What a year, eh? I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's end-of-the-year wrap-ups, but in the meantime here's mine.
In February I sucked up my courage and sat astride my mare for the first time since my ankle was broken.
In March I had my first epiphany of the year: A diet of hay and forage are not enough, Gwen and Coriander were showing signs of mineral deficiences. My hunt began to find a diet that would keep them at their best.
In April I got my first trimming client, Zippy, a horse whose hooves continue to fascinate me.
In May I had another epiphany, this one was about the sensitive nature of Gwen's eyes, explaining her fear of everything white and bright.
In June I realized that I had been letting Coriander get away with too much under saddle, resulting in a horse that decided he could run off at any time. We had two weeks of awful rides before we got the running off sorted out and I finally figured out that the real solution was to keep him on his toes- to be a rider instead of a passenger.
Later in June I made a bad decision and got bucked off of Gwen. Fortunately I wasn't hurt but it did make some holes in her training glaringly evident. We commenced with ground driving which turned out to be fantastic for both of us.
In July it was hot, hot, HOT and I did a lot of hand walking my horses, getting Gwen more comfortable with the outside world.
I also figured out that I had missed some things clicker training Coriander and set out to teach him some new skills and make sure he understood the process.
In August I went to trimming school and well and truly learned how to trim hooves the right way, it was an awesome experience. Plus- donkeys!
In September I received my beautiful Ansur saddle that I am completely in love with. It's been on five horses so far and they've all liked it. It is amazing.
Unfortunately it also showed me something I had been trying to ignore for months- that my old Crosby was hurting Coriander, which he tried to tell me by running away every time I went to put it on his back. He still tenses up to run sometimes when I bring out the Ansur, which makes me really sad, but once the saddle is on his back he breathes a sigh of relief. He'll never wear the Crosby again.
In September I also got back on Gwen after the bucking incident and reaped the rewards of all that ground driving. It made a huge difference!
In October, I made an interesting discovery about impacted bars and decided that I needed to further my education so I can teach Coriander to carry himself correctly.
In November I started taking dressage lessons on better educated horses than mine so I could learn about contact and how a horse in self-carriage should feel. This has contributed to my last and ongoing epiphany of 2011- contact is important, and I'm learning how to use it correctly.
Also in November, I made the decision to put Coriander on vacation and focus on Gwen. Unfortunately, them living on a Christmas tree farm put a bit of a damper on my plans to ride her on the weekends but in the past week we've made a ton of progress- she trots under saddle now!
Sure it took 11 months to get from mounting to trotting, but life is in the journey, not the destination right? And this year was quite the journey. I can't wait to see what happens in 2012!
Also- not a bone broken, that's an improvement on last year :)