Emily from May As Well Event posted a great picture challenge on her blog to post a picture from each year of the last decade as we enter 2020. I’m hopping on this one!
Enter Gemmie. This is the picture from the day I brought her underfed, wormy, sorta ugly body home to a boarding barn in Ohio. It was January 2, 2010. I can’t believe it’s been a decade. Also proof that I wasn’t always a wimpy Southerner and did in fact once live where it was cold and snowy.
My first ever endurance ride! A 25 mile limited distance outing in all the wrong tack and all the wrong clothes. Fun fact: this was the first time I ever rode Gem solo on trail. Another fun fact: We finished in 8th place in a huge field but I didn’t know best condition was a thing so I packed up and went home. We were living in WI at the time and I was in my first year of residency.
Still in WI and now a second year resident which meant life got a lot better. We snuck in a fall trail ride before the trails closed for the year. It was gorgeous.
We had moved down to SC that summer and Pete was still a riding horse. We got a babysitter for Wyatt and hit up my first hunter pace. It was gorgeous and I was addicted from the get go.
Somehow I managed to go all of 2014 with a cell phone and didn’t get any pictures of me on my horse. I did my first 50 mile endurance ride on Gem this year finishing middle of the pack and happy. This is her in camp the day before the ride.
This was followed closely by a February 50 mile endurance ride. I love looking at these pictures and remembering how much Gem ate up the trail. She loved endurance. It is also pretty neat to see how all my gear changed. I was now in an endurance saddle, tights, light weight mesh half chaps, a halter/bridle combo, and sporting a hydration pack. It took me a long time to hone in my endurance equipment.
Long time readers knew this one was coming. I’ve used it a lot. This is from the 100 mile endurance ride I did at Biltmore in the spring. One of the best days of my life. Gem was so happy and on it all day long. We finished middle of the pack and she could have easily kept going had there been more trails to do.
This was the year I hung up my endurance gear and picked up eventing. The above picture was taken while we waited to go in for our dressage test in an amoeba level CT at Full Gallop Farm. We ended up placing in the ribbons which still shocks me. You can see quite clearly why this was the one and only CT we ever did. Gem hated everything about being an arena horse.
Gem retired and Eeyore joined the herd mid 2018 and then immediately went lame. I don’t have many riding pictures from this year since most of it was spent sidelined while he grew his hoof back and I found a farrier who knew what he was doing. This was right as he came back to work before the year ended.
It was hard to pick my favorite from this year. There are so many I love. I think this wins because even though my equitation is awful, I had been petrified of this pipe jump to point where I was shaking. Yet we went and did it and now I’m doing combinations with two pipe jumps and have added a rail on top. Trainer has changed me in ways I can’t even explain.
Thanks Emily for the awesome trip down memory lane.