January: I started off the year with a big realization about just how much I want to throw my whole heart into riding. Frankie and I continued to school some bigger (to us) jumps and made our official move up to the High Adult division!
February: I did an anniversary lookback on what Ocala meant for me as a rider. I rode (poorly) for a guest trainer, we talked about who gets to ride my horse, and I took a moment to look back and appreciate some of the progress I’ve made over the years.
March: I talked about what I look for in a trainer and admitted that I am a special needs client. Manfriend and I celebrated an anniversary. Work was pretty busy so this was a quiet month on the blog, but Frankie continued to be a constant.
April: I continued working to find a balance between real life and the barn. We celebrated one year of Francis being part of the family! We made it to our first big show of the season at Culpeper where Francis won his first 1.15m and carted me around the Highs. We marveled at what a long way he’s come.
May: I talked about how the bigger jumps forced me to reevaluate my position. Frankie got his SI injected and we confirmed our qualification for the USHJA Regional Jumper finals. I spent some time in a dress.
June: I made some big changes with a new job and a new apartment. We went to Upperville and Frankie showed us just how professional he could be- including taking us to the jumpoff in my first 1.15m track.
July: I stirred the pot a bit by defending the use of grooming services at shows. We started thinking about what the future might hold for us, but also kept our focus shorter-term by building a fitness plan. We looked at how Frankie developed his jumping technique over time and I got to panic less about finances.
August: We got to lesson in the new outdoor ring and talked about sale ads. We then ended up going to USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships, which was the culmination of many months of hard work- and we even managed to pull off a team silver medal!
September: I told you about our fall plans to go Do All The Things, went over my show outfitting, and told you about my deal with Francis. We talked about what our perfect horse would be (Frankie, obvi) and Manfriend chimed in with a how-to guide to being a Horse Show Boyfriend.
October: We started out the month with a show in the equitation division (where Francis was a star but I was an idiot) and then we got out of the ring for some XC schooling. We talked about self care heading into the winter months and jumped some weird looking fences. Big surprise- we scored a last minute invite to Zone 3 Finals to round out our season, where Francis showed up and told us all how fast he could go.
November: I got to share with you how proud I am of a certain barn rat. We talked about how we feel when we leave the ring– whether it was good or bad. I got some sun, got excited about a new USEF rule, and decided that Francis is always a star to me- even if we didn’t get a spot in a big clinic.
December: We reviewed our entire show season to celebrate the USEF New Year! I spent a lot of time travelling from place to place while Frankie relaxed, and we got to make a super fun decision around our next show year. Then I got the best surprise of my life when Manfriend asked if he could become my Horse Husband!
From beginning to end, 2017 was truly a year to remember. So much growth and learning, so many wonderful memories made, and so much love shared. Cheers to 2018 being even better!!