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It's that time of year, time to reflect on where we've been and where we're going.

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  • #41
    PNWjumper, She is gorgeous!!
    Originally posted by Nickelodian
    We jump horses. Over sticks. For fun.
    Never take life too seriously. Nobody makes it out alive anyway.
    Regulus RDL


    • #42
      Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
      I did, and I'm totally and completely smitten with her. And so is my DH, both of my kids, all of the other horses, and the guinea hens LOL! She's just as lovely as a young horse can be. I pulled her out to play with her yesterday and she lunged like a champ (for the 2 minutes we played at it) and let me lean on her, jump up and down on the mounting block, and pat her all over with my hands. She's got such a nice brain for a 2yo! Much less of a punk than my other holsteiner baby when he was that age Funny thing that I used to try to find chrome-y youngsters and kept ending up with plain bays and I finally decide that I want a plain bay and end up with a flashy one! Here's the album of her first few days here. The paint on her feet are her "lucky charms" that were put there for good luck before her cross country trip to get to me.

      And thank you! I would love to be able to just funnel each of RyTimMick's babies into my barn as they come out.
      Congrats! I saw a video of her free jumping and fell in instant love. I am so glad you have her so I can watch her develop on COTH! She will be a superstar. (I predicted it first! )


      • #43
        first year as a pro!

        How did your year go with your horse(s)?
        Had a great year, opened my barn, turned pro, and got a string of fabulous prospects and a good group of clients my first year open.

        Did you meet your goal(s)? Well exceeded my goals. extatic about how my year turned out. Far beyond my expectations

        What were your unexpected highs and lows? highs: got a FABULOUS hunter prospect in July that I brought along and he did his first 3' hunter derby in October. Really cool boy. Also got a freakishly talented jumper prospect in October that we have schooling 3'6" courses. Lows: not really a low but allowed my old jr/ao jumper to semi retire to teaching my kids the 3'6" and lower. Also had to give a wonderful lesson horse back due to lack of lesson people verses his upkeep (older a/o jumper with a lot of maintenance and health issues) BUT he ended up at a bigger barn and his earning his keep and injections so he's a happy boy and I still get to see him around

        What plans are you making for next year? Sell my wonderful hunter (bought as a resale project), get my new jumper going around the 1.20-1.25m courses, take him to his first A show. Bring my clients to an A/AA show as a trainer for the first time.

        What thing(s) did you learn that significantly and positively impacted you? I've learned sooo much keeping the horses at my house. I've worked for other barns for many years but this is the first time I've been in charge of everything, and I love it.

        And of course, show us your favorite picture from this past year!

        ...so this may take a bit (I'm a professional photographer).
        mini horse went viral
        new jumper prospect
        hunter (prospect) in his first derby, taking the 3'6" option
        My sweet little barn <3
        my heart horse dappled for the first time since I've owned him (had him for 10 years, bought him as a 4 y/o off the track.)


        • #44
          How did your year go with your horse(s)?

          Really well, but not AT ALL in the direction I expected. I started the year with my OTTB and we were looking to just have a fun, easy summer enjoying the very low jumpers and hanging out with our friends. I ended the year with a new horse and a new plan, which is all unexpected.... but also wonderful. Both of my horses have been very good to me, and my barn and trainer were wonderful through all the ups and downs.

          Did you meet your goal(s)?

          My goal for the year was just to enjoy my last year in this location (military family, so we knew it was our last summer here) and have fun, so... mission accomplished! I have much bigger and more concrete goals for 2013!

          What were your unexpected highs and lows?

          High: First show of the season with my OTTB, he was awesome and we had some great rounds and good ribbons.

          Low: Several shows getting rained out, "tornado'd out", etc. I hoped to show more this year and it just didn't work out the way I planned. We DID get to do a schooling event that was really fun and educational!

          Low: Finding out I had a medical condition that resulted in needing some surgeries and time away from the saddle. Major bummer and did not help the "show and have fun" goal at all.

          Low: Facing the fact that my sweet OTTB just was not the athlete I wanted him to be. Made the tough decision to sell him and suffered through some... interesting... potential buyers.

          High: My trainer helped find a wonderful beginner who is a perfect match for my OTTB. They are good for each other and very happy together - and her noncompetitive ambitions are well within his ability level! I'm so glad they are together.

