January was a slow month. Gus and I did get at least one lesson in but it felt like for most of the month I was dealing with a winter wild ex racehorse. This wasn’t the worst thing in the world because it made me realize that I had gained a lot of confidence back in just dealing with an unruly horse.
Another slow month on the Gus front where I was trying to figure out just what to do. His normal sweet personality came back and we were able to get some fun jumping in on a once very four years event: leap day! We took the dogs to another agility trial and had a wonderful time even if Harley just didn’t want to come play that weekend. Guinness ended up with some nice titles though.
March ended up being a very busy time for work but I did manage to get a lesson in where Gus finally started to get the idea of lateral work. It was also the month where I had a bit of a run in with SmartPak over returning a helmet… But then I got a new job and there was much rejoicing and buying myself fun gifts. The jump heights started to go up and my fear did not.
Things finally started to get going with a jump lesson with Dani Ditching. It started off rough but ended really positive. Gus turned 6 (Dandy turned ten). And though I didn’t blog about it until June (!), Gus and I ran another successful Tadpole schooling trial at Poplar. It was time to move up to BN.
I didn’t post at all during May as I struggled to adjust to Georgia’s heat and humidity. I am not a southern girl at all.
June was all about the jumping. I took advantage of our nice jumping rings to do several jump schools and work myself up to being comfortable doing a whole course of 2’6 or higher fences. This was all in preparation for the Stephen Bradley Clinic at the end of the month. Day One, grid work, was fabulous and Day Two, though it ended in rain, was exactly what Gus and I needed to get us to the next level.
We followed up the Stephen Bradley clinic just a week later with another clinic with a women who would eventually become New Trainer. This lesson went less than excellent due to Gus and I being exhausted and me being unable to deal with the heat. It was not the best first introduction but luckily New Trainer was not deterred. That whole month we battled between super sticky with humidity and drenched in rain. We attempted to complete our first BN schooling horse trial at Poplar but the rain forced them to cancel XC. But at least dressage was good and we came home with a red ribbon. We also bought a house and promptly had a tree fall on it. Bummer. We finished that whole month with what ended up being our final show of the year.
In August we moved to the new barn and had a bit of a break due to me being a sissy in the humidity. But there’s really no rest as we went to a clinic with Elisa Wallace and took a spin around the track with fellow blogger, Hillary. While I packed up and headed to Minnesota to get married, New Trainer had her first ride on the Gus Gus and she loved him. She has high hopes for us in 2017 but we’ll see how it goes.
The boy and I finally tied the knot! We got back into regular lessons with New Trainer where she quickly let me know that she expected more from me and that I had to, in turn, expect more from Gus. We experimented with new bits after Gus demonstrated his lack of breaks out in the field. And we got to go on a fun trail ride at Chickamauga State Park.
October is the bad month at work but I managed to start things right with a horse camping trip and another fun trail ride at Chickamauga. The house renovations also got under way! While Gus got a lot of training rides this month, I did manage to get on for XC schooling at Ashland Farms. It was so fun and I was so proud of Gus. I also turned 30! Yikes!
While the “professional” renovations were done, there were a lot of projects that still needed to be finished around the house. Dandy was officially announced for sale and we added a new family member: Ziva!
And finally the year draws to a close, way faster than I was expecting. Gus’ stall gets some renovations of it’s own but the real focus of the month was grid work. It kicked my butt but it also made me better. We took the dogs to an agility trial and while it may not look successful ribbon wise, it was the best we’ve ran all year.