2016 Over and Out!

2016 started out with a boom, I was having a fantastic riding vacation with Neuf and came off twice in the first two days of the year.  That was an inauspicious beginning, a 50% fall rate on January 2. Luckily it was down to .62% by December 31.

I had quite the year of ups and downs.  Neuf bucked me off, hard, in March, then when I learned to stop that, he pulled a few other stunts. Neuf went up for sale in late May.  He was bullying me, not fun, and as we like to say “had my number”.  But…he was still my horse, so I had to still ride him, my solution was to only ride him 100% supervised.  Martin showed him with great success in the 6 year old Jumpers, it is fun collecting primary color ribbons, especially blue ones. A few people tried him, nobody disliked him, but all chose a different horse, which was ok.  Every time someone would try him, I’d start hoping they wouldn’t want him.

I found my confidence again, upped my game-thanks to Martin’s help, “changed my number”, and started having fun on Neufenstein.  I started taking him to a couple of shows, and riding him myself.  He’s fun to jump, and he seems to be growing up…at last.  So, he gets to start 2017 with a plan of me riding him in shows, and I’d like to get to 1.10m jumper classes with him, then see how I feel.  Martin will probably show him some in the bigger classes too, because it’s fun, good for my confidence to watch him, and good for Neuf to progress.

Bali and I did a few shows.  3 dressage shows and a local jumper show.  We had our Fourth Level debut, and it was successful.  I had a late arrival one day, so a terrible score, due to lack of warmup, but overall, I was super pleased with our results.  And, taking home a lot of ribbons in the low jumpers was fun too.  I have the scores I need at Fourth Level towards my USDF Silver medal, but we aren’t ready for PSG yet.  I’m working on that, and so long as it stays fun, I’ll see about getting that Silver medal.  In the mean time, I go over and jump her with Martin, and I think it is helping improve the forward in her dressage.

Now for the annual summary for riding at TerraOasis farm. After 11 years of tracking rides, I’m up to 5170 rides. The  other riders at TerraOasis were somewhat lax in entering their rides.. so I did not tally any but mine and Patrick’s.

Rider Total Rides Average Rides per Week
Mel 483 9.29
Patrick 7 N/A

There were a handful of guests and helpers who rode as well, but I only tallied them into the horse counts. For 2016 on the horses, we lost Zen in summer with an irreparable injury to the same hock he’d injured in 2015, but then Cameron got Scuff, a super-cute OTTB with really nice, uphill movement. Ernie is doing well with Marit and Suzy is riding either Scuff or Sparkle when she can.

Horse Total Rides Average Rides per Week
Bali 228 4.38
Sparkle 88 1.68
Neuf 230* 4.42

*Neuf’s count was probably a bit higher, he was in full training for a few months with Martin Douzant at The Frame Sport horses, but I didn’t have a solid tally for all those weeks, but he was closer to 5.1 rides a week than 4.4.

I did not go anywhere this New Year’s weekend.  I stayed home.  Pat and I have been installing new LED lights in the barn.  The weather has been warmer than usual, which makes me happy.  Neuf is on a month’s vacation and will go back to work towards the end of January.

And, just because, Neuf winning the 6 year old Jumpers in Upperville in June. With Martin riding.

And with me, at a much lower height, 0.8m (2’6″-2’9″) at a local show before Christmas.

I don’t think I have any dressage video of Bali this year.


About Mel

Random musings in a riding journal
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