          High: Finding my amazing new horse and purchasing her. She is the only star in my sky. :-)

          Low/High: Bringing new horse home 3 weeks before major surgery, and not being able to ride for 8 weeks after. (This is also a high, because my trainer put a lot of work into her during those weeks and that really got us well on our way - better than I could have done alone!)

          High: Every day since I was able to get back on. My new mare is a constant revelation to me and I adore her!

          What plans are you making for next year?

          We will be moving 1000 miles east in January, to a new home and a new barn in VA. So goal #1 is "survive the move"! After that I wanted to get my mare settled in, into the new barn's program, and hopefully going to some schooling shows in the early summer. She has no show experience so we'll take it slowly. I'd like to do some dressage lessons/clinics on her as well. I hope by the end of the year we'll have some solid, confidence building show experience to carry forward, and I hope she'll be cantering low courses calmly and happily. If we can get all that done by next Christmas, I'll be very happy!

          What thing(s) did you learn that significantly and positively impacted you?

          I chronically do not trust myself, but I have learned that I really am okay and I really need to take a deep breath and get on with life. That has gotten me through a lot this year.

          I have learned to ride a big moving warmblood and not think that we must be going terribly fast!

          I have learned to laugh at my young mare and to be the focus that she lacks at this time. She's amazing, but she's young, green, and a little sensitive. A sense of humor has become one of my most important natural aids.

          And I've learned that the battle is mostly won just by continuing to show up. Fall off, get sick, have surgery, experience heartbreak... and go to the barn and ride anyway. I am so much more confident in myself and my horse, because I have learned that we really just need to do the little things day after day, and I can handle that. We can handle the little things, and we can build big things out of little things!

          And of course, show us your favorite picture from this past year!

          My OTTB, Super Pete, after a great schooling outing.
          The 'rock star' attitude is quintessential Pete!

          And my new girl, "Coule" (I call her Lucy.)
          Realizing I just found my dream horse - our second trial ride.

          Lucy with my trainer while I was out for surgery - turns out she jumps 'em all like that.

          Just a regular day with Lucy. I have been back to riding (after major surgery) for a little less than 8 weeks, so any pic where I'm not dying is immediately a favorite.


          • #45
            How did your year go with your horse(s)? good

            Did you meet your goal(s)? yes and no..yes that he got started u/s and no that i didn't get as much miles put on as i'd would of expected.

            What were your unexpected highs and lows? my horse settling in to a great place and loves it.
            trying to learn a different ways of riding then im used to and setting us back a bit.

            What plans are you making for next year?more schooling miles and starting on some low jumps and maybe starring in a few low key local schooling shows for exp for him.

            What thing(s) did you learn that significantly and positively impacted you?hmm have to think about this one a lil more.

            And of course, show us your favorite picture from this past year! don't have a current one of this yr.


            • #46
              How did your year go with your horse(s)? Hmm. I started the year with a horse rehabbing from neck arthritis that I realized during the year will likely never jump again. But he's going well on the flat. Meanwhile my trainer presented me with a project--an older ex 1.3-m jumper who came out of a backyard after he flunked Trail Horse 101. So we worked on getting him into shape and jumping again and he's proved to be a wonderful horse for me to jump up to 3' and a fabulous and saint-like school horse for her to use with other students. Once I realized that Star was likely not going to jump again I went out looking and ended up with a youngster that is now barely started under saddle.

              Did you meet your goal(s)? Given that I had none, or that they consisted of getting my horse going WTC, I guess so. My former trainer left the state towards the end of next year and I had a lame/rehabbing horse so my goals, or lack thereof, mirrored my pessimism.

              What were your unexpected highs and lows? Highs are the days that Star is awesome to ride, watching how wonderful Pharaoh is with the assortment of students that ride him and realizing that I was part of making (or re-creating) that, and realizing how awesome my new trainer is. The big low of the year was having to leave the facility where I'd kept horses since 2003 when it got purchased by a rescue. Yes, we were rendered homeless by a horse rescue. The irony! We were at an, um, interesting facility (but, hey, it had a zebra) for a few months, but moved at the beginning of November to across the street from the first place.

              What plans are you making for next year? Get the youngster going u/s WTC and hopeful over fences, start taking him to shows (maybe some of the TB ones), maybe finally make it to our county association championship show after not going to it since 2008.

