2018 Highlights

I’ve enjoyed doing this in the past, so I’m going to keep up the tradition of highlighting some of my favorite posts over the last year.

January: We entered bootcamp mode to prep for WEC, and we worked our butts off getting into shape. We talked about how his care has changed as the fences have gone up and had our first show of the season.

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Francis was a star despite the mud!

February: I had a meltdown about pants and surprised approximately no one by talking about the importance of flatwork. Then we spent most of the rest of the month at WEC 8 and then WEC 9!

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We won our first blue ribbon as a team here- and it was a speed class!

March: I gave my official review of the WEC shows and we talked about how we manage our pony finances. I was able to share some of our amazing engagement photos just before Francis and I celebrated two years of partnership.

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It was freezing but it was worth it. PC- Samantha Robshaw Photography

April: We got the vet out and realized that Frankie needed some better support from us. I talked about what I didn’t know I didn’t know, and shuffled my work schedule to accommodate private lessons.

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We wore the hat of knowledge to learn what he needed

May: We got to hang out and play with Austen and Liz (and the pups)! Then we headed to Blue Rock where Frankie rocked his first 1.20m with my trainer, and I gushed about how cool he is. Obviously.

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Liz took this picture and I’m still crying about it to this day

June: I was thrilled with Frankie at our annual Upperville outing (and our best round was even on the live stream!) My favorite pic of all time arrived, and I got on my soapbox about the importance of routine and consistency.

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Frankie was absurdly fantastic PC- K. Borden

July: I talked about my emotionally tough but rewarding trip to Lake Placid, and then discussed the cost of showing and the cost of improving. In the midst of my move to a new apartment with my then-fiance, Frankie went for a spin as a pleasure pony and I mused on what success looks like to me.

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Just 2 weeks after doing the 1.15m at Lake Placid, he bopped around the pleasure division with my friend

August: things quieted down on the horse front around here as wedding planning ramped up. Frankie took a junior around all three rings because he is adorable, I got myself a new helmet FINALLY, I adjusted to the lack of training structure, and we had fun talking about what we’d buy with a zillion dollars.

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Showing us all just how willing he is to play any game

September: it was the season of blog hops, as we talked about how Frankie has changed since I got him and we went “Behind the Stall Door.” Frankie continued to show up to work– only when I asked him to- and I reminded myself to give myself some grace during the light season.

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Literally the only picture I have of him during this month. It was quiet.

October: I was extra grateful for how broke my horse is these days, but felt the effects of not getting enough barn time. We discussed jump height and what counts as “big,” and then I started considering what I wanted to do with Francis in 2019.

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He requested that we do not continue these shenanigans into 2019.

November: wedding prep was in final countdown mode, so things were very chill at the barn. Amanda gave us 25 interesting questions to answer, and I started considering using a gas mask around my smelly horse. We went for the world’s chillest XC session, and started planning on legging back up post-wedding.

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WOAH THERE CALM DOWN EASY WILD STALLION

December: I got a new name and Frankie got a dad! It was the best wedding I could dream of, but I was so thrilled to get back and play with my ginger-snooted creature. I talked about the way we’ve tackled new skills, gave you a how-to guide on riding the Beast, and finally reviewed the goals we set in the beginning of the year.

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The love of my life ❤

This year I logged more miles in the car to get to horse shows than ever before, I got to meet and spend time with some amazing people, and best of all- I got to marry the funniest, kindest, best man I’ve ever known. 2018 will always be a year to remember.

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Welcome to 2019

Happy New Year everyone!

In past years I’ve set yearly goals, which have worked out well. 2016 goals were set before I bought Frankie, but were general enough that we were able to accomplish them. 2017 goals were focused mainly around showing, and included some stretch goals that we achieved. I tried something different in 2018 by breaking my goals out into equestrian, professional, and personal themes.

So with all that in mind, I’ve been wracking my brain on how to set goals for 2019. What am I hoping to accomplish with Frankie, with my husband, with my career?

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Francis is hoping to accomplish many more scritches in the new year

I’ll be totally honest with you- at this point, I have no idea.

I’m still reveling in the sense of relief and freedom from wedding planning. It was entirely worth it and magical, but having all this free time back is pretty liberating. What do I want to do with it?

For now, I want to just enjoy. I’ve spent the last couple of years purposefully overextending myself to chase a lot of goals while I’m young and healthy. While I’m still young and healthy, I’m also really satisfied with what I’ve been able to accomplish. There’s still plenty to do, but there isn’t as much of a sense of urgency as there has been in the past. We’ve already managed to check off so many bucket list items.

Team Finals? Not only did we qualify, but we helped our team win a silver medal against excellent competition.

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The most professional boi

Two week show? We went to WEC and won our first blue ribbon as a team.

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Never tired of seeing our name in lights

Lake Placid? We made it! Even if I struggled mentally, there was lots to be proud of.

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Big guy knows how to pose

Upperville? We’ve gone several years in a row and had fantastic rounds each year.

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Lawd he struts

Moving up? Frankie has been a rockstar with me in the irons at 1.15m, and I’ve gotten more joy than I anticipated from watching him go at 1.20m with AT.

