Boy… what a year, huh? Life doesn’t look the same in December as it did in January (for the better, I think)! Let’s take a very brief trip back through the months and look at the highlights of what all happened in my world this year.
We bought Gemma! Was it partially because I was having a complete mental breakdown about Presto’s mystery lameness? Perhaps. It’s fine.
A couple weeks later Presto got an MRI which showed us that he “just” had a bone bruise rather than the 9000 various career-ending soft tissue injuries that I had built up in my head over the preceding month.
At the end of the month Hillary took Henry to a jumper show and did the 1.10m, which was fucking adorable.
Hillary and I launched the Patreon, which… despite how skeptical I was about it in the beginning, it has been AMAZING and the community that it’s resulted in is one of my favorite things to come out of the entire year.
I got a new-to-me dressage saddle and gave it a very satisfying makeover. It’s been a great purchase.
Presto went out to West Texas to do some small paddock rest to heal from his bone bruise, where he proceeded to take a few years off Michelle’s life.
We did a quick trip out to Ocala to get the farm ready for the seasonal boarders.
Gemma got the all-clear from the vet to start back to work, and I discovered that she is a Very Fancy Good Girl.
Presto had a giraffe-themed 5th birthday party.
Gemma went on an outing to the local XC facility, where she jumped her first jumps.
I was off the rails busy trying to get everything ready to move to Florida, including the tiny house and the horses.
We had the most epic Lady’s Weekend trip to Kentucky, where we also got Pat Your Horse tattoos.
We moved to Florida! All 3 horses and all my shit driving halfway across the country ala Beverly Hillbillies.
I started Presto back under saddle after 7 months off.
Henry continued to prove that he is the OG for a reason, and brought some balance to my circus of greenies.
Got a new boss at work and things slowly but surely started to shift in a very bad and stressful direction.
I got my very first brand new custom saddle and it was delightful (still is).
Presto went on a couple outings just to hack around and was a terrorist.
Hopped Presto over some XC jumps for the first time and realized it was definitely time to get serious about finding a trainer because he wasn’t bad but also I may or may not have been in over my head.
A few days later I took my first lesson with Steph and was instantly like “yes. yes, this.”. We spent most of the month taking flat lessons and then toward the end of the month Steph started doing training rides.
I realized I was in a real shit pickle with my job and started trying to figure out just how much more I could take and WTF I was gonna do.
Presto continued his training rides for the first half of the month, and on August 21st I had my first jump lesson on him with Steph (second jump lesson on Presto ever… the first one was the previous September).
Gemma also went to her first couple lessons, one dressage and one jumping. She did not blink twice at the liverpool.
I took Henry XC schooling because he was feeling a bit left out and that’s the quickest way to make him happy.
I finally got covid, my company disrespected me so much that it was finally the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I rage quit. After 18 years in corporate. Cue extremely mixed feelings of terror and relief.
Presto became more and more civilized and rideable by the day. It made me deeply suspicious. We also went out XC schooling with Steph for the first time.
Gemma got inspected and approved for breeding by sBs.
I focused on expanding BreedRideCompete, took on more social media clients, and started writing more for Eventing Nation (like the Windfall piece, the Burghley article, the Pratoni breeding breakdown, and the Banzai du Loir spotlight).
Hurricane Ian pointed straight at us and made for some exciting hurricane prep, but mercifully turned away at the last minute.
More XC schooling, including Steph’s now famous commentary. I was told it was time to enter a show.
Spent a weekend at TerraNova covering the FEI divisions for EN and ate my weight in italian ice.
Presto continued to really step it up in our jump lessons and Steph suggested we look at a Training move-up. I pondered whether or not she might have a crack habit, but she kept raising the jumps and the horse just got better.
I started picking up some part time work in the Luxe EQ mobile for the first time in like 5 years.
Presto and I did our first 1m classes at a jumper show, after he spent the entire morning screaming in my ear and making me question literally all of my life choices.
We were off to Rocking Horse for our first recognized event, where I mostly just wanted to not look like a total idiot. Presto showed up to party and won on his 23.6 dressage score.
Presto jumped 4′ in a lesson and it still barely even felt like he was trying.
We celebrated Henry’s 9th gotcha day with the sassiest road hack.
Presto and I completed his first Training and he was super!
So, ya know… what’s different? I live in a new state, I have a different job (ok jobs, now I have jobs), I officially launched my own business (complete with an LLC like an actual grown up), I have another horse, I found a trainer and barn family that I love, and am now not just riding Presto but competing him at Training level.
Whoa. What a difference a year makes. 2022 certainly was not all sunshine and roses… it might actually be the year that has taxed me the most and stressed me out more than any other. At times it just felt like one bullshit thing after the other. Changes are scary and hard, and I had many. But I also believe that change is an opportunity, and it’s up to me to make something positive out of it. The blog has certainly had to take a backseat during all of this, and honestly that’s likely just the new normal. Updating the Patreon group is a lot quicker and easier, and I feel like I’ve gotten at least a little bit of privacy back when it comes to having a smaller audience to share the more personal aspects of my life. But at the same time it’s sad to me that the blogging community has died out so much in the past couple years (man I miss the old days!), and I don’t want to be another casualty, so I have no plans to stop anytime soon. Plus like… how could we possibly live without Foal Fridays? Have no fear, BRE will keep on going, even if it too has had to undergo some changes along the way.