Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Year in Review, Part Two

Opie started off July still in quasi retired mode. We finally kicked off the return to "real" work with an eye on the next block of shows coming up by leading a massive group of riders from the barn on a field trip to the park followed by a grill out. It was a shit ton of fun, and Opie got to do his first official four off the floor swimmies.

giggling like a maniac on my sea horse

Our return to showing was a good one despite riding in front of a judge I had the worst experience ever with on Bobby. Opie was a star at another new facility and came away with his first high point award on an 81%. The next weekend we returned to rated competition for another two day show. On the first day, despite warming up beautifully, the tests themselves were in the brand new indoor facility which was a lot for a young Dopie Horse. He did his best for a green bean, but the judge was only impressed with the giant moving Warmbloods all day across the levels. We came away with two thirds anyway because he is #childgenius. The second day he was much more settled. His scores went way up and we ended with a second and first. We ended the month trying a little cross country schooling at home where Opie was straight Satan.

my saddle pads were so disgusting by the end of the season. no bleach could save them.
definitely getting a new pony wardrobe next year. 

August was our last month of showing, but we filled it to the brim with three shows at three different places. First up was a GMO show where Opie crushed both of his tests and came away with another high point award. From there we went to the inaugural dressage show at the state fair grounds. After being so distracted in the new indoor at Houghton, I was worried the massive scale of this place would be too much for Opie. It was also his first time being stalled for a show, but he handled it like a pro. He--and every single other horse--was suspicious of Satan's altar the open judge's stand, but he still laid down two almost identical scores for two second places.

such a show pro 

I audited and volunteered at my GMO's sponsored Courtney King-Dye clinic before our season finale which wasn't a dressage show at all. Instead #dopiedoeseventing! He'd just started cantering jumps, had done a handful of 2'3" stadium fences, and could jump logs in the fields mostly without falling down. Seemed like he was ready to me! Obviously he was perfect. Actually he was pretty awful for his dressage test because he was in the wide open world instead of a ring, but he cantered around the entire stadium course like a champion and only had one honest "Da fuq is that?" stop on cross country. He finished feeling so proud of himself.

it's okay if you cannot. i cannot either.

obvi deserves double the pics

Following that success, we kicked off September with hunter pace season. We got two in this month which was a good thing since it soon started raining for all eternity and the rest of the calendar basically got cancelled. I also went wild got horse ADD and bought a cart. Because why not.

October was a lot of trail rides, and I was able to check off my twenty five hour goal for the year. Dopie continued his driving practice and I was finally (Well, finally, as if a month after buying the cart and deciding he was going to be a driving horse is an infinite amount of time.) able to get him hitched and driving around by himself.


Things slowly came to a halt in November. We were still plugging away at our dressage work, but not with any intensity. The big party this month was collecting our year end awards for all those shows!

satin, satin EVERYWHERE!

We finally started slowly getting back into real work in December. And I use that term loosely. When we did put forth the effort though, the year's worth of training showed up and I could tell that this kid got the right education this year. He feels correct, and he feels happy in his work. That's how I want every year to end!

After all the shit that 2017 brought, 2018 was definitely the year I needed. Now I just need to reel everything back in and set myself up for a more realistic 2019. I don't know if we can ever recreate the unicorn-ness of this year (although quite frankly all the times Opie was a real dick about the trailer and that time I thought for sure he'd broken my hand helped keep it in check), but I know that if we accomplish even a fraction of what got done this year we'll be in a good spot.

20 comments:

  1. But srsly So Much Satin. And learning to drive in such a short time is a helluva accomplishment. What an incredible year! I hope 2019 brings even more unicorns vomiting rainbows and lots of seahorsing.

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  2. Opie is a star and he clearly knows it. He may start demanding more benefits. :)

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  3. Aw I love that you guys made it to an event this year <3 esp bc helmet cam is lyfe. Also fwiw part of why I show dressage in a black pad is bc keeping pads bright white is..... challenging lol

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    1. The plan is to switch to a black pad for this season even though I love white so much. But I know he's going to turn ugly soon and that combined with pads that get sweat stained by June just won't do. SAD.

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  4. You're gonna need a new horse-decorating method for all that satin. I fear you've run out of space!

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    1. I'm going to have to get him fully tacked next time so I can hang them off his saddle!

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  5. Seriously, the best grey baby horse EVAR. Such a #childgenius <3 <3 <3

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    1. How did we luck out with such good children tho?!

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  6. Yay Opie! What a good solid citizen he has grown into and what a year for you both! I totally understand the "first year was amazing and we will never top it" feeling haha. Ellie won so much this year at tadpole level I am like welp, that just set me up for the rest of our show seasons to be a letdown haha (mostly kidding). But it still is pretty awesome how well Opie handled everything and you are in a good place starting the new year! :-)

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    1. There's definitely a sense of "It can't get better from here because we're already at the top!" To have peaked at Training lol. Let's hope that's not the case.

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  7. Such an incredible year for you guys. Love the ribbon photo!

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    1. Can't go wrong with all that satin in one place!

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  8. I can't wait to see what you guys do in 2019. It's been so cool watching him really grow and bloom this year!

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    1. Hopefully 2019 brings just as many adventures!

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  9. You've done such a fantastic job with Opie! Congrats on a (well deserved) fantastic 2018.

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  10. What a stellar year. I'm all caught up! Looking forward to 2019's adventures!

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