Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 Year in Review

This post did not want to get written! It's been sitting in my drafts folder since the beginning of the month, but I've been too mentally wiped the fuck out from dealing with my nutter of a horse on top of some other things to make it complete and semi-coherent. No promises on that last one, but here it is anyway.

bobby's brain in a nut shell. 

January started off like it usually does, with Bobby being a bit of a nut job. It was also freezing fucking cold last winter, so he wasn't getting worked as much as he probably needed. I tried to combat this by lots of arena play time with his bestie Memphis and some fun skijoring, but my feelings of self worth when it came to this horse were taking a little bit of a hit despite a couple jump lessons with BO (or maybe because of. Yeesh.). To make myself feel better, Sarah let me take Memphis for a spin over some jumps to prove that I'm not such a terrible rider. I just own a terrible mind fuck of a horse.

i am a competent rider, i am a competent rider...

We didn't get much accomplished in February either thanks to the cold. We did a little jumping which was either good or bad, and did a little dressaging which was also either good or bad. Welcome to the world of Bobby, where there is no in between.

the greatest picture of bobby ever taken. 

A lot of shit went down in March. We bought a new horse trailer, did some jumping that wasn't totally bat shit, knocked out a couple of costumes, and got the news that Hubby was being relocated to Western New York. Worst. News. Ever. I was really, really bummed about the move--news flash: still am--and it knocked the wind right out my horse adventure planning sails.

first jump school at the new barn

Bobby returned to his home state in April and we moved into a shitty little house that made coping with the move ten thousand times worse. I wasn't happy at my new barn and pretty much moped around being wildly depressed and pissed off at Hubby all the time. Fucking New York.

giant jumps make things a little better.

May brought our first two shows of the season, move or not. We did a Novice CT with an extra jumper round. The dressage was a breeze, and we came away with a great score. The first jump round was a complete fucking disaster despite going clear. The next time around was marginally better, but some comments from the show facility's owner made me even more bummed than I already was, and I started questioning how much I really wanted to keep bumbling through stadium to event. So we went to a hunter show the next weekend to get in some rounds over fences where we somehow proceeded to kick ass, steal all the hunter princesses' loot, and win Champion of the 2'9" division.

sorry, can't talk. too busy being hunters. 

I started actively looking for a new barn in June because I was really not happy at the barn I was at. I found the place I'm at now, instantly clicked with the vibe of the place, and gave the first barn my thirty days notice. We did our first event of the year, going Novice at GVRDC. I dialed in the dressage test for a pretty embarrassing score for us, and even though we had one rail and a stop in stadium, I felt like I was mentally present the whole time and considered that the biggest win of the day. We hadn't seen a cross country jump since September of last year, but it didn't matter. We coasted around the course with zero issues and easily inside the time which garnered a sixth place ribbon...for the OTTB division. We also did a dressage show where we showed the new First tests for the first time and got a clean sweep of pretty blue ribbons for scoring over 65% in every test. We attempted another horse trial, but after an abysmal dressage test, the rest of the show was rained out and cancelled.

sorry, can't talk. too busy looking like we're about to take names before jumping.

We moved barns in July and the real fun began. Bobby came out of the last show super sore and off in his hind end. He stood around waiting for the chiro to get back from Florida and did nothing. While doing nothing, he came up with a massively swollen leg that the vet diagnosed as a very minor DDFT strain. While rehabbing that, his leg blew up in some sort of strange reaction to something we put on it and I had to rehab a nasty skin infection. While rehabbing both of those things, he stuck his head in a ground bees nest which resulted in a severely swollen face for a week. He started getting turned out in boots; he's not much for playing in the pasture, but covering all the bases and all that. While wearing boots, he managed to cut the same leg that kept coming up with issues and the wound wasn't too interested in healing. It was a fun month in horse care.

tack walking professionals.

