Christmas holidays are over and the New Year was brought celebrated in fine form. Now it's time for some reflextion on 2016 and to set some goals for the new year. Last year a lot happened.
John and I had a lovely holiday in Spain last March. It was just the right break we both needed to say goodbye to the winter. It also helped pass the time as I was desperate to get a chance to use my new sand ring.
In April I set some goals for the horses. I decided I wanted to make sure Floyd was in regular work. Derby is a grown up boy now and for the most part behaves himself but Floyd had lots of things he needed to do learn to do.
May I finally got to start using the sand ring. Derby as usual came along fairly quickly but Floyd took longer to get used to the idea of leaving his friends in the barn and to work alone. I was at the point when I thought he was never going to settle down and bingo he got the idea.
June I started making short trailering trips with Floyd over to Edge of Lanark Farm, Ron and Judy have always been kind to let me bring Derby and Floyd over to get used to short trailering trips. That went fairly well so I decided in July I'd start trailering down to Balsam Hall and take some lessons from Morag O'Hanlon.
Floyd and I trailered back and for to Kingston July and August. We had brilliant weeks and weeks with a few setbacks. At the end of August Floyd we had a particularly not great session. Selena came to the rescue and Morag suggested Floyd stay at Balsam Hall for a few days for a mini boot camp with the A-team riders.
The rides Selena, Anne-Marie and Tori put in on Floyd paid off and in September I was actually able to take Floyd to two jumping clinics at Sunset Farms. It was a blast, Floyd was brillant as far as I was concerned and I felt well maybe my work this summer and the many long trailer rides had paid off.
October brought some new challenges for the family as my sister Wendy suffered a stroke on Thanksgiving weekend. Thankfully her recovery is coming along, with much thanks to the staff at the Perth Hospital. I can't say enough about the great work the nursing staff, physio and occupational therapists, cleaning and lunch workers as well as the doctors have done to help my sister through her recovery.
November I felt the need to be creative. I had worked on a design in the fall for jump fillers. Wooden shapes that you could attach to jumps using velcro and elastic so they could dress up poles, panels, hedge boxes and standards. The design worked using mass produced shapes. so in November I started making my own designs and cutting out my own shapes. It was a lot of fun and I received a number of commissions that kept me busy until Christmas.
December saw the end to my big black truck. I had been hoping he would stay around with me for a couple more years. It was the coldest in December about a week before Christmas. I was driving into Carleton Place when the light came on in the truck and it said "FAIL SAFE ENGINE". The truck was very close to the March Ford dealership and I managed to coast the Black truck into the service lot. The news wasn't great and so after one sleepless night I came to the decision to replace the truck. I now own a 2016 silver F150 that is very nice and ready to pull the freshly painted horse trailer in the new year.
Then Christmas and New Years with many celebrations with family and friend that included lots of endulgence and excess. Oh why do I do this to myself every year.
So that was my reflection of 2016. Now what I'm looking forward to in 2017.
I've decided to join the Ottawa Valley Hunt. I think it will force me to keep both Derby and Floyd into steady regular work. It will mean lots of trailering and hacking out and I look forward to spending the year in the 3rd field.
I also am looking forward to inviting myself along for lots of sledding this winter. I have a very good friend with a lovely team of horses. The best way to get through a Canadian winter is to get out and enjoy it...I'm just very lucky to have friends who let me tag along.
More trips to Balsam Hall. Some of the folks that took part in Morag O'Hanlon's clinic at Sunset Farm last year expressed interest in taking more clinics from Morag this year. We have also talked about taking our horses down for a couple of adult horse boot cames at Balsam Hall next year.
The big goals for me are the same as always, do more, eat better and not take things for granted. Be kind and supportive, try not to be impatient, critical or negative.