              What thing(s) did you learn that significantly and positively impacted you? That there is still more to learn about horses. Working with my young horse on the ground with the new trainer has taught me a lot and I've even applied some of it to the horses I ride.

              And of course, show us your favorite picture from this past year!
              Star and Skipper at the barn with the zebra:
              The Evil Chem Prof


              • #47
                How did your year go with your horse(s)?

                I would say overall my year went really well. I didn't show much the past year and feel like I got back into the swing of things really fast and that my horses responded really well. I also got to train with some new people that really positively impacted my riding, show at some really great new venues, and go work at a Yard in Ireland.

                Did you meet your goal(s)?

                For the most part yes, my goal was to get confident in the 1.30m with my older horse, Udaman. He moved up to the 1.30m again in May at our second show in Sonoma, which was earlier then expected, and despite a few bobbles in the middle finished amazing in the 1.30m at our last show, the best he's ever jumped.

                My other horse, Zuno, exceeded my expectations. My goal was to have him in the 1.20m by August Thunderbird, but he was in the 1.20m in June, did the 1.25ms at Bend in July and moved up to the 1.30m at August Thunderbird. He also jumped better then I (or anyone else) ever expected and feels like a real Grand Prix prospect now

                What were your unexpected highs and lows?

                Highs: Udaman's last round in September in the 1.30m, it was absolutely foot perfect and double clear. I was glad he finished the year so strong.

                The High for Zuno was really the whole year after May, he stepped up to the plate, finally learned to love showing, and jumped amazing.

                Lows: Udaman getting a virus in Bend and having a fever of 104.9! He obviously wasn't able to show! Also I'm mad at my self for not really he wasn't 100% in August. He's so neurotic and quirky it can be hard to tell, and I'm sorry he had to show me by finally struggling in the show ring.

                What plans are you making for next year?

                Things are up in the air at the moment, I just need to save as much money as a can. I'm also debating a move to another location as I've just turned Pro and not sure if this is the best place for me.

                What thing(s) did you learn that significantly and positively impacted you?

                I learned a lot controlling my show ring nerves and varying levels of self confidence. I now feel like I can go in the ring and not be a nervous wreck!

                I also learned a ton from working for a couple of months at Linda Courtney's yard in Ireland. I learned a lot about what it takes to develop a young horse to Grand Prix, and what qualities to look for in young stock. I also learned a ton about barn management, and high standards from her amazing head groom.

                And of course, show us your favorite picture from this past year

                Will update this if I ever figure out how to post a picture!
                Last edited by SlamDunk; Dec. 21, 2012, 02:39 AM.


                • #48
                  How did your year go with your horse(s)?
                  Started a bit touch and go, with my favorite old guy Puffy spending 6+ months at UC Davis with pleural pneumonia. Thanks to the superb vets there, he got to come home - which made my year! Also got to borrow the wonderful, experienced 'Vinny' for the summer, and even go to a few shows. So all in all, I'm very grateful for the way things turned out!

                  Did you meet your goal(s)? Med school has put a bit of a damper on competitive goals, so my continuous goal now is to stay in good enough riding shape to jump the 1.40ms when I'm free in the work force and can do/pay for such things. So that being said, I'm proud that I've been able to ride + care for 1-2 every day and still do very well in school, and am not yet embarrassing too many people when I ride!

                  What were your unexpected highs and lows?

                  Highs - Puffy coming home from a very long, scary veterinary adventure at UC Davis the day before my birthday. Seeing the enormous smile on his horsey face as he frolicked around his new grass pasture for his semi-retirement for the first time. Being 2nd in a speed class with Vinny at the Sacramento International after a long time of more school than showing!

                  Lows - definitely the pleural pneumonia experience. Also, vetting a lovely young project and and finding a large OCD in the stifle. Bittersweet was beginning to transition Puffy into a well-earned, but still sad, retirement.

                  What plans are you making for next year? Have a very green, but very awesome 5 year old project on trial that I am so, so hoping will work out. And learning how to combine riding with the clinical years of medical school!

                  What thing(s) did you learn that significantly and positively impacted you? It ain't over til it's over - don't give up too soon! Don't hurry a rehab program, and keep them as fit as you possibly can. Pay attention to your ponies, and if it doesn't seem right, it's probably not. Also, am always inspired by COTH's articles on busy working amateurs who manage to keep horses in their life!

