Saturday, 31 December 2011

Goodbye 2011

It's hard to believe that the year is already over.  So much happened over the past year, both good and bad.  I'm actually very thankful that it is over but I'm looking forward to 2012.  2011 was a very good learning experience for me, both with family and horses, and I'm beginning to to be more comfortable with myself and what I can do.  I gained a great horse and lost a great horse.  I lost respect for people that I know and love, and who taught me about horses, and gained respect for newcomers in my life.  Everything that happened taught me a lot and I am thankful for everything that happened, with the exception of losing Cassidy.


I travelled to BC with my brother and Mom for my Great-Aunt's funeral and discovered that driving through the Rocky Mountains without heat in your car really sucks.  I did very little riding, both at my dad's and at home, spent most of my time freezing and wishing that winter would finally end.  First noticed how much weight Sadie was gaining and began to worry.


The weather finally began to warm up.  Jimmy had his accident in the barn and began pulling back.  Socks was less enthusiastic about being ridden and I back off.  I spent a lot of time fussing over her but was not able to detect any real change in her.


Hades was born and two weeks later, Artemis was born.  I spent the month marvelling over how amazing she was and worrying about how I was probably going to ruin her.  Spent hours in her paddock putting the halter on her and taking it off, and getting her to lead behind Socks.  We spent every free second at the stable.  Jimmy continued pulling back when tied in the barn.  Socks lost a lot of weight and we adjusted her feed program.  Started this blog.


I rained.  A lot.  Spent a miserable May long tending to Pawnee's awful shoulder injury and trying to keep Cas warm.  Spent many hours in the rain working with Artemis.  At this point it would take around an hour to get the halter on her and less then five minutes to lead her into the barn.  We reached the point with Jimmy where we deemed him too dangerous to be in the barn because of his pulling back and restricted any work we did with him to outside.  We stopped riding him and focused on desensitisation training.


Began riding Socks again.  Worked on Artemis being separated from her mother in preparation for weaning.  Continued with Jimmy's desensitisation training.  Continued to spend every spare moment with the horses.


Artemis' training was going really well.  Caught up in Stampede fever, began working with Socks on the barrels again and switched her barrel racing bit to a snaffle.  Panicked over Artemis being moved to my dad's in a few months. 


Went camping with Thor for the first time.  Thor fell off a ten foot cliff but wasn't hurt.  Made the decision that Artemis was staying down with me for good.  Made major progress with Jimmy and began bringing him in the barn again.  Made plans with the stable owners to board Artemis in the pasture once she was weaned.


I got my concussion from Artemis and was unable to ride for over a month.  She and Socks were moved to the larger field in preparation for weaning, and after a couple weeks in there, were moved to the pasture to introduce Artemis to the herd.  I focused on helping my mom's riding with Jimmy while I couldn't ride.


Artemis was weaned on October 2nd.  She and Socks called for each other for a few days but settled into it pretty easily.  The first few weeks she was extremely attached to my mom and I and came running whenever she saw us but soon settled into life with the herd.  I spent a lot of time desensitising her to objects and teaching her not to be pushy.  I spent a lot of October worrying about Cassidy.


I had to make the hardest decision and I lost a great horse.  I didn't want Cas to suffer and so she was laid to rest.  I had time to say goodbye and I just hope that it really was the right thing to do.  November was a hard month and Artemis kept me sane.  I spent as much time as I could with her and she inherited Cas' halter. 


Artemis turned eight months on Christmas day and as a result of grandfather's inability to say her name, became known as Fuzy to everyone in my family.  She stands at 13.2 hands and couldn't be any better behaved.  I realised that the people who taught me about horses can no longer be my mentors but I also learned to be more confident with what I can do with horses without them.  I did not see Artemis much but missed her all the time.

As you can see, I spent most of my time working with Artemis or wishing I was at the stable.  I started the year not sure if I could handle the responsibility of a foal without ruining her and ended it becoming confident that I can do it.  I look forward to everything that awaits us in 2012 and can't wait for the next chapter of my time with Artemis, Socks and Jimmy.


Megan said...

That first photo is STUNNING! I love it.

Artemis has come a long way and she's already 13.2hh! How tall do you think she will get?

Megan said...

It sounds like you had a very busy year full of learning experiences, even some really tough ones. I'm excited to see what you are Artemis do in 2012!

Wolfie said...

You have had a very productive year! I am glad to read that you can work with Artemis confidently. Interesting how your perspective has changed where you have outgrown(?) your previous mentors. Congratulations on your 2011 accomplishments and I am looking forward to reading about your adventures in 2012.

Ally said...

Good luck! I can't wait to see what this next year brings!

Heh, Fuzzy.