Well, this past year has been an interesting one to say the least. It was the first time for me to go out and buy my own horse with no one else's input. It was the first time the SO and I had lived in a subarctic area in a hamlet of about 800 people.
Taking Celtic through a basic grid
January and February was all about the ups and downs of Celtic. Celtic was just not a fit for me, and as we worked together, we went from some lovely moments to complete meltdowns. This time was a big learning and realization period, but still wanted to keep working, keep trying, to see what we can do together.
Second day in his new home!
March and April were some HUGE changes. In March I finally decided it was time to sell Celtic. She wasn't interested in doing what I was looking to do, she was too much horse for me, and her mind wasn't where I needed it to be to do what I wanted to do. She had too much for me to handle, and it was just a bad situation. In deciding to sell Celtic, I was back on the horse shopping scene. From a few inside tips from a friendly stranger, I found Shocker (now known as Koda). I had three rides on him, and he came home with me the next weekend. We spent a lot of our time just hanging out and getting to know each other.
May and June were a time of Koda and I getting to know each other. Riding at home, going out on the trails, schooling at the indoor, and doing our first long-ride at Machesis Lake. During these months, it was becoming even more clear that Koda and I were going to be a good team! This was also when the SO came out for his annual trail ride. (Also, surprise! When we were at Machesis, it was the first time I took a tumble off of Koda when he spooked at a tree stump when we got back from our 4 hr trail ride where he led most of the way... silly pony).
July and August were an interesting pair of months, including our first real outing into eventing at the Mind's Eye Ranch Horse Trial where Koda really showed how green he really is. We went home with homework and a plan in place to try and spook Koda in as many ways as possible (this is still on-going training). We set up the back field as a playground and went to work! Did some in-hand work over obstacles, then with me in the tack, playing rather conservatively. This winter and spring we're going to be doing a lot more of what we did during these two months, getting down to business.
September and October were the months where we went to some actual clinics. The first clinic was a cross-country clinic. The first day was the worst where our canter transitions were rough. By the last day we were conquering up- and down-banks (love them!) along with mini cross-country courses. The second clinic was with Kathy Playdon. Three things that I got out of it in general are 1. LEG!!! 2. Don't be afraid of height, Koda can handle it 3. Work on more advanced flat work/dressage (shoulder in and haunches in at trot).
November and December have been a winding down for the long cold that is winter. My riding has been tapering off, not because I've wanted to, but more because the weather is making it so. Thankfully I have some insanely heavy duty winter blankets that can take a beating and keep Koda nice and cozy while it blows -40. I'm extremely thankful that their paddocks are surrounded by trees that cut down on the blowing snow and wind chill.
All dressed up for winter
As the new year comes, plans for the future are starting to form. The omnibus is coming out soon, so will hopefully be able to plan some clinics and shows in the coming season! Am looking to do some dressage shows (that are only 3.5 hours away, yay!) and doing two or three horse trials, depending where we're at, at Starter or Pre-Entry, perhaps going up to Entry by the fall. Either way, at the end of the day I am so thankful that I found Koda and get the chance to be his rider.