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Jumping into 2018

Jumping into 2018

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 circuitbut 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.

Last ride of the year! All in all, I’m not sad to see 2017 go.

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 💓

Goals for 2017 (part II)

Goals for 2017 (part II)

On top of my original Goals for 2017 post, Trainer A and Trainer M have asked all of their students to write down a set of time-based goals that we want to focus on this year. Specifically, we were all required to set a three month, a six month, and an end of year goalall three of which needed to be directly related to showing in our chosen discipline (which disqualified almost all of my goals, lol). I figured these three goals deserved a post of their own, since they got left out!

3 MONTHSBe confident cantering into jumps.

Because let’s face it, we’re not going to get anywhere if we have to trot into everything. Ezhno’s canter is more balanced and controllable than it was three months ago (huge improvement!), but he gets sloppy and rushes when he sees a jump, which means we end up taking some incredibly awkward distances. As things stand, jumping from the canter is pretty much a crapshoot and there have been a couple of instances where a solid lower leg is the only thing that (barely) saved me from eating dirt.

6 MONTHSShow at 2’0″ (AKA get to the Triforce Ring!).

This one was technically already in my main goal post, but I thought it was fitting that this was my six month show goal. July is the height of schooling show season and six months gives us plenty of time to school 2’0″+ at home and attend a couple of shows at lower heights before we tackle the fancy jumps in the Triforce Ring. Will we have a clear round? Probably not because Big Horse is clumsy, but as long as we don’t have any refusals I can accept a couple of faults from lazy feet.

END OF YEAR Get Ezhno ready for his flying changes.

Uncoordinated as he is, Big Horse is going to have to figure himself out because I want those flying lead changes. I’ve never even been on a horse that can do a flying lead change (let alone trained a horse how to do them), but I’ve gotten Ez to do them a couple of times on the lunge line, so I at least know he has the physical capacity to fumble his way through one. I see more canter work (especially lateral haunches/shoulder in work) and a lot of simple lead changes in our future…

I Gotta Dance More!

I Gotta Dance More!

OBLIGATORY “I SHOULD EXERCISE MORE” POST OF THE NEW YEAR.

As a previously depressed college student/manic corporate go-getter, I’ve been back and forth between overweight and unhealthily-obsessed-with-bodily-perfection for all of my adult life. At my heaviest I weighed in at 148 pounds (at 5’0″), and at my lightest I was close to dipping down into the double digits. I’m a veteran of the weight loss game, but on 1,200 calories a day I don’t just get skinnyI get vicious. I’ve just recently started to accept that 125 pounds is my “happy weight”, but some days I still struggle with the fact that my stomach has never been (and probably never will be) as flat as a table. I do my best every day to love myself no matter what size/shape I am, so long as I can still do the things that I love.

In short: my New Year’s resolutions don’t include miracle diets, fasting, or spring cleanses. In fact, for dinner last night I had a cinnamon roll, a protein shake, and a bowl of Doritosand I’ll be damned if I’m going to apologize for it.

This is the DINNER OF CHAMPIONS.

The paradigm shift I’ve been nurturing over the past year has been gradually leading me to a healthier outlook towards my own bodyan outlook that values what my body can do instead of what my body looks like. It’s been a relief to be able to shower without poking at my belly, wondering whether or not I’ve gained or lost flab over the past week. On top of that, the prioritization of strength over aesthetics isn’t just better for my mental health, it’s better for my riding, too!

I don’t tend to be very forthcoming about my exercise routine. Part of that is because my weight and my fluctuating self-image can be a bit of a sore topic, but the other part is that, other than long bike rides during the summer, the way I exercise isn’t as traditional as the jog/lift/swim trifecta that most people adhere to. My sport isn’t a clean, innocent sportsometimes it can bring up some awkward assumptions, even though it’s honestly just a fun way to get lady swole.

I started pole dancing around a year and a half ago, but I’ve always wanted to be able to dance. When I was a preteen I’d spend hours in my room with my headphones on, spinning wildly in circles and choreographing complicated (probably physically impossible) routines in my head. So when my friend Merri (of Missy and Merri fame) threw her bachelorette party in a pole dancing studio a couple of summers ago, it wasn’t surprising that I ended up taking weekly lessons with my friends. Now I’ve got a pole to practice on in my basement, where I can look as silly as possible without anyone watching!

Anyways, I just thought I’d share a bit about how I plan on using pole to physically take my riding to a new level this year! Hope I didn’t bore anyone with the exercise talk, blergh. :S

He’ll only be impressed when I lug myself around the arena for hours at a time, lol.