I was browsing through Blogger this am and realized I have posted over 500 times, this post makes 502. Wow! It all started as a journey to document my evolution from OH to MI as I bought my own boarding farm and evolved again into a training chronicle as I moved to PA. I thought it may be fun to make a quick trip back in time and it turns out it was super fun for me. I hope you enjoy it too.
Dec 2010 I made my first post, it was my first time ever blogging and I had no idea if I would stick with it. I did it for myself, and had no followers. This was about a month after I moved the horses (App and TWH) from OH to MI. We had bought the farm in the fall and it had taken over 3 months to get the property ready for the horses. The horses came to the farm at the beginning of November even though the farm still needed a TON of work. We had bought 2 goats along with us from OH, the goats were a very poor choice. App hated them and the goats were constantly getting out of the pasture. We said goodbye to the goats and got Daisy the donkey in Dec 2010. In Feb 2011 I finally learned how to post pictures!
Daisy was a good donkey who had been a livestock guardian for sheep. She didn't get farrier care and they were getting rid of her because she "didn't walk well". She didn't walk well because of her 6+ inches of slipper feet. Lots of rehab and x-rays later, she became much harder to catch when she was sound and comfortable. In April of 2013, we sold her to an alpaca farm to be a livestock guardian because we were having significant hay issues. Our main hay had alfalfa and she couldn't have alfalfa. Keeping her separate during hay time was becoming a very big (loud) issue and an alpaca farm was thrilled to have her.
2011 chronicled a lot of the struggles of getting the farm up and running and we finally opened the doors to boarding in July, we were a legitimate business.. TWH went to his first hunter/jumper show and we hated it. I love my ride times TYVM. App had a disaster of a show but still placed, proving yet again he can be both Captain A-hole and Mr. Awesome.
In 2012 was the year of being broken. I tore my calf muscle. I worked with a horse in training and didn't follow my gut. I predicted the horse would hurt me and he did. I required knee surgery and had to fire a customer over it. It took a good while for us to be friends again. App was in (what ended up being) his very last show and was amazing, scoring a record low for him of 23.5%. I still wish I could have been the one on him for that.
2013 was much better and TWH started to really rock eventing before coming up sore with a hind suspensory that left him on stall rest for 6 months. During that time, App also had a huge abscess that too months to resolve (plus vet visits, drugs, and xrays) and I ended up buying Mia.
In 2014 was full of great things, TWH started to go Novice level eventing and rocked it! Mia had her very first show and then went to her very first eventing show, TWH and I won reserve champion for year end awards in Novice eventing and I ordered my new truck. I had no idea what was about to happen in just a few weeks.
In February of 2015 we found out we were relocating to PA. This turned out to be a year long process with a LOT of struggles. I offered TWH to the leasee who had been riding him for 2 years and she agreed to take him. Still to this day I get monthly updates and she gives him way more attention that I could. She is an awesome owner for him. Mia won her first show. We bought our house in PA in August, but I didn't move for another 7 months as I ended up having to completely remodel the MI farm house to sell it. Mia won again and was starting to show that the training was working.
2016 was the big move to PA. We finally got our house finished, listed, and sold. We moved the horses and the farm in March. Within 45 days, App got a lot worse and was permanently retired. Mia won her first show in PA and improved her dressage scores in others.
2017 had Mia's first Novice show and did well. She then proceeded to cut her leg which took her out for the summer. We did go to a small CT show our barn held and my blogging really started to drop off.
2018 had App staying mostly comfortable and Mia continued on with showing and placing. I celebrated App's birthday with a recap post and it is still one of my favorite things. Mia won more shows and we competed in a Prix Caprilli test which was super cool.
2019 was bad in many ways. App took a big turn for the worst and couldn't stay comfortable. I lost my dog, my cat, my horse, and my bio father. A dressage judge destroyed my confidence and desire to ride. At least the year started off well with Mia's Training level debut. I also rode as a unicorn on a unicorn. I let App go after 25 years, one of the hardest things I had to do but I am still 100% happy that I did it. It took me a good while to get back to "normal" and I found an instructor, A, that made a world of difference and brought back my desire to ride.
2020 was going to be OUR YEAR. Armed with lessons, Mia and I were ready to kick butt. Then Covid happened. My blogging took a nose dive. Mia came up lame. And got hurt. But we still took lessons as things relaxed and my relationship with Mia got much better. I bought a Pivo in September to document our lesson journey and Mia immediately came up lame again. After a few months and 2 vet visits, Mia's hoof angle was way out of alignment. It took a couple of months for that to fully resolve. Not a single show was attended in 2020 and the Pivo did not get the use I had planned.
Armed with the lessons from 2020, Mia and I did our homework hard over the winter to really hit 2021 with everything we had. I bought a new (to me) dressage saddle, new stirrups to help my bad knees, things were looking very good even though there were some real oddities. I renewed ALL of our memberships ($$$) and bought an entry to a recognized show during a charity auction so I couldn't back out. April came and the wheels fell off of the bus 10 days before our first show. Mia tested positive for Lyme and her numbers were pretty high. Doxy made her very inconsistent in her comfort so from May - Aug we didn't work and instead just walked. My trainer retired before I was able to take another lesson. Mia was cleared of Lyme at the end of August and we hit training hard. 8 solid days of work to enter a Beginner Novice show, I was so confident going into the show. Spoiler - she was lame again. 4 weeks of stall rest for a possible soft tissue injury in her hoof made a world of difference. Mia came off of stall rest on Dec 15th and has stayed sound (so far). We have been trotting for a week and I am hopeful that things continue on a positive path.
It's been a cool journey looking back over the years and I hope you enjoyed the trip. I am going keep blogging, for now anyway. This look back at my 500 posts really helped reinforce the joy of seeing my struggles and successes chronicled.