Last January, 2017 came out swinging. I kicked off the year with Ezhno coming up lame with a potential soft tissue injury. Spending three months wondering if my horse would be sound again was a nightmare. Then, when he came off of stall rest, I had a nasty fall that crushed my confidence. I came back stronger in the end, then spent some time flailing my way through performance riding, hoping that I could settle for a life putzing around on the local APHA/PtHA circuit—but that didn’t work out, either.
I think the biggest marker of 2017 for me was realizing that Ezhno and I were no longer a good team. Going through the emotional turmoil of preparing to sell Ezhno took a huge toll on me. Even after I decided not to sell him, trying to find a place for him in my life left me with a lot of guilt. I thought I’d found a good lease situation for him, but then it ended up being a poor match and the whole endeavor left me feeling drained. I didn’t know what to do with him, but I didn’t want to sell him on and have him end up somewhere unhappy.
And then there was the financial struggle of owning two horses at the same time. Even though I could technically make it happen, it wasn’t really working.
Meanwhile, Raglan’s feet problems were a whole mess of their own, to the point where I started to wonder if I’d made a mistake purchasing him. In the end he was good to go, but I spent almost two months fussing over his hooves. I hate playing the waiting game when it comes to the soundness of my ponies, and now I feel paranoid any time I see the smallest hitch in his gait.
It’s only in the last couple of months that things have started to turn around. Raglan’s pads have kept him sound, Ezhno’s found a place with someone I trust to take good care of him, and I’m finally in a spot where I’m not juggling eight million sources of stress per day. I’m finally getting to enjoy the process of bringing Raglan along, but it took a long time and emotional strife to get there. FINALLY.
As for 2018, I find it super hard to hold myself accountable for yearly goals when I feel like I’m still at an age where my heart is a mercurial thing, and there are too many things I can’t account for to be able to consistently set and meet yearly goals. So instead, here’s the general shape that I hope 2018 takes:
Start recovering financially. I’ve got credit card debt I need to whittle down and my car is slowly but surely being paid off. My family should finish paying off the truck by mid-summer. Ultimately I want to get out of the red so that I can start saving up for a down payment on a piece of property.
Hit the road. Raglan’s doing so well, we’re at the point where he just needs a lot of schooling shows, clinics, off site lessons, etc. First I need to get the trailer fixed up, then it’s time to start taking him places!
Find a writing process. I really want to write and publish novels, but I struggle with finding the time and mental energy to sit down and write every day. I want to find a permanent place for creative writing in my schedule so that I can work on finishing stories more consistently.
Honestly, I’ll just be happy if we can have a “boring” year. No existential crises, no sudden vet bills, no wild changes of heart… but we’ll see what 2018 has in store.
Here’s how Raglan and I celebrated the first day of 2018:
As always, have heart and be brave, fellow equestrians 💓