A Year in Review: 2017

Usually around this time of year we all start thinking about the year we’ve had and the year to come.  Although it’s the start of a new year it’s an arbitrary time frame.  What is a year really?

12 months

52 weeks

365 days

8760 hours

It makes you think about how well you spent the time you’ve had.  Maybe you’ve lost loved ones, major life changes, gained new loved ones.

This year I’ve lost a beloved uncle who lost his battle early in January.  Family events have not been the same without him.

We also nearly lost a grandmother who is so tough she broke her neck and got back up the stairs to the couch on her own before calling for help.  We thank God she is still with us.

This year I finally left the post office, a temporary job and the worst I’ve had thanks to management and politics.  I will not miss working 7 days a week for 12 hour days in the elements without benefits.

I celebrated five years with my boyfriend and simultaneously signed a mortgage with him.  I was looking for commitment so a 30-year mortgage should do!

On the personal side life is mostly looking in the upward direction and I’m pretty pleased.  Since this is The Green Horseman, however, I want to focus on the equine year.


In January Blade was a canter pole king.  He nailed the poles perfectly and he really seemed to be coming along.  Only a month later, however, he began to show some signs of discomfort.  We had a lameness evaluation in March and an injection of polyglycan and he was back and better than before.

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Blade riding at his finest before his body decided it had enough.  We still find things to do together but I don’t push him too hard anymore.

About 3-4 months later Blade began seeming very uncomfortable.  He had back pain during grooming and during a lesson one day he began to have bucks/flying lead changes in attempts to get comfortable at the canter.  I haven’t really ridden him since June for this reason.  Instead I have been offering him time off, liberty work, bareback rides, desensitizing, and bodywork.

Because Blade has been out of commission I began to ride my trainer’s horses.  It had been roughly 5 or 6 years since riding any other horse besides Blade.  I was nervous at first but it really became a blessing.  Blade’s body simply couldn’t do more and it hindered my ability to grow as a rider.  Riding new horses allowed me to focus on my own riding skills without training  and balancing my own horse.  In the last six months I have ridden eight different horses who all had something new to teach me.  My equitation has been launched forward in the right direction thanks to this experience. In fact, I improved so much I even began to jump again after many years off.

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Riding different horses this year has given me the opportunity to focus on my own equitation and improve faster than I could have with only one horse.

Also in June I attended the Extreme Mustang Makeover for the first time.  After admiring the American mustang for many years and finally getting to know one in person it was my mission to attend one of these events.  I was impressed how well trained many of these horses could become with only 100 days of training, and even more shocked by how affordable they were when auctioned off at the very end.

You can read more about my experience at The Extreme Mustang Makeover

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I was trusted to pet-sit or care for a lot of really great horses other than my own.  Each has a great personality and I have grown to love them like my own.  I find it a big deal for another horse-owner to trust someone else completely to provide care for their animals.  It most certainly isn’t a responsibility I take lightly and I always try to remain diligent and responsive to the needs of the owners and animals.


Right at the end of September I finally launched The Green Horseman.

This site has been so fun to write so far and I have to say I really enjoy each and every bit of feedback I get from you.  Since the site is in it’s infancy I’m always open to suggestions on what you want to see from The Green Horseman.  Thank you so much for your support so far and I hope you’ll share this with others.

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In autumn I was given the rare opportunity to ride in a Hunter Pace, an event I never had imagined participating in.  My trainer trusted me to ride her horse and we had a fantastic day.

Read more about this experience at Autumn Colors, New Experiences, is That a Tree?

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The second week of November marked yet another first for me.  Since childhood I have heard all about Equine Affaire, but never had an opportunity to attend.  This year I not only attended but was blessed with incredible friends who allowed me a place to stay in the camper right on the fairgrounds.  We attended 3 of four days and I had the opportunity to attend clinics, see vendors, and watch the highly spoken of “Fantasia.”

This three day event had so much to discuss I had several posts you might have missed.

Blade’s Got the Blues and Equine Affaire

A First-Timer to Equine Affaire

My 7 Most Memorable Vendors at Equine Affaire

My 5 Most Memorable Clinicians at Equine Affaire 2017

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Finally, although not directly related to horses (yet) we bought our own home!

We had an incredible real estate agent who knew exactly what we wanted and found it. We have finally moved in to our beautiful farmhouse on 13 acres.  In the spring I plan to begin the project that will bring Blade home to my backyard.  We need fencing and shelter.

Big Changes for the Green Horseman

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So looking back at my 2017 I can honestly say that I was very fortunate to have some great experiences.  I have finally found people who I mostly fit in with.  I’m not a big person to make goals or resolutions for several reasons; this year the lack of resolutions led me on the most incredible journey.  I had no plan and I left myself open to opportunities; when I saw the opportunity I took hold and dug in.


How have you spent your 2017?

Are you happy it’s over or do you look back fondly on your memories from this past year?

Would you do anything differently?

Do you plan to change anything in the new year?

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