Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Year in Review

Well I hope I have an audience to read this post (I'm going to act like I do), as it was more labor intensive to pull together than originally planned - but so fun to do!!!

I struggled through relationship battles and built a lot of character along the way.  Found the time to play with some bears get into the field to visit bear dens for my thesis project and made a new friend in the process.  I skied with Nat'l Ski Patrol for the first time and fell in love & made a heaping load of deer jerky on my own for the first time.  Oh, and was featured in a friend's hobby video climbing.

I tried to make the most of the crappy weather.  Enjoyed a few little road trips along the way.  Kept on my pursuit of graduate opportunities, and got a random text about a free horse.  I decided what-the-hell-why-not and said yes to going to see him to make a decision.  The day before my birthday I had agreed to bring Gideon Orion into my life.

Moved Orion to my home town earlier than anticipated due to appalling conditions at the originally-planned barn (stalls not mucked out in > 4 mo.!).  I interviewed for my current job - my first real interview experience full of thought-provoking questions.  The weather started to warm and I went to DC to see some cherry blossoms.

Crunch time came into play as I hurried to complete my thesis and study for upcoming exams.  Second semester senior year of undergrad was not the time for me to begin procrastinating - but it happened.  I ate way too many ramps and loved every moment of it.  On my weekends I made it hope to begin Orion's endurance training with some trail rides.  He got all vaccinated up and we had a lesson with an accomplished equestrian where Orion learned new concepts VERY quickly.  I got the job offer and accepted it!

I graduated from college!  ...and might have gone to my big graduation ceremony more hungover than I'd ever been in my life.  Seriously, don't head to the restroom while folks are ordering your drink for you and tell them, "Whatever you're getting!"  I returned to a glass FULL of Maker's Mark.  Yeah, I promptly ordered a ginger-ale.  My friend's foal was born, a beautiful filly with lots of chrome.  The New River Rendezvous was in full swing and I chose to volunteer; I had an absolute blast connecting with folks new and old and groovin' to Freekbass.  Orion's training was in full swing with daily trail rides or pampering on his off days.  I began the pursuit of starting a 3 year old horse who had no socialization other than his mother whom he'd never been away from - this pursuit would end in August after many failed requests to get his owners to socialize him and remove his mother from the situation.  Oh, and I survived the first rapture.

I started my semi-big-girl job.  Semi because its only "temporary".  Had my first riding lesson in YEARS.  Continued Orion's training and noted his increasing endurance skill.  Began my lessons about natural hoof care.  Started my 6 month OEC training course for Nat'l Ski Patrol.

Orion pulled up lame right at the beginning of the month.  What was originally deigned as a minor issue quickly resolved itself into a huge problem.  I tossed in the towel for the endurance race and began intensive rehab on the poor boy.  Most. Spoiled. Horse.  I found time to have some incredible weekend adventures jet skiing and hiking which led to a great new friendship full of deep conversation.  I reflected on what I liked and didn't like about my life and my actions and put them into words so I could begin to rectify them.

I volunteered and scribed for veterinarians at the endurance race and learned a TON.  I fell in love with the sport all over again and even harder than I thought possible.  Without even advertising Orion as "for sale", I was contacted with a request to buy him.  I'd planned on rehabbing him and selling in spring 2012 (as I'd realized he would never stand up to the equine pursuits my heart longs for), but figured I'd let her see him anyway.  Despite noting all of his negative points during the pre-purchase observations, Jordan was still interested and bought him (& he's fat, sassy, and super happy with her and her with him - it really is the perfect match!). I went to a semi-luxurious week of training for work and gained weight in the process, oh well.    Brought Stanley horse back into my life.  Survived the earthquake.

As the seasons began to change I tried to get out with the dog and with equine partners as much as possible and enjoy the weather.  I enjoyed a change of pace at work with the opportunity to spend two weeks out of the office in the field - one of which involved the planting of 433 trees!  I [finally] found a helmet for riding that didn't give me headache/neckache/make me throw it off within moments of wearing it.  Now I'm finally a responsible equestrian for the first time in 3 [fortunate] years of not wearing one.

With autumn in full swing I pursued the outdoors as much as I was able and enjoyed some festivals along the way.  Took a couple formal jumping lessons.  And most notably, went to Cape May, NJ to trap and band raptors!  Best experience ever with one of my favorite people ever!  Oh, and I survived the second rapture.

I got crafty after joining Pinterest.  I geared up for winter with some warm new boots, played with some puppies, watched all of Heartland, started playing around with jumps on Stan, and got stuck on horseback amidst a bunch of angry re-routed Sunday traffic due to some crazy guy running amok with a high-powered rifle.  I decided at the end of the month to commit to a year of yoga - every day.

Completed my OEC training, passed the test, and became a Nat'l Ski Patroller.  Welcomed what little snow has arrived with exuberance and played in it with my snow dog.  Continued equine pursuits despite the snow, celebrated a year of blogging, noted my progress with yoga, and reflected on resolutions old and new.

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