Also, fair warning... While I chose just one photo for each year, I also wrote a small novel to fill in the blanks cause one photo definitely doesn't tell a full story!
I rehomed my mare Aries this same year to what would be her forever home. A friend of mine was able to take her in and used her for some lessons. It was a wonderful situation for everyone and she stayed with my friend until she eventually succumbed to old age many years later.
Mowgli the pony was also sold this year. He went to a forever home a few towns over from me. He teaches little kids and has a tiny pony friend too. Many days I kind of wish I had kept him myself, but he's loved and happy. So no real regrets.
My horse Jasper ALSO was sold this year. (I am terrible about collecting horses, but apparently in 2011 I did a lot of letting go.) Jasper and I were never right for each other. He really needed to be in a more professional program than I could provide as a working amateur who didn't really have a trainer at the time. He was sold to a wonderful kid with a great trainer, and they had many years of successes together.
Rio showed some in the adult hunters this year as well, but I think he may have gone into the winter with a tendon injury that year. Hard to recall, he was king of soft tissue injuries!
2011 was the year I battled the flying squirrels in my house. And they brought a few friends, GRAY squirrels! It was chaos.
Rio spent most of the year rehabbing from his injury. He showed in the alumni class at the Saratoga show since the jumps were tiny, but otherwise had an easy year of mostly flatting.
I did a lot of running that year including my second half marathon and my first (and only) Ragnar Relay. I also managed to fall while running the 5K at the Boston Marathon which was pretty embarrassing. But makes for a good story at least!
Ducky joined the family in 2013 too. He was a challenge that hony! He was pretty good this year, he hadn't yet figured out how to be a stationary hony.
My first niece was born in 2013 and Artie joined the family too! So it was a big year for new family members.
Ducky moved out for awhile this summer to spend some time at Cowboy Camp. This was the year of the stationary hony! Not a good trait in a riding horse. He came home early fall and seemed to have learned something while away.
Jampy continued showing in the hunters and equitation. We didn't show as much as I was reluctant to leave Rio for too long. But we did well and qualified and showed at New England Finals again.
This was the year that Rio had the crazy foot issue. We thought he had an abscess but when my vet tried to dig it out, it just turned into proud flesh. It was very painful for him, but with the help of my vets and farrier we got him through it!
This was also the last year I showed Jampy. We had a good year, but mostly stuck to the 3' equitation. We were 10th at Ct finals that year.
And the day after Thanksgiving that year Romey joined the family!
I also threw Rio the most epic 20th birthday party, complete with a nearly life sized cutout of him and a pizza truck. Fifty of his closest friends came and even brought him presents! It was a great time!
Badger spent the summer doing some shows with trainer and gaining experience. I met up with them when I could and got to take some lessons on him in VT.
Jampy stayed home this year. He wasn't really unsound, but his age was catching up with him. We did plenty of schooling and having fun at home, but he didn't show.
I had really hoped to have Romey and Badger both showing with me in the baby greens that year, but it never came to fruition. Badger was a bit sassy for me, and Romey just never got sound enough. Those things were kind of a bummer, but I rode that high of getting back on Rio to balance things out.
Rio started out the year doing some riding, but by the fall he was pretty unsound and earned his second retirement. I would sit on him from time to time, but mostly just to walk around and eat grass in the yard.
Badger started the year well in Florida, but once he came north and went to his first show up here at HITS Saugerties, his summer of showing came to an abrupt end. He pulled a shoe there along with half his hoof. He was never horribly unsound, but he was very sore, and stayed that way all summer. It was pretty frustrating.
Romey was basically in the same boat. After several vet visits, we finally discovered that at some point, probably during his racing career, he had fractured his leg way up high near his hip. He wasn't in any pain, but he had a hitch in his get-along that would always be there. So obviously, his career as a hunter was over before it started. Romey never seemed very happy at my farm, so I started looking for another job for him. Fortunately, the lady I got him from took him back and she was able to place him in a trail riding home where he is loved and spoiled rotten by a vet tech mom and her daughter.
The worst part was Jampy foundering in early May. That put an end to his riding career. That meant I had two officially retired horses in my care. And zero riding horses. It was really hard getting Jampy through the first month or so of the laminitis. I worked from home for a few weeks so I could change his ice boots every two hours. I slept in four hour blocks to make sure the boots never got warm overnight. But we got him through! Eventually he graduated to hand walking and going out in the smallest walkout.
Badger stayed in Florida for the first half of the year. He was really starting to get going again, but I had finally admitted to myself that he and I were not a good match. I sold him in the fall to a wonderful lady who loves him to pieces. They've done lots of fun things together including showing at the KY horse park in the adult medal finals.
Rio actually had an okay year in 2018. I didn't ride him, but we lunged once in awhile and did a lot of grooming and grazing. I missed riding him, but really loved spending time with him. He really was the sweetest guy.
My neighbor up the street was kind enough to share her horse Eddie with me some this year, and I got to go to two small horse shows with him. It was a ton of fun, and felt great to wear show clothes again! My friend Katie shared her horse Bradley with me quite a lot too, so I was really lucky to get to keep riding some throughout the year.
The best part of 2018 was welcoming Eros to the family. As you all know by now I'm completely smitten with him. Definitely the highlight of 2018. Oh and I got the trailer too!
I'm breaking the rule for 2019. I earned that for this year. It's just impossible not to pick a photo for everyone. But I'm going to talk my way through them, so get your popcorn. This might take a bit.
This year was the worst. Seriously. And it's sort of ending the same way it started... Only different. I started this year with two unsound horses, Rio and Jampy. And then Eros also was off for much of the winter. So three unsound horses. Which is not a good ratio.
Anyway, things started looking up for Jampy at the end of March. He got x-rays done that cleared him to start turning out in the ring and getting back to work under saddle. It was really exciting!
Now I had Rio home alone and that was pretty upsetting to me. So just about a month after losing Jampy, Shiny joined the herd.
Shortly after Fefe moved in, I found Pammon. Things were really looking up!
And then the thing finally happened for Rio. I came home from work one night and he didn't want to stay on his feet. I really didn't think it was that serious, but at 4 in the morning, I had to make a decision I knew would come one day, but didn't expect so soon.
Not long after losing Rio, Pammon tore his check ligament, and then proceeded to somehow make it about 100 times worse. He's finishing the year at the vet's clinic. I'm really starting to miss him, but I think he'll be home in the next few weeks.
Shiny is fighting through her abscess. I'm hoping by the time I get home from vacation she'll be on the mend. Poor girl.
Eros has been the constant for me these last few months, and I'm probably developing a really unhealthy attachment to him. Fortunately, horses don't care about that stuff.
I really am grateful for all of you for helping me through this year (or decade maybe). It's been a long ten years, and I really never would have guessed how it would end. But here we are! Starting the decade with two red heads and a blond! (And Fefe!)
See ya 2019. Won't miss you.