                  And of course, show us your favorite picture from this past year!
                  The glorious, happy, healthy Puff enjoying moving towards retirement:
                  And the 5 year old I am so hoping works out:


                  • #49
                    How did your year go with your horse(s)?
                    Pretty well! Major learning year!

                    Did you meet your goal(s)?
                    Most of them. I ended up 3rd in the zone and somewhere in the top 20 nationally in childrens jumpers. Qualified and placed at WIHS. Won my first ch/aa classic early on last year. My horse moved up to the 1.20s with my trainer this fall.

                    What were your unexpected highs and lows?
                    Highs: Placing at WIHS when it was both of our first time there. Being circuit champion during pre-circuit. Getting to catch ride a very fancy large pony all circuit and ending up having an ad for USHJA. Showing my trainer's grand prix horse in equitation and doing pretty well. It was a great year!
                    Lows: Not being as prepared as I would like to try to move up into the low jr/aos.

                    What plans are you making for next year?
                    Have 8 weeks of winter circuit coming up and hopefully will move up into the lows at the end/beginning of spring. Hopefully my horse will move up to the 30s by mid-summer.

                    What thing(s) did you learn that significantly and positively impacted you?
                    I think my trainers being gone all summer really made me appreciate them even more. Learning how to be consistent and ride many different horses to the best of my ability. Just taking everything in as a learning situation. Also realizing that I have to be the one to push myself to be better, ride without stirrups, challenge myself etc.

                    From a month ago:

                    Pats after surviving washington:

                    A really fun pony I catchrode during circuit:

                    My trainer's grand prix horse I showed in the eq:


                    My mare being loving:

                    VERY Happy Girls after doing so well:
                    If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question or asked the question wrong.


                    • #50
                      How did your year go with your horse?

                      It had it's ups and downs for sure but was overall a GREAT year!

                      Did you meet your goal(s)?

                      I didn't really have any super specific goals. I wanted to get comfortable with Houston as I only purchased him in February. I think that that goal was definitely met and we have become quite the team this past year.

                      What were your unexpected highs and lows?

                      Unexpected highs would be placing 4th at a local Mini Horse Trial... Unexpected lows would probably be the various falls/ injuries that I had this year. It was a bumpy start but I am finally feeling very confident on Hue and we are improving leaps and bounds.

                      What plans are you making for next year?

                      First and foremost I would like to be more confident over fences. I would like to go to at least 1 rated show, participate or audit in my local GM clinic, and get Houston out and about as much as possible. Many of these goals are dependent on the first but mainly my plan is to have fun!

                      What thing(s) did you learn that significantly and positively impacted you?

                      I have learned so much in the past year that it would be almost impossible to list. I can't think of many off the top of my head but one that I am working on everyday is to have fun regardless of the ride I have and the horse I get on any given day.

                      And of course, show us your favorite picture from this past year!

                      Cheating... Here are my 2 favorites...

                      Great thread! Happy holidays to everyone


                      • #51
                        2012 &gt; 2011

                        How did your year go with your horse(s)?
                        I switched barns at the beginning of the year and it proved to be a smart decision. Driving an hour and a half everyday was getting tiring and I wasn't getting anywhere with my riding.

                        I found someone to half lease my horse while I'm at school but I can still ride him when I'm home. I was pleased to come back to an even better schooled horse which was not my expectation. My security over jumps is not very good (clutching mane over the tiny cross rail bounce) but I think I still have my eye.

                        At school I was able to find a horse to ride, a three year AQHA gelding who has been pretty fun. It's been an interesting transition for me as a rider who's used to forward thinking TBs to ride a stubborn QH . BUT, I was able to get a lead change out of him, not consistently yet, but it's there.

                        Did you meet your goal(s)?
                        Yes, I was able to get someone to lease my horse without having to move barns. The young horse picks up the canter both ways with no issue and can walk-canter.

                        What were your unexpected highs and lows?
                        I was able to get a job at my home barn doing camps and that was unexpectedly fun. I found at school that the major I selected (Animal Science, Equine concentration) is EXACTLY what I want to study and it makes me excited for the coming years.

