Q✔ Stay healthy and happy physically and mentally
✔ Continue to see steady improvement and be able to put this whole suspensory ordeal in the rear-view mirror this year
✔ At the proper time, build back strength and fitness (through hiking and dressage that will be intensely focused at the walk for a few months)
✔ Achieve a more acute understanding of the aids and get her to accept contact
⪝ Teach her lateral movements under saddle
✔ Build her body back in a more balanced fashion that it was preceding her injury
✔ Enjoy many slow miles of trails (whereby "slow" is mostly walking and meandering and "many" is any amount >20 miles for the year)
We've begun working on dressage and she seems to like the bit she's working with (double-jointed loose ring), which is big for Q because she much prefers her hackamore. Even though her fitness is still subpar compared to what I'm accustomed to, she's much more balanced than she has been in a few years. Posting to both diagonals feels even and I find myself posting along to her left diagonal (she prefers her right and used to fuss more when I posted the weaker diagonal) without knowing it, which is something that never happened before!
She's moving off my leg in the beginnings of lateral movement, but we aren't quite there yet! Still, progress is progress, and I'll take it.
Griffin✔ Stay healthy and happy physically and mentally
✔ Build and develop our prowess at dressage and jumping
✔ Travel and compete in at least two shows
✘ Ride in at least two clinics with Stephen
✘ Take at least two lessons with a jumping trainer
✔ Spend some time perfecting our gallop - something I've never focused on before
What a huge year for the grey guy putting a dressage schooling show and two schooling HTs under our belts. We went out into a new and admittedly scary world of competition this year and Grif blew me away. I guess I kind of blew my own expectations for myself out of the water, too. The sky is seriously the limit with this horse - he has SO much try.
We didn't even try to make it to ride in a clinic of any kind this year and despite best efforts to go to jumping lessons, the communication with my trainer of choice fell through after a few emails. C'est la vie for busy people. I'm already making plans to resolve this for the new year and I hope it will be easier now that I have my own truck and trailer and live an hour closer to where I need to go!
Stan✔ Stay healthy and happy physically and mentally
✔ Continue to build fitness with the goal of having a sleek, muscular athlete who doesn't look his age
✔ Ride > 200 miles on him for the year
✔ Compete in at least one LD
Oh, Stan. The very best QH there ever was. I had an amazing year with this guy. We completed the LD at RBTR in 13th place thanks to a miraculously abnormal cool August day. Without a doubt, I know this horse could have success at LDs and 50s in the future if they are spring and fall rides. If I can get him into shape for them, I hope to pursue a 50 or two with him before his true golden years.
We polished off the year with over 265 miles together, though the number is likely closer to 365 thanks to Stan's adventure in September that I have yet to share on the blog (I'm waiting on the meager media I was promised because the post will be wasted without media). What a good horse, this one. I love him to death.
Kenai✔ Stay healthy and happy physically and mentally
✔ Continue to build strength
✔ Maintain a healthy weight and diet
✔ Keep him comfortable on whatever combination of supplements help him the most
Kenai has had a great year. He's still moving great and seems really happy. I'm switching up his food again (began this morning) to see if I can find a better combo of things to help not only his joints but his ailing coat, as well. His alopecia has gotten so much worse this year and it breaks my heart to see him looking so ragged. However, he's happy and has no care in the world about his balding butt, tail, neck, and abdomen and his happiness and freedom of movement is what matters the most. We're working with the vet to see if there is anything else we can do for his alopecia, so we'll see what 2018 brings in that department. My only goal for my best guy is to keep him moving without pain and keep enjoying all the hiking and skiing adventures we can!
Myself✔ Stay healthy and happy physically and mentally
✔ Lead climb above a 5.8
⪝ Conquer at least one trail on Canaan Mountain without hike-a-biking
✘ Bike North Fork Mountain again faster than before
✔ Build a stronger body
✘ Advance my mandolin skill
✔ Build my photography and editing prowess as well as my small photography side business
Mountain biking and music took a very firm back seat this year due to my job getting absolutely crazy and all-consuming during the summer months. While I did bike a trail on Canaan Mountain without hike-a-biking, it was a trail on the lower apron of the mountain that had nary a rock compared to the rest of the mountain's trails. This goal will have to move forward into 2018.
However, what I lacked in biking I more than made up for with rock climbing this summer before I injured my rotator cuff (womp womp womp). I led a few 5.9s for the first time in my life, and one of them in particular was no gimme! I'm still proud of that lead and the strength I built in my body leading up to it. I was completing 100+ assisted pull-ups 2-3 days a week as part of my training and was nearing my unassisted pull-up record that I haven't touched since college of 12+; pull-ups of any kind indicate to me how strong my climbing is as I can only excel at them when I'm climbing a lot.
The other big success for me this year was launching my photography website and side business. I've had quite a bit of success and even have a few bookings for 2018 already. I'm not looking to dive full force into it because of my other life's passions, but what I have accomplished is right where I wanted to be and I'm really enjoying myself.
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Overall, it's been a great and successful year. 2018 looks really promising and very exciting. I'm eager to see what is in store!