As of Saturday, Foster still wasn’t 100%. I left him alone Sunday in hopes that he just needed another day off, and I’m desperately hoping tonight he’ll be back to normal.
In an effort to think positive, and in keeping with last year’s series on the year’s accomplishments, it’s time to start looking back at the overall picture of 2014.
I’ve already done a complete rehash of our shows and the season (parts I and II here), where I detail our debut at the Novice level. But there are also the little things that made it an overall good year for Foster and I as a pair. We met our goal of finishing on a score of less than 35 at an event, and met other goals set early in the year. We moved barns in January, only to find that the level of care was absolutely sub-par, and Foster struggled with weight loss and sore legs from stamping at flies in the heat. This then led to moving barns again in June, where he has flourished with better footing and personalized care.
- Our first 70% score since Intro Dressage, this time at a Recognized show
- First 8 for Foster’s gaits
- Participated in our first Dressage clinic
- Started taking regular dressage lessons
- Schooling second level movements
- Confirming shoulder-in and haunches-in
- Jumping 3’9″
- Learning to ride the backside of a fence
- Angled fences
- First actual showjumping courses
- Successfully jumping in the mud
- Started occasional showjumping lessons
- Improving the gallop
- Making Novice time without issue
- Jumped the scary trakehner and brush fences at Carolina Horse Park
- Training ditches/down banks/fences
- Jumping over fence into water
- Dropping into water/up bank out of water to a fence
- Becoming a super confident cross country horse
- Debuted a helmet cam!
- My first 8 for Rider Score
- New saddle with giant thigh blocks > no more chair seat!
Overall, there haven’t been any gigantic breakthroughs this year. Instead, it’s been a steady improvement on last year, and the pieces seem to just have fallen into place. It really feels like we have the foundation built, and now anything that happens is the icing on the cake. Next year will likely be a bit turbulent as we prepare for another move-up, but hopefully Foster will retain the confidence he gathered this year and be ready for the challenges that await us.
Next up- the house.