In August we were able to slowly move on from tack walking to real work. Bobby was fresh to death, and we did most of our flat work in an elevator bit to stay earth-bound. The cut on his leg finally started to heal normally, but it was enough of a mess that he now sports another jagged white haired scar on his legs. We started having problems with full body hives though, problems that persisted through to the next month until I finally found something to give him that shut them down permanently. Bobby was feeling sound enough that we did an intro hunter pace at our home barn where one of the, oh...three or so jumps I took him over managed to offend him and he dumped me into it. No harm done to either of us fortunately.

crazy stallion

September brought our first lesson with Trainer and we all rejoiced at her sassiness. We started the month off a hot fucking mess. Bobby was out of shape and so weak he literally couldn't even canter right. By the end of the month, Trainer had whipped us into much better shape and I started feeling like I had a real grown up horse again. Lots and lots of walking hills got his butt firmed back up again, and I took the plunge and entered us in one last show.

prelim skinny, no bigs. well, it was a bigs. i was buggin'. 
We finally "moved up" to Training in October doing a jumper derby. We did a Novice round first which felt a little soft, but was made difficult by Bobby's unwillingness to just go the fuck forward. We jumped clean anyway and got a fifth. Our first go at Training was pretty amazing. The stadium jumps didn't look big to me at all while the cross country jumps looked fucking giant (And! I never did mention this after the show, but that skinny roll top I was so freaked out about? Oh, yeah. It was from the Prelim course. Thanks, show organizers. Thanks for making my balls feel big after the fact.), but Bobby was game as hell and carted my ass around to jump clear where pair after pair picked up refusals or straight up parted ways and we came home with a blue ribbon. Definitely the way to end the show season when all the best months were missed.

we keep it classy around here. 

Not much horsing happened in November because we were busy buying a house, moving, and doing all the adult things that entails. When I did get out to ride, we worked on upping and strengthening the fancy. We permanently lost lessons with Trainer which was a massive blow, and Bobby had a Grade A meltdown about Bobby things which set the tone for the next month.

here, have a picture of bobby soaking like the water buffalo he is.

December has been the month of Bobby losing his shit for Bobby reasons. The quality of work is increasing when he's not flinging himself around the ring like a total fucking nut bag, and he's totally sane while jumping, so we've been able to do some work in that area. I've crossed dressage rides off the list for now. The new game plan is to do fun Bobby things--jumping, trail riding, conditioning work--so that he thinks working is a fun thing again. Joke's on him though because these are all things that need to get worked on anyway. Sneaking progression in one ride at a time.

more training level bad assery coming to you next year.

I had only one goal for 2015: Don't suck so fucking much at jumping. While the competition season started off looking like that goal was going to be one giant bust, I mentally pulled myself together from there on out and whipped my crazy brain into shape in the ring. We might not have put in a picture perfect round every ride, but I was able to stay focused and ride every stride--something I've always struggled with. Achievement unlocked.

Overall we moved states, moved barns within the state, completed a total of five shows--one hunter show, one dressage show, one combined test, one horse trial, and one jumper derby--won seven blue ribbons, one grand champion, three seconds, one fifth, and one sixth.

less shows mean less chances for ribbons other than blue. 
Not the best year. Could have been worse.


  1. A year of ups and downs, and though I know the biggest down for you was moving states you had some real solid wins this year!

  2. Seems like a pretty awesome year ribbon wise. The move to NY is not awesome though. At least you're at a good barn now.

  3. bobby certainly likes to make you work for your successes - seriously tho all the same it seemed like you managed to pull out a lot of awesome badass moments and accomplishments for the year. wooo training!!! :D

  4. Damn, what a rollercoaster. Looks like it worked out OK though, given all those blue ribbons!

  5. Definitely a very hectic and busy year! But man, look at all those ribbons!

  6. I love your photos... they are the best, seriously!.

  7. Oh Bobby, what a year! At least there were some very stylish/sassy outfits in 2015 :)

  8. Wow what an awesome and crazy year. I love seeing it laid out like this.

  9. Your year was nuts, but you squeezed a lot of good stuff out of it, regardless!

  10. jfc your posts have me howling with laughter. Definitely a year of ups and downs for you guys...ohhh, Bobby! Here's to 2016!! :)

  11. Oh, going to have to steal this idea for a post!

  12. Despite moving to evil state and having major disagreements here and there, you still cleaned up! You always make me crack up too!


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