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He flies

Trying new things? We’ve gone XC schooling, we’ve gotten blue ribbons in the eq ring, Francis has tried out the pleasure division and the children’s hunters, and we’ve hacked out regularly.

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Happy pony does ALL the things

Improving our abilities? Frankie is now hands-down the fanciest horse I could hope to have. And he only gets better over time.

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Literally a flying pegasus unicorn angel

Staying healthy? As he approaches his teenage years, Frankie looks and is going better than ever. His vets/farriers/healthcare team are the best in the business.

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After a few months of light work, he’s gaining fitness back very quickly and looks shiny and happy

We’ve accomplished an incredible amount over the last almost-three-years together. And it’s been beyond fun to tackle all of these things with the happiest sweetest big bay guy. With all that to be proud of, it’s hard to say “I wish I could do more with him.” He’s already given me more than I could’ve ever dreamed of.

I’m naturally a very goal-driven and competitive person by nature, so I may eventually come down from this post-wedding high and decide to set some goals to work towards. I’m certainly not counting that possibility out. But for now, here are my main goals for 2019:

Be happy with Frankie. Train hard because we both are happier in a fairly intense program and we both love to learn, go to shows where we can have fun, spend lots of time together, expand our skills, and enjoy our partnership. No specific heights or shows necessary, we’ll take those as they come in whatever form they come.

Be happy with my husband. Our first month of marriage has flown by with all the chaos of the holidays, and I have a feeling it’ll only get better from here. He’s the best guy I’ve ever known and we have so many exciting adventures ahead of us.

Be happy with my career. Do the best work I can, learn from my brilliant coworkers, move forward with my own skill set.

Be happy with myself. Find a balance that works without needing to overextend. Eat right and work out to feel strong and confident in my skin. Use face masks as often as needed because those TOTALLY count as self-care. Use this blog as the creative outlet it is.

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Cheers to the new year, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

2015 Real World Resolutions

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my real resolution is to try and make it to summer.

 

I know, I know. The horse world is real too. Care to come up with a better name? Here are some of my non-horse-related goals for the coming year:

  • Stop biting my nails. This is the dumbest habit ever. I’m an idiot. End of resolution.
  • Start a blog. Oh wait. Done-skies.
  • Make my apartment feel more cozy and homey, not just a functional place to sleep.
  • Bring my lunch to work at least 4 days out of 5. Save those dolla billz.
  • Read at least a little bit every day, no matter how busy. ‘Cause it makes me happy.
  • Learn how to use my beautiful amazing DSLR properly.

“But Olivia, those are just tasks! What about some real soul-searching-self-improvement resolutions???”  you query, and I will deliver. Rather than goals, these are ways I’d like to improve as a person this year:

  • Show more patience. As my dear father has told me time and time again, your mood should not dictate your manners. Or maybe I saw that on Pinterest. Or maybe both. Either way, I want to slow down and really listen before reacting.
  • Listen more. This ties into the whole “patience” thing- I’m in the bad habit of listening to respond, and I’d like to get in the habit of listening to understand. Take the focus off of me, and put it on the person I’m talking to.
  • Help others more. I don’t necessarily mean official volunteer work, though I’d love to get involved in that too. What I mean is being less selfish with my time, and giving others help when they need it. Anything from being a listening ear, someone to babysit in a crunch, or to help out on moving day, I want to be there for the people around me.

I’m a big believer in constant self-improvement, so these are definitely going to be year-round commitments. I’ll have to check in and see how I’m doing every so often! Maybe I’ll post a picture of my nails painted all pretty when they’re grown out as incentive to quit chomping on them.

Any other ideas for sticking with your resolutions?

2015 Horse World Resolutions

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Addy’s resolution is to keep showing off dat rump.

I’m jumping on the resolutions bandwagon. Tomorrow I plan on sharing my real-life resolutions, but today I’m focusing on what I’d like to accomplish in 2015 in my barn life. In no particular order:

  • Get comfortable schooling 3′. When I left off riding several years ago I was a huge weenie scaredy cat, and 2’6″ was pretty much my limit. Now that I have the confidence and the horse to go higher, I want to go for it!
  • Make it to a horse show. This is a huge one, and hopefully something I can check off the list before warmer weather rolls around. I’ll be happy with a small local show, but I want to show off my new show coat!
  • Try a jumper class. I have always been an eq rider, ever since the first time I sat on a horse. My trainer always blamed my classical ballet training for that. With this newfound courage comes a newfound desire to go fast. Fast + careful horse = ready for something new.
  • Live through a lesson with no stirrups. Ten years ago my trainer would take away my stirrups every winter, and I wouldn’t get them back til spring. You can bet my legs were more stable than the rock of Gibraltar. I don’t care if I can’t walk afterwards, I want to make it all the way through an hour lesson.
  • Keep up my confidence. This may seem kinda vague, but I’ve always been an extremely timid rider. Since returning as an adult I’ve noticed that I’m a lot braver and willing to try new things, and I want to keep that momentum going. I know there will be bad/scary/intense rides in the future, and I want to be able to take those in stride (literally and figuratively).

Care to share your resolutions for the new year? Think there’s anything I should add?