom saddle (remember that?), visited Nacho in Ocala a few times, housesat for my parents (aka Lucy my retired mare and Sancho her mini donkey), dyed the donkey blue and probably a few more things I’m forgetting about.