Out with the Old, In with the New…

Tomorrow is the 12th day of Christmas and the official end to the holidays. However, if you live in the US and work for “The Man” the holidays were probably over for you on January 2, 2023. Per the usual we packed up the tree and decorations, I rid the house of items that no longer had a purpose and re-organized items that had been piling up because I was too distracted to return them to their proper place. I’m glad to be kicking 2022 to the curb. It wasn’t the best of years. Now I know life is what you make of it, and yes I’ve complained about the past three years, because they haven’t been normal by a long shot. The pandemic scam and all of the bull$hit that came with it has been a dark cloud that just didn’t seem to go away. Finally there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel.

2022 had some good moments, some not so bad moments, and was filled with a lot of loss. We lost 4 family members this year, others had significant medical issues, and Texas experienced one of the worst droughts since 2011. Our normal lives were turned upside down trying to recover from the past two years, and keeping livestock healthy under those conditions. Sourcing hay to feed our animals took more time and energy this year than it had in the previous 6 years combined. I’m pretty sure if we have another year of drought like this one, Darling Husband is going to insist we consider relocating to a not so dry state.

On the flip side, I checked some bucket list items off, had lots of new horse adventures, and made some progress (albeit small) with Johnny Cash. Offspring is more fun every day, and started Kindergarten this year. I managed to pick up three new ponies and a mini donkey to build my 6 (preferably 8) hitch team, and trained two new ponies to drive. I started the first pair in my team hitch, and had them pull the sled my grandfather made me 30 plus years ago for Christmas photos. I went fox/coyote hunting for the first time in Texas along with some other trail rides, and drove a friend’s fully trained team through the mountains of WV. So, no 2022 wasn’t completely horrible and I made the most of it.

Darling Husband and I were surprised to find out that I was expecting (yes I’m completely aware how babies are made, I was just a little lax on prevention). That knowledge didn’t affect 2022 too much, except I couldn’t drink or eat at my favorite sushi restaurant in Las Vegas when we went to the National Finals Rodeo, but I did come back with an awesome felt hat. The pregnancy will however, very much affect 2023. Instead of making competition plans and making my rated debut in dressage on Johnny Cash, I’m just clinging to the last few rides I’ll be able to have before the new arrival and praying delivery goes as well as Offspring’s birth. With any luck I’ll be mounted back on a horse ten days post partum like last time.

Its a tradition that I ride on the last and first day of the year, and I made the most of this year’s New Years Day ride, knowing my doctor may very well forbid riding all together by the end of January. As it is, he’s ask that I curtail all jumping and riding in any form with the potential to jar, his words. Odessa and I had a glorious trail ride with friends, and enjoyed one last lovely hand gallop before I got the bad news about curtailing the fun stuff on horseback. So now I’ll continue to ride Johnny Cash at a walk, minimal trotting only up until I ship him out to a trainer to keep him backed and ready for me post partum. I’m focusing mainly on ponies and getting my first team pair working better together. I’ll start ground driving one of the newer ponies in preparation of the second pair.

With any luck, we’ll have a new little cowgirl and two baby ponies arriving on the GHLHF in early spring. I know I have one expecting pony, and one that was exposed, just not sure if Apple Jack bred or if Beau Pony is so old he’s shooting blanks now. All in all I’m optimistic about every new year including this one. This one has the potential that the world is finally returning to a margin of normalcy from the lunacy we’ve experienced the past three years. Even though I label certain years better than others, I continue to enjoy every moment that I can. Life is too short not to look for the good in all experiences and to not go all out toward your goals.

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