Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Update and 2013 in Review

2013 was a great year.  In 2011, Pie and I had our Very Bad Accident (three broken bones, a severe concussion, a multi-month recovery and serious loss of confidence in my case), and we also entered into a period of dealing with EPM (all three horses) and Lyme (Pie).  2012 was a year of big changes - new barn (with an indoor and where I didn't have to clean stalls or do daily turnout) and where I really rededicated myself to becoming the better horse person I needed to be for my horses.  Red and Pie went to stay with Heather, and they and I trained with her - for about 45 days in Pie's case and 90 days in Red's case.  Pie and Red and I rode in the Mark Rashid clinic that spring.  Substantial progress was made by all concerned, but particularly by me in terms of my body position and mechanics.  In 2013, I was able to ride consistently all year, with all three horses, and we made great progress in terms of connection and softness, and I continued my exploration of how to ride better so I could stay out of my horses' way.  Here are our rides for 2013: total rides: 673; Dawn: 200, Pie: 223, Red: 250.  Some of those rides were short, or only at the walk, but we showed up and we did it together. In June, I also had the wonderful opportunity to take a private lesson with Mark Rashid, and I've been working on his "less is more" assignment to me ever since.

My horses continue to be my best teachers, and every time I ride, they help me ride better - we've been working a lot on my body position lately and on freeing up their movement.

Updates: Red's corneal abrasion healed up without incident, in less than a week - whew!  And I've purchased a new saddle for him - an About the Horse #2 tree light trail saddle, 16" seat - very much like the one I've already got, but a #2 instead of a #1 tree, and black instead of brown.  I dealt with a very nice lady in Minnesota, and the saddle was shipped last Monday and should be here soon.  This is my second purchase of a used saddle over the internet - in both cases through the used saddle section of the About the Horse web site, which makes a big difference I think - and my experiences with the sellers have been excellent. I have 7 days to try it out once it gets here, so I'm keeping fingers crossed - Red will let me know if it fits, but Heather has a #2 tree saddle that fit both Red and Pie well, so I think it'll be fine.  If it's good, Red will need a new, black, bridle . . . I don't get to shop a lot for new horse stuff as I have so much already, but there are exceptions . . . Here are some pictures of the new saddle:

The saddle looks to be very well cared for and in very good condition.  I think Red will look very good in black, don't you?

My goals for 2014 are more of the same - more riding - every chance I get - and more improvement in my position and softness so my horses can offer me more freedom of movement, connection and softness.  I feel a very strong bond with all three, very individual, horses, and I'm looking forward to spending as much time as possible with them in the New Year.

I think there may be some posts coming on my answer to a boarder's question to me last week: "why are your horses so calm?" . . .

A very happy New Year to you and your equine companions!


  1. The saddle looks very nice and comfy too. Good luck with the fit. Red will look very handsome in black. And, of corse, a new bridle in black is an absolute necessity to match!

    Have a very healthy Happy New Year with lots of good rides.

  2. Happy New Year Kate! You are by far one of the most dedicated horse women I have ever come across. You did not let that accident get you down and made sure that your horses got the best care possible. Kudos to you for being consistent, kind and caring.

    1. It was pretty hard to come back from that, physically and mentally/emotionally, but I owed it to my horses and they're the ones who made it possible.

  3. I like how the stirrups are nicely turned out already. I think black looks best on all horses, and only some horses look good in brown. New saddles need new bridles/reins/girths/breastcollars, etc: ) I went through that in 2013: )

  4. That is an impressive number of rides in 2013! It is amazing how much positive change you have brought about since your accident in 2011. I hope 2014 is another great year for you and your gang!

  5. Coming back from the riding accident is such a major accomplishmnet. Finding and following through on the right training for the horses and you was such a great thing to do. I like your assignment from the Mark Rashid clinic - it's something I really want to focus on for 2014.
    Happy New Year! Hope you have another successful year with the horses.

  6. Wow Kate, what a great compliment that is to you, and your horses!! At least, I'd certainly take it that way. Calmness is what we all strive for. I think Red will look very good in black. Hope the saddle fits him, and you and works out. It was a great year for you and your horses, and I wish another good year for you and your ponies!!

  7. The saddle looks lovely. I hope you and Red ....and Pie too...all enjoy it!

    You've had a great year, now all you can do is make 2014 even better!

    Happy New Year!


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