                        One of the old camp horses had to be taken to the vet to be put down after he was found down many times and needing assistance to get back up. He was very old and couldn't handle the heat. I didn't have an emotional connection to the horse but it was sad seeing the younger girls say goodbye, as he was one they had learned to ride on.

                        My horse also bruised a tendon and had to do, what I thought, was way too long of a rehab and that got boring fast. Since I was new to the barn, I wasn't able to ride anything else except walking around the ring for half an hour everyday, but still had to pay for lessons included with board.

                        What plans are you making for next year?
                        I plan to take the young horse to an ASHA show next spring and do the pleasure and trail classes.

                        Hopefully, I'll be able to do the whole summer show series this year since class starts later.

                        The trainer who's leasing my horse for her daughter said she'd be interested in leasing him next fall for her other daughter so I don't know whether I'll be taking him to school next year. If he does come, I want to take some dressage lessons, do the jumping thing on my own and hopefully be at a barn where I can ride out.

                        What thing(s) did you learn that significantly and positively impacted you?
                        I learned how much I enjoy science, and when it relates to animals, even better! I'm so excited and blessed that I have the opportunity to get a college education and I look forward to the future.

                        I also learned that I don't need to show to be happy. I think in the future I'm going to invest my money in clinics and fun outings than a couple of minutes in the ring for the chance of a ribbon. The check book will be happier too!

                        And of course, show us your favorite picture from this past year!
                        My sweet, sweet boy.


                        • #52
                          And of course, show us your favorite picture from this past year!
                          Star and Skipper at the barn with the zebra:

                          Peggy, I thought the photo was going to show your horses with the zebra!! Very adorable nonetheless!


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by wildhorse188 View Post
                            And of course, show us your favorite picture from this past year!
                            Star and Skipper at the barn with the zebra:

                            Peggy, I thought the photo was going to show your horses with the zebra!! Very adorable nonetheless![/QUOTE]

                            Yes, with the zebra was modifying barn, not Star and Skipper. I think there would have to be a comma in there for it to modify barn, but I am not really sure. Trust me, I wanted a photo of at least one horse with the zebra but never got one. I probably could have managed Star + phone + zebra vicinity, but Skipper was a bit too wary of it. He was fine at first and then realized one day that it wasn't just a horse with stripes. But, yes, it was an actual zebra. They used to put it out in a turnout next to the road and pretty much everyone in town knew what you were talking about if you said you were at the barn with the zebra. His name is Ref, like referee. Somewhere I do have a photo of just him.
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by Peggy; Dec. 25, 2012, 03:43 AM. Reason: added photo of zebra
                            The Evil Chem Prof


                            • #54
                              Quarterly update, anyone?

                              1) Done, and here's the proof: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=950971792748

                              6) is probably modified to "ride a training level test on *someone*". Show clothes are still a touchy subject. 2-5 and 7-8 are making suitable amounts of progress.

                              Anyone else?

                              Originally posted by ambar View Post
                              What plans are you making for next year?
                              1) I'm getting on a horse
                              2) Breeding Pirouette again
                              3) New colt
                              4) Probably time to come out and show in hand again (late June)
                              5) September 2013, Al Khamsa Convention in Elk Grove, CA. <-- must survive chairing same
                              6) Stretch goal: training level test on Porte at a schooling show [this ducks the entire question of show clothes]
                              7) Get Pirouette under saddle
                              8) (Speaking of stretch goals) Apply my butt to Pirouette's back. Walk away from the landing.
                              Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
                              No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.


                              • #55
                                Started the year in organ rejection and after a month in the hospital undergoingplasmapheresis and IgG therapy. I was barely ale to walk. Sold my green large and in trade, got a wonderful medium. Started walking around the farm on him in late february/early March. Today I actually cantered once and a half around the ring (HUGE) and cantered a crossrail and a 2 foot coop. this is both exhilarating (didnt think I would ever be able to ride again) but discouraging (considering what I could do efore this started).

                                BIG goal for the end of the month is to get around a long stirrup course without passing out or riding my pony into an upright (j/k). Still unsure if I willmake it all the way around, but it is my goal. I get a bit stronger each week but progress is slow My new pony is a saint however, and worth his weight in gold.

                                I am a little sad about having to let go of the green (he was going to be special) but it wasnt a feasable prospect for me at this stage in my life/health, and this new guy has given me a chance to ride again, and has been the BEST therapy ever
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