Sunday, February 16, 2014

We're still happy & healthy - new life phase

Well, I think two years since my last post makes it pretty evident that I won't be blogging anymore...

But just in case anyone was wondering or still has this subscription somehow, I thought I'd give you an update.

It's amazing to me that I started this blog just before I graduated high school. I wrote about Bailey, who we'd just sold. Months later I wrote about my last ride on him, and the next day I found out he had just been put down after a pasture accident. I wrote about buying Pandora, training her, and later selling her. I wrote an awful lot about McKinna, because this blog was about her in the first place! I joined Pony Club and rated up to C2 about as quickly as I could, and almost went for the C3 until I ran into my first real collision between academics and horses. (Much as I love horses, academics have pretty much always won.) McKinna went from a broke-but-not-trained horse who trotted around with her head in the air and could barely canter to a smooth, powerful horse capable of cruising around Training-level fences like it was nothing. She turned into a real dressage horse with a Real Canter. And I had an awesome, awesome time.

Since I last wrote, what's happened? I graduated from college and moved all the way across the country to start a PhD in Biology at Harvard. It's been great fun so far, though I haven't yet found a riding situation. It's a bit of a bummer to not see horses on a regular basis, but don't worry, I'll get there. McKinna, of course, has stayed back home in Oregon with my mom. She's never going anywhere!

McKinna and I had an awesome time last year, and though I didn't have time for a recognized HT, we did go win a Novice one-day horse trials and had a blast while we were doing it. We got in some extra cross-country schooling, too. (Sorry for the slightly blurry last pic. I think there was some sunscreen on the camera lens.)

Second fence on course

Crossing the finish flags at the one-day HT

Conquering the Training trakehner one last time!

We also went to a dressage show and managed respectable rides at First 3 and Second 1. I was quite pleased we didn't fall down in the counter-canter!

Happy pony after our rides

And then, well, I left her behind and drove across the country to start graduate school. In December I flew home for the first time and - despite having caught a stomach virus and being fairly sleep-deprived - I headed to the barn my first full day home. I wasn't feeling up to a real ride, but I did cruise around bareback for a little while.

After I recovered, I rode quite a bit. No jumping, but plenty of dressage, and all the buttons are still there. She's a truly wonderful horse. It felt like a fun conversation with an old friend. Still remember haunches-in? Yep. How about a nice canter? Sure. Canter-walk-canter? No big deal. So much fun.

Mom has been riding a lot more now that I've given up my monopoly, including some pretty awesome trail rides and adventures in the ridiculous snowstorm that hit Oregon in early December. They've just moved to a new barn, where McKinna has happily settled in, though according to my mom she's not quite convinced there aren't ghosts lurking in the arena corners.

So all is well and everyone is happy. And at least for now, that will be the conclusion of this blog! Perhaps someday, when I get my next horse, I'll begin another. You never know.
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