Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 - Year In Review

I am enjoying reading everyone's year in review posts and thought it would be good to look back over our 2013.  My 2014 resolution is to be a better blogger!  I get so much enjoyment out of keeping up with all of you thru blogging and need to make it a priority.


Actually taken Feb. 3rd - I have no Jan. pictures of Riva and myself

I started off 2013 with a hernia and had surgery to repair this on January 25th.  I am sure I was not supposed to be riding yet on Feb. 3rd...but we all know how hard it is to stay away!  We spent most of the winter working in draw reins to help with contact and keep Riva working from behind.  I lessoned with Jennifer Conour about once a month and Alexis helped out as much as she could.  We worked on getting ready to compete Training Level.


End of a lesson at Jennifer's

Training Level work and lessons with Jennifer continue.  We concentrate on power from behind and exercises to help with bend.  Riva gets very fit and we look forward to show season.

Riva & Cheers get Spring dentals and vaccines


Lesson at Jennifer's

In March, we start talking about moving to KY due to my husband's job.  He had been working in Georgetown all week and driving home on weekends since the previous fall.  We spent the last week of March in KY to check out boarding facilities and for our daughter to interview with Reese Koffler.

Maplecrest Farm in KY


Serenity Farm in IN

April brings weather nice enough to ride outside again - my favorite!  We spend lots of time riding around the galloping track working on conditioning.  Spring brings lot of rain and mud to Indiana and we fight scratches/mud fever on all 4 of Riva's lower legs. We attend our first show of 2013 at HHP in Edinburgh and compete Training Level 2 & 3 with scores of 62.857 & 62.4.

HHP in Edinburgh, IN


Oldest daughter with us at HHP in Edinburgh, IN

Mother's Day weekend we compete again at HHP in Edinburg and my oldest daughter comes to watch us show for the first time.  We once again compete TL 2 & 3 with scores of 63.214 & 67.2.  We also start packing up our house to move and get it ready to rent to a tenant.  I give notice at my job of 7 years and we start saying our goodbyes to friends in Indiana.

Front porch of our IN home


Cheers and Lex at new barn in KY

June 1st, on my birthday, we move to Georgetown, Ky.  We go back the next day to move the horses to their new barns,  Cheers, our OTTB, goes to a private barn and Riva goes to Maplecrest Farm with Lex.

Riding in Riva's pasture which has hills!

Lex begins her new job and I start looking for one as we settle in to living in Ky.


Maplecrest Farm

Riva gets shod for the first time by the new farrier and goes lame.  We spend all of July getting her sound - lots of vet visits and money spent to get her back to the way she needs to be shod.  Our oldest daughter comes for a weekend visit at the end of July and I continue to job search.

Woodford Reserve in KY

We move our OTTB to another boarding facility in July and he goes on 27/7 pasture board.  New place is closer to where we live and has an indoor arena.


Antebellum Farm in KY

We attend our first KY horse show in August and compete TL 2 & 3 - scores of 75.357 & 68.4.  We move Riva to the barn where Cheers is and I start riding 5-6 days a week again.  I have several 2nd interviews for jobs and get closer to employment.

Antebellum Farm in KY


Heritage Farm in KY

We begin schooling First Level and ride outside as much as possible.  I get a job at USEF and adjust to working until 5 pm thru the week.

Cheers get very fat on KY bluegrass


Lex competes at KHP on Wild Angelica

Alexis competes a client's horse at Kentucky Horse Park and gets another Second Level score towards her USDF Bronze Medal - just one more Third Level score and she will have it!  I start feeling more comfortable in my new job and we continue to school First Level and think about attending a November Snowbird Show at KHP.

Paul and me at Keeneland

We go to Keeneland to watch the yearling auction one Saturday and then attend races on another Saturday.  Lex wins big on a bet on Calvin Borel!

First time betting


Scary warm up arena at Kentucky Horse Park

We decide to compete at the November Snowbird Dressage show at KHP - so thrilling to ride there!  Was our worst show ever - but it is all about the experience.  Competed TL 3 and First 1 - scores of 54.2 & 56.724.

Equally scary indoor was not Riva's favorite place to show


Indoor at Heritage Farm

After the November show, we try changing bits as Riva was becoming a pulling machine.  She responded well to it for a few days, then began raising her head, mini rearing, double barrel kicking, backing widely around the arena, etc.  We changed back to our previous bit and went back in the draw reins.  Will continue to work with the draw reins and normal reins for a month or so.  

Riva says hello to the barn cat - ZaZu

2013 has been a year of big changes for our family and I still am adjusting to a new job and environment. Kentucky is a beautiful state with wonderful opportunities for our daughter.  2014 will bring decisions to be made about our home in Indiana and where we go from here.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a wonderful relaxing Christmas - I know my mare did, as she got a few days off!

We spent last weekend in Indiana to celebrate my oldest daughter's birthday and Christmas with my side of the family.  Got to eat at my two favorite Mexican restaurants (the best Margaritas and staff we have found), go out dancing with our daughter and her boyfriend (miss dancing terribly), and spend some time catching up with my sister and her family and my parents.  

My extended family and growing - my niece is pregnant with twins :)

Christmas day, back in KY, was just the three of us - cooking, eating, and marathon watching of
 A Christmas Story!
Our tree

And of course, presents!  My youngest daughter and husband know just what to buy for me :

My talented husband made the horse shoe necklace holder - it has horse shoe
nails to hang the jewelry from! Love it!

Hope your Christmas was filled with family, friends, and lots of horse related gifts :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Santa Baby

Like many little girls, I wanted a pony or a horse for as far back as I can remember.

Every December, faithfully, I would write my letter to Santa and ask for one.  Never occurring to me that we lived in town - we had a fairly large yard and a garage...I did not see the problem!  Can't say I was not a little disappointed when Christmas morning would arrive and a Breyer would be under the tree instead of the real thing.

My Grandmother was my babysitter before I started school and we used to take walks to see the horse who lived at the end of town on a regular basis.  He/She (not sure!) was a Palomino and I would try and coax him over to feed treats to and touch.  I even remember drawing pictures of this horse.

Over the years, my parents would occasionally take me to a rent by the hour trail ride place in a town near us and when my husband and I were first married, we went several times to one in Illinois.

When Alexis came along and inherited my Breyer collection and then a love for the real thing, I could not have been happier.  Sharing this passion with my youngest has created a bond that means the world to me.

My husband surprised me with an adorable filly, that I had been mooning over, six and a half years ago and made my childhood dream come true.

Riva did not appear under a tree on Christmas morning, she is not a golden Palomino, and she is a Diva, but she is a gift that would be hard to top!

Enjoy your holidays and may all your dreams come true!