Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

New Year's is one of those "gateway moments", where we often pause to look back, and then look ahead, as we pass from one year to the next. I don't usually do New Year's resolutions, but looking back can help clarify what I want to do next in my life with horses. It was a busy year - a lot of things happened, and I was challenged to think about some things in a new way.

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!

20 comments:

  1. Thanks Kate and good wishes to you and yours for the coming year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a nice reflection post looking back at the last year with horses. I hope you and your family have a happy horse New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  3. And a happy New Year to you and yours as well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks! And a happy new year to you and your family (and the horses, of course! )

    ReplyDelete
  5. One thing is for sure; when you have horses there is never a dull moment. They keep us on our toes and guessing, but we horse folks wouldn't have it any other way. Your post made me reflect on what happened in the past year and what is possible in the coming year.

    Wishing you, your family and your herd all good health and an interesting fulfilling New Year ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The possibilities are endless, particularly when you are dedicated to learning, aren't they?

    You are one of the people who keeps me going when I don't think I can. Thanks for that gift in 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  7. A nice time to reflect .Have a HAppy New Year! All the best in 2010

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Kate, a Happy New Year to you and your family, let's hope it's a good one!! x

    ReplyDelete
  9. That was an interesting look back. You've had a full year.

    Best Wishes in 2010!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Have a wonderful Hogmanay and all my very best for the coming year.

    Particular good wishes to lovely Noble, I hope you're blessed with another healthy year with your old chum x

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Kate, and all the best wishes for the year to come to you and your horses!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happy new year!

    I look forward to reading more about your horses in 2010.

    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  13. Have a Happy and Healthy New year!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Reading this post, I have felt that I have walked near you for your year. I remember all your posts about the things you mentioned and yes you have had a big year. All the best for 2010. I am sure you will have a wonderful horsey year!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I agree with Nina, I remembered every post you mentioned, had no need to click on the links. I hope you keep blogging as it has been fun to follow your progress. And of course thank you so much for allowing us to enjoy Lily and Norman.

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  16. All the best for the new year .....I hope you continue to have a fun time with your horses and opportunities that come you way. Thanks for the wonderful posts in 2009 that have the rest of us reflecting on our own practices. I look forward to reading more.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happy New Year to you too! And please give Noble a kiss from me. Old wise horses are simply the best!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Happy New Year, Kate! Nice to have "met" you online this year. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting - we appreciate it. No spam or marketing comments will be published.