2019 was a very busy year! Not all riding, but I took on new management responsibilities at work, our son got married, and we had another wedding in California, a bit of work travel, a family reunion in Washington State, followed by a week in Hawaii to visit my son.
Bali had a nearly fatal infection, likely from stepping on a nail in a fence board that had been pulled down, which based on hoof growth in all 4 feet looks like it triggered laminitis, and we are still dealing with abscesses and intermittent lameness while her feet grow out, and I’m tightening my financial belt as it was a substantial vet bill, but thank you to my vets at Piedmont Equine Clinic for going above and beyond on a holiday weekend to figure it out. I’m optimistic she’ll return to full soundness. I’m taking each day as it comes, she is doing very light work, PT like, mostly walks/hacks, and I’ll be dealing with the residual lameness and likely a few vets will be helping out as well.
Legacy was amazing and has had several blog entries. We spent the year preparing for the TB Makeover in October, and that was definitely the equine highlight of the year.
Sparkle is still Practically Perfect in Every Way. Emma, at 6 1/2, rides Sparkle by herself now, going on trail rides, Susan rides her, Jen rides her. I get on her from time to time. She’ll be 22 this year.
Sailor is almost 4. He is turning into a very nice pony. For the moment, at 3.75 years old, he is still a pony. He’s 14.1 hands. He loves to play (get ridden) with his people, loves all manner of attention. I managed to squeak out 30 rides on him in 2019, 8 of those with professionals who start a lot of young horses. He’s pretty much an equine-child prodigy, he isn’t spooky, he’s downright confident, goes on baby trail rides, walks, trots, canters, steers reasonably well, he walks and trots over ground poles. If he stays a pony it will be super, but he may grow into a hony, which will greatly reduce his marketability, but he doesn’t know or care about this and he is fabulous and friendly.
Neuf…he was supposed to be sold. But he did not. I tapped out my equine budget attempting to get him sold with professionals, he showed up to 1.40m jumpers, showed under the lights at Keswick and Twilight Jumpers, he did very well, but the universe keeps sending him back, so for now, I’ve given up on that. He went out on a month’s trial in Michigan and came back skinny, which upset me a lot, I wanted him sold, not starved, and I’m reluctantly joining the list of people who are unwilling to allow trials, he’s been an easy keeper the entire time I’ve owned him (8 years), but I have to be honest, I’d rather have him back than ill treated or so unhappy he loses weight. He then went to an amateur friend for the winter to be shown, but she had some non horse expenses come up, not related to Neuf, that caused her to decide to be a responsible adult and bring him home after 3 weeks. It was too many changes for him in too short of a time, and he was very distressed, so we’ve decided that he’s home, and he understands this and has relaxed considerably and overall he’s very happy and I’m back to riding him.
After 14 years of tracking rides, I’m up to 6422 rides. Since I only log my own rides these days, the table format is a bit of an overkill.
||Average Rides per Week
||425 (382 in 2018)
||8.17 (7.35 in 2018)
The horse breakdown
||Average Rides per Week
*Neuf’s stats are only my rides or rides on my farm (Suzy), and since I took him to Martin’s, followed by Gavin’s for full training while he was for sale, that is based on a lower # of weeks.
What’s in store for 2020? I’m thinking that instead of jazzing Neuf up and making him fast, maybe I just accept that slow, rhythmic canter and try him in the hunters. Hell, I’m in Virginia, where hunters are the norm. I have to dust off my show clothes and resign myself to braiding, but I’m going to give it a whirl. I think that Legacy will also dip his toes into the hunter ring. His form is amazing. If Bali does make a full recovery, I’d like to show her at PSG. Sailor, I’ll probably shoot for the cross rails divisions at a few hunter shows, see how he does in a few training level tests at dressage shows. And Sparkle will be Sparkle. Everyone needs a Sparkle in their barn!
Happy New Year to all!