Adios 2019

Oh hey, I have a blog, don’t I?  And I’ve apparently forgotten to post anything since February and suddenly it’s December 31st and I’m all, OMG, year’s end, and stuff.  So without further ado … here’s a short post to show that I haven’t totally disappeared off the face of the earth.

I didn’t get to do everything that I wanted in horse riding this year.  We didn’t do any shows, or endurance rides even though I had hoped to, but things happened and choices had to be made.  My horses wanted for nothing, but I didn’t have a lot of extra money to toss around (series of bad decisions that weren’t horse-related) and it didn’t help that there was a minor vet crisis (more on that later) and while things were not the amazing year I’d anticipated, there is always next year (and the year after that and the year after that)

It’s been a year of ups and downs; we’ve had a couple of special horses pass at the barn, and my very first riding instructor passed away just before Halloween.  Among those special horses was the foster kid, Zaffiro, the Arab I was taking care of for a friend.  Things were getting kind of rough money-wise, but it looked like things had been smoothed out with a rescue being able to help contribute, but unfortunately he passed away from colic (and possible neuro issues).  It left me in a state of mixed feelings because I’d grown to care for him so much, but I was also relieved that financial concerns were gone for his owner, who has been in a nursing home for several years now.

On the other hand, I continue to be eternally grateful that Jet remains with us.  Things looked dicey for her last year, but she has been doing well, if somewhat gimpy (she’s retired, she’s on meds and she is still Mitch’s companion so I am continuing to let her choose her time).  She has gained a lot of weight this year compared to looking skinny last year, so all in all, she’s what you’d call ‘optimal weight’ for a DSLD horse (not too much weight or it’s harder on their pasterns)  She’s always been a bit ribby, but her butt looks great.  I am glad she still has the gumption in life, because she’s still willing to live (oh the noises she makes when demanding her hay net, plus she gets alfalfa for all meals so that’s a perk)

I graduated university in June, with a Bachelor’s degree.  Still trying to finalize plans for grad school, but not making any decisions yet.  I got approved with a new costume in the 501st Legion, and am now a Biker Scout (from Return of the Jedi).  I was approved in late July and have trooped 9 times with it so far, including several nights at the Zoo’s Halloween event, twice at the hospital, and also at some other charity events as well as the two local premieres of The Rise of Skywalker in last month.

Mitch has been doing fabulously well all year.   He’s terribly cute, of course, and color-coordinated because I’m OCD like that.   I did end up getting that Wintec Pro dressage saddle I’d mentioned back in January, and sold the Tekna AP later in the spring.  The Wintec Pro was $60 and I couldn’t pass up a deal like that.   It’s become one of my favorite saddles, in that I prefer riding in it.  I’ll throw the Abetta endurance on if I feel I need the extra secured-in feel, but otherwise, the deep seat on the pro really makes it comfortable to ride in.

  We did not get to do any dressage shows, and the one endurance ride I had planned was a no-go because he had an abscess.  Now, I don’t want to say he got Dryland Distemper, because we couldn’t be sure since the vet couldn’t culture it, but he got a pretty good sized lump on his chest for a few months.  Despite the lump (because at the time, even the vet wasn’t sure what it could be) we did haul out to our favorite stomping grounds in Ellwood.  My trailer looked like ‘abandoned derelict’ because for some reason, even being parked out in full sun, it got some moss and whatnot growing on it.  We had a great time with our friends, and Mitch had a wonderful time out on the trails.

However, a couple of weeks later, the lump ended up being an abscess, so that put paid to our riding plans for a while.  The endurance ride, even at the intro level, was out.  And I more or less didn’t feel like working him any faster than a walk once he finally healed up enough.

And then of course, the rain started…

So here we are today, on December 31st, 2019.  I ended the year as I began it, in the saddle of my favorite and bestest buddy.  2020 marks the 21st year of Mitch’s life (hey, he’s legally able to drink in human years now) and our Gotcha Day will be our 12th anniversary together.  It’s been a ride and half, when i look back to us a decade ago, we were just starting out.  And we’re still going strong.  I don’t know if we will do all the riding things I want to do in 2020.  My pocketbook is going to be the judge of that, but at least one thing I hope to do is more trail riding off property, even if it means going out by myself.  Thankfully, that’s only going to be the cost of gas.

I’m grateful that I still have Mitch in my life, thorough everything we’ve been through, and continue to look forward to many more years together.