I feel the need to do an obligatory reflection post of the past year. I am betting that 2016 was a strange year for a lot of people, and that certainly rings true for myself.
W and I entered 2016 with no plan. I think that is what really started it off on an odd foot. With the pending purchase of our little farm approaching, and the need to sell our current home in the city looming, we were too distracted to make plans. Normally we kick off the year scrutinizing W’s time off from work, plan all our vacations down to the last hour of PTO, and have some sort of glimpse into our future. 2016 was not one of those norms. We had one planned vacation, barely a week spent with family up at the family cabin in Wisconsin, and that was it. Turns out, that plus a Thanksgiving rendezvous in Texas, is really all we would do!
2016 was all. about. the horses. I was so tunnel visioned about being home because we now had equines in our backyard to care for. I didn’t know I would end up having such willing horse care participants for neighbors, but even with that realization after we moved, it was just easier to stay put. One does not typically decide to board their horses at home if they are happy letting someone else care for them. They tend to do so because they like things done a certain way. I am one of those annoying people.
Even with the horses dominating, I set very few riding goals, and I was waning with my dedication. Not so great with a baby OTTB in my backyard. I was much more focused on what needed to change or improve about the barn, pastures, and property to make daily riding easier. Ironically very little daily riding occurred.
It was about April or May that I decided to start taking some lessons at a dressage barn Sully had been at the previous summer for a 60 day stint of full training, and I was starting to get excited about what I was learning. I remember my first lesson when she stuck me on the lunge I was totally offended. By the end of that lesson I had completely changed my tune. Each lesson on a 20 meter circle with no hands broke away my “hunter”-ness as well as a few layers of butt flesh as I realized how from a dressage seat I had gotten in the past decade. I was learning what an independent seat truly meant, and all the muscles I was improperly using at all the wrong times. Hard work, inspiring, but still I had little interest in riding the horse in my own backyard.
At the very end of July, I found out I was pregnant. It was still early and I had all those jitters of miscarriage on my mind. I had a lesson one Wednesday, just one day shy of five weeks of pregnancy, and I had joked to W that morning: “you don’t think a lesson is going to bounce the baby out of me is it!?”
I was in a rush to feed, and while I normally strictly separate Emma from Winnie to keep that dern pony of getting fat and having her feet fall off, I was being super lax. Emma and Winnie were “sharing” some food in a stall while I was studying just how dirty my stall windows were and making a mental note of adding that to my to dos. Suddenly Emma loses her cool and starts bobbing up and down, squealing at Winnie. I realize I should depart the stall, take the incorrect route out, and Emma swings her big ass body around and boots me right in the gut.
24 hours later I was being wheeled into the OR for an abdominal laparotomy to repair a hole in my Duodenum, and 2016 would be derailed for the remainder. I guess that’s what you get for having no plan.
As I have detailed previously, my pregnancy miraculously survived. So did morning sickness. I would estimate it was about four weeks ago that I really started feeling good. I am only slightly kidding. August and September were months of feeling nauseous, couch sitting, recovery, healing, and so much boredom while PTSD duked it out in my head. We survived a very scary hurricane in October with a house full of refugee friends and only had one tree come down in the pasture. Thanksgiving was nice, I had a ton of energy, and then mid December that energy departed and was replaced by massive depression. The gross cold misty weather didn’t help, and it never does for me.
I put Sully up for sale because I started to feel nervous around him, changed my mind, and decided to put him into full training instead. I was contacted by Emma’s old owner, who wanted her back, and rehomed her in a spur of the moment decision. Before I knew it, 2016 was coming to an end. It went by really quickly, and I don’t even feel as though I was “checked in” for any of it.
It was just strange. A weird year filled with impulsive random decisions, that have led to me looking at huge changes in 2017. I will ring in the new year with nothing but a little pony in my yard, continue to nest away in the nursery, and look forward to a new baby come March. Hopefully good things will come to we who wait.