2016 was very exciting. In February, I bought a certain someone so he could be my very own dressage pony. Poor thing.
Then we set out on our adventure to see if he could learn to be a show pony. We had good shows, we had bad shows, but we managed to knock all of the goals off of our list.
Looking back, it was quite a year. I started out not even sure if we could get around. I careen into 2017 with my Bronze plans feeling more real and my horse feeling like a different animal. Today I got on him and spent the New Year polishing our simple changes and introducing him to shoulder in at the canter. He has hit the same level Fi had achieved and shows no signs of stopping. Far from it. The further we go, the more he seems to enjoy his work.
I have lots of fond memories of 2016. I have bareback rides where I acted like a fool and my pony flopped around. I have trots down centerline with my heart in my throat and my partner holding my hand. We galumphed down trails and Theo showed other riders what was possible. I have some memories I don't enjoy much, like porpoising at C and making judges gasp or the time we went to war and it took us a week to make up. But I don't regret my decisions one bit. I bought the horse I need and increasingly, I bought the horse I want. We went out and learned how to manage life at shows. We've hit the point where most rides are enjoyable and the difficult, resistant horse of 2015 is a distant memory.
I desperately need to get some new video. I'm so proud of him.
2017 will be another year of growth for us. We've got a lot of work to do, but I feel like we're going in with some momentum. We'll be showing less (no one wants to dressage with us, sigh), but we're well on track to hit levels of dressage-ing that I've never achieved before. We might even shoulder-in in public!
2016 sucked in a lot of ways, but for my equestrian life, it was everything I could have hoped for. And I have hope that 2017 will be another stellar year. I certainly have the right partner.
Happy 2017 to all!