Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013: A Crazy Year in Review


My, what a year it is has been.  So many ups and downs, twists and turns...  In short my life got flipped-turned upside down (yes I did just quote Fresh Prince).  But, for a year that started out so crummy, it really did end up pretty good. 

Now normally I prefer to keep my home life out of my blog posts... this is for my horse adventures after all.  But, if you look back at my posts in January and February of this year you can see the rumblings of an unhappy me.  A post about feeling pressured into selling Cash is perhaps the widest peek I gave my readers into the fact that things were, in fact, not well at home.

And, then on March 9th my husband did the unthinkable and took his own life, and it completely shattered my world.  I was awed though at the outpouring of support from not only friends and family but from those of you who read my blog.  I simply could not believe it.  And again, a heartfelt Thank You to all my readers for your kind words.

Why exactly he did it, I'll never know... but some of the motivators that perhaps led him to that decision I have shifted through in my head over and over.  That first month afterwards was perhaps the longest month of my life.  Feelings of guilt, remorse, anger, despair, sadness and then some have all paid me a visit this year.  Yet I am thankful that the grieving process has gone by much faster for me than what would be considered "typical".  Perhaps it is because of my personality type and how I naturally process things, and also perhaps because at the time of his death I had sadly already been grieving the deteriorating state of our relationship and the loss of the person I had married.  In short, depression is a sad thing.  It's been hard not to dwell on the negative, and often I have to force myself to think about the positive memories I have of him.  I have to remind myself that he did love me, and I him.

But, what it comes down to now, as we look to finish out this year, is that I am again truly enjoying my life.  The last couple of months have flown by.  My little girl is growing in leaps and bounds and is the light of my life, school is going well and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and  I have build an incredible friendship with my late husband's ex-wife (go figure!).  She moved in with me shortly after his passing and together we are working our hardest to provide a solid and stable life for all three kiddos.

So now I'm ready to move on, make new friends, have new adventures, and enjoy what God has given me.  Jeremiah 29:11 has been my motto this year, it reads "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"  And, He's done just that for me so far.  And let me tell you what, there is nothing like the freedom to have a good, genuine laugh that comes straight from the soul.

In the horsey side of things, as I look back over the posts from the summer and fall, there aren't many that stand out to me in particular.  I'm not a very frequent blogger, I seem to average though about 1 post a week.  That said, 2013 has been my most fruitful blogging year to date.  Hooray!

Cash proved to be very difficult for the majority of the year, and remained frustratingly hard to catch for most of it... I got bucked off, and shortly afterwards vented about his dip-wadded-ness.  I was frustrated with him to the point of considering selling him of my own accord.  Instead I decided to re-start from scratch and made a return to the roundpen (and sewing projects too!!).  I started experimenting with random training techniques, and started riding him in a stock saddle and rope halter.

As I lowered my expectations of him and decided to just do "whatever" in a sense and enjoy him, suddenly things started turning around.  I've not been worried about bending or where his head is... all I care about right now is that he listens to my leg and seat, goes where I tell him without fuss, and is forward.  And so far we are hitting all three pretty square on the head.  I picked up a calming supplement for him (SmartCalm) and so far, I have to say, I think it's made a difference.  He is still spooky at times, but the anxiousness/nervousness is greatly improved and he is able to re-focus much better after a spook.  My main plan for 2014 is to take him on some good "wet saddle pad" type trail rides.  This horse needs to get out in the worst way!

I've also had the pleasure and privledge to get to work with some project ponies throughout the year.  Shadow, a little hackney pony, has been a fun one.  I really have loved working with him, he's got such a funky personality and a great work ethic.  He's not much of a kid's pony though and he might be moving on to a more suitable home, I sure will miss him if that does happen.  Which, leads to my newest project, one of the other ponies named Sassy has had previous driving experience so I'm going to be working with her to see what we can accomplish.  Lastly, I've been riding Candy, a little appy mare owned by the student who lives in the studio apartment on the property.  I'm working on improving some training holes, and in exchange her owner is lunging Cash for me a couple days out of the week to give him some extra much needed exercise (both mentally and physically).

So really, as I look back at it, despite being crazy busy with work and school and the kids, realativly speaking I've really had a decent and productive year horse wise.  Guess I really can't complain.  I've given myself the expectation not to set many expectations and just go with the flow and take it easy.  Not having the mental pressure of meeting training goals by a certain time has been really enjoyable. 

As 2014 comes up (quickly I might add), I sit here thinking about what my goals will be.  Do I even want to set goals?  Or do I just see where life takes me.  I have been setting personal goals this last half of the year, like looking people in the eye more, or being more positive with my co-workers, and I've enjoyed the challenge of them.  But as far as horsey goals?  Well, I think the bottom line is that I just want to have fun.  I have at least another long year of college ahead of me so time with the horse will be at a premium (but guess what: after this spring semester I will officially be a senior! It's been a loooooonnng time coming, 6 years of college gets old folks).  There is a one day event though late in the summer with an Elementary division that I would love to take Cash too, but we'll see what happens.

In the mean time, I am ready to say good-bye to 2013 and hello to 2014.  I have grown a lot this year as an individual and I have learned so much, but I am ready and excited to take my gang and soldier onward to bigger and better things.  But, the important thing in all of this is that I am happy, and that really makes all the difference.

As always,


:-) Glad you are in a better place now. It's been a hell of a year, but it's almost over.

Such an insightful and articulate letter. Your strength is an inspiration! Also, yes 6 years of college is a long time, thank you for helping me not feel alone in that aspect:)

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