This year was marked by:
I made the difficult decision to reduce my herd from 5 to 3 by sending Lily and Norman off to an excellent retirement home, Paradigm Farms in Tennessee (thanks, Melissa and Jason!). This was hard to do, but has turned out very well for them (Lily's healthy and Norman's probably having more fun than he's ever had) and for me - taking care of 3 horses in our climate and with our facilities is much more feasible for me. I talk about that in my post "Forever Horses".
I got a wake-up call about hurrying and inattention when Dawn kicked me in the jaw and arm back in June. My post "Don't Let Your Mare Sniff Noses . . ." captures that moment. I had some fear/confidence issues to overcome as a result of that incident.
Our weather through the spring and summer was pretty bad - very wet and cold - and Maisie ended up with a bout of concussion laminitis, so we didn't progress much if at all in our training, but she's feeling good now and I have hopes and plans for next year.
My older daughter made amazing progress with her rescue horse Miranda, and is now showing her in the 3' hunters, and may sell her in the year to come. My daughter continues to pursue her goals of working in the horse industry, despite the long hours and limited pay opportunities for someone starting out - I'm very proud of her for trying to do this.
My younger daughter started college, leaving me with Dawn as "my" horse. Thinking about working with Dawn has been a big challenge for me. I've had to think very hard about what I was doing and why, and how to approach and progress with Dawn and her training. My post "The Horse is Thinking About Leaving . . . the Horse Has Already Left" is probably my personal favorite post from the past year. Some of my other personal favorites are on the sidebar. Dawn and I have made steady, slow progress together this year and I think there's more good things to come.
I had the good fortune to audit another Mark Rashid clinic in July, and did a series of posts, starting with this one, about my learning there - I always learn new and important things when I attend one of Mark's clinics, whether as a rider or auditor. I'm thinking that this year I may try to audit a Harry Whitney clinic.
My wonderful old horse Noble began to have some metabolic/health issues at age 29, but with some veterinary assistance he seems to be improving - I hope he's with me in good health for a good while yet.
It's certainly been an eventful year - I'm looking forward to the year to come, with its challenges and delights. May you, your families and all your horses and other animals have an excellent New Year!