July started out with getting lights put up in the paddock, and a pleasant ride to a local winery. Coolie and I went to the second Walliston combined training day and I was please with our performance, once again ending in the ribbons.
Henry went to a competition and was a super well behaved little horse, and I was proud of us for getting out and about. I talked about how I am looking after Coolie as he gets older, and the horses and I hired a jumping arena at the state equestrian center.
Henry and I attended our first Adult Riders rally, which was a good day out. Coolie and I went to the vet where we found that he was quite sound, but we got his hocks injected.
Henry and I came 4th at the Off the Track Showman Day which was so much fun, although I was really nervous, as our lead up to the event had been a bit exciting. I had a lesson that I never ended up blogging about because I think the nerves I had from the showman day got the better of me.
August saw a lot of rain, and riding up at the pony club. We had the saddle fitter out and I of course wanted the most expensive saddle, and Jonna came back for a clinic. I had a brilliant flatwork lesson with Coolie and I felt like a really big stretch goal could be reached. Henry had a good flat lesson but show jumping is where I think I had the most fun.
We headed up to Wooroloo where I didn't have a good weekend nerves-wise and it affected my riding. Overall I was happy with the weekend to be done, but pleased I had conquered a jump that I was really worried about.
We finished the month on a high, Coolie and I won our first rugs!
Coolie and I kicked off September in style, having a really successful weekend at the Wagin Gymkhanarama. We were dressage champions for the first time in our lives!
I was feeling short on time keeping 2 horses in work, I ran over my helmet, and Coolie and I trained some 1* XC lines.
Jonna was back in town and Coolie and I consolidated some skills, Henry and I worked through some things and I went to a wedding in between all the horse stuff! Coolie and I nailed the jumping, and I found out I was quite sticky in the saddle.
We finished off the month back down at Dryandra for the PC ODE. I wasn't happy with my dressage but SJ and XC more than made up for it and we finished in third place.
October saw another wedding, and lots of riding at home and Henry was a stand in for a lesson when Coolie was covered in bug bites.
Then I had a really sore neck, Henry got an abscess, and Coolie had to fill in for him at adult riders.
I started to feel very burnt out as we approached the last event of the season at Brigadoon and just wanted to go out and enjoy the last event. Sadly, it wasn