So much has happened in the latter half of 2017 that made the entire year feel like a whirlwind.
2017 began on a good note. Wow and I had a decent 2016 and I was excited to see us both progress.
We had some great outings at local shows and started to dip our toes into the A shows and held our own. We got 3rd in a large hack in the Modified Adult Hunters at HITS Ocala...in good company!
Also, at the same show I was having what I thought was one of my best trips and low and behold fell off at the last fence. I wasn't mad though....it was my fault and he had tried his heart out, it was just a big miscommunication.
We learned a lot about each other and our relationship grew.
We spent a lot of time working at home on being flowy and soft. We worked on moving down the lines and my assertion in the saddle.
In April, I was "let go" from my job. The position was eliminated to basically give another employee a raise. Thanks. But the silver lining there was I got to spend more time at the barn and even picked up a gig as a groom for my trainer. I tacked up and cared for the horses she needed to ride daily and got to travel along to shows for day care. I was able to ride literally every day if I wanted to. Wow was feeling, looking, and going great! We got the best compliment from a fellow adult ammy, "He looks like a school horse! Jumping around without batting an eye," and I was on cloud nine!
Somewhere in this timeframe hubby and I got the news we'd be moving to Virginia. So we began house and barn hunting, scheduling packers, movers and travel. Having to tell my HaddenLoch barn family I was leaving was one of the hardest things ever.
Summer came and things were still going great. I couldn't be happier. Then, because horses are the large fragile creatures they are, we had a setback and Wow was diagnosed with neck arthritis -- TWO DAYS before we moved to Virginia. Wow stayed behind for close to a month to recuperate before being shipped up to me in Virginia.
I was ecstatic for his arrival. His stall was ready, my tack locker was filled, and my trunk was all set up in the lounge! We began his under saddle rehab nice and slow. Walking for close to a month. Then starting some trotting. All nice and long and low. When we finally got to canter I may have teared up a little bit. When we got to pop over some small jumps I was a very proud horse mom!
Then, that's where things started to fall apart. Wow began to refuse more and more. Over little jumps he could walk over. We came to the conclusion that despite his treatment and rehab, jumping just wasn't for him anymore. The vet at UF in Gainesville had warned me about that, but as any equestrian would be, I was optimistic. I stopped jumping him and only flatted him. Good thing I enjoy flat work! I got the opportunity to lesson on a horse at the barn which has helped me greatly.
In late November, after many internal discussions, speaking with my husband, trainer here in Virginia as well as my former trainer at HaddenLoch, I listed him for sale as a lower level dressage prospect or potential hilltopper. I had him evaluated and it was determined he had the potential for up to 2nd Level. He deserves a home where he wouldn't have anxiety walking into a ring with jumps.
I've listed him on a ridiculous number of Facebook groups, texting and messaging everyone I could think of that could help spread the word,
Here we go into 2018. Wow's for sale. He's still in work, but now we're focused on a different type of ride. More on the bit and connected than the long and flowy hunter ride. I'm still working on my positioning and self in the saddle lessoning on another horse at the barn. We'll see how this all pans out...
Cheers to 2018 and all it has in store!