2013 Accomplishments Part I: The Horse

Dressage at Portofino

Dressage at Portofino

This year has been a big one for Foster and I. After the crappiest winter ever basically the whole winter off, we started our spring season with him being lame and myself being busy (wedding planning > riding, and that’s just the way it goes). So it wasn’t until May that we really started to figure out the problem, but after a plethora of treatments he was finally serviceably sound and ready to go.

After that, it was a matter of rebuilding the lost muscle and teaching him to be confident and trust that the movements wouldn’t be painful. We tried very hard to find zen and I rediscovered how much my horse thrives on positive (vocal) reinforcement.

After that things started moving quite quickly, so without writing a novel here are some of our accomplishments this year:


Shoulder In

Shoulder In


At a dressage show over the summer

At a dressage show over the summer


Show jumping

  • First gymnastics
  • Cantering an entire course
  • 1 & 2 stride combinations
  • Jumping 3’6″
  • 3′-3’3″ courses
Standing next to our first 3'6" (3'7"?) fence

Standing next to our first 3’6″ fence

Showjumping at the Carolina Horse Park

Showjumping at the Carolina Horse Park

Cross Country

Before: Our first XC school in Feb 2012. Note tiny jump and horrible release

Before: Our first XC school in Feb 2012. We’re jumping the log- note my non-existent release

Training Table

After: Training Table Nov 2013

For myself too, I have seen some improvements:

  • Sitting more, using core
  • Better elbow-to-bit line
  • Looking straight
  • Leg Position
  • Better release during and after fences
  • Better use of positive reinforcement
Shameful photo of me jumping Merry in a dressage saddle circa 2007

Shameful photo of me jumping Merry in a dressage saddle circa 2007

Look ma! Soft hands!

Look ma! Soft hands!

Overall I am quite proud of what we have done in essentially 6 months of the year. There have been plenty of ups and downs, but of course that is the nature of owning and training a horse. I can’t wait to see what he does next year!

16 thoughts on “2013 Accomplishments Part I: The Horse

  1. Oh awesome! This is a nice way to recap the year 🙂 You all have definitely improved since I started following! Can’t wait to see where you go next year 🙂

    P.S. I’ll probably steal this little blog idea, ha!

    • Thanks! Youngsters can be so rewarding to work with because you get to see them grow so quickly, and this was definitely Foster’s ‘maturing’ year.

      Steal away! Speaking of borrowing ideas, I’ve been thinking of doing the 5 day challenge idea you and She Moved To Texas have had! Looks like fun 🙂

      • It was! Especially when not much is happening bc of the weather. We stole it from fly on over. She started it to give people something to blog about in the crappy weather, ha!

        And it definitely is fun working with the babies! Wiz made so much progress this year as well. How old is foster again? I always forget.

        • He’s 6. It’s a little weird, because I bought him 2 years ago thinking he was a 3 year old (which he looked like- bum high and all gangly), and then the dentist told me he was actually 4… So he started out being trained like a real baby for about long time before I realized he could do more! Apparently I need to learn more about teeth!

        • Well wiz just turned five but I’m pretty sure he’s going to continue finalizing and maturing through six! Idk how they race horses at 2, so young and undeveloped!! Nothing wrong with a slow start 🙂

  2. Pingback: 2013 Accomplishments | Alchemy Eventing

  3. The positive change in your jump position is awesome! The before after photos are remarkable. You have made huge leaps (pun intended) I’m proud of you 🙂

  4. Pingback: 2014 Resolutions and Goals | A House on a Hill

  5. Pingback: 2014 Accomplishments Part I: The Horse | A House on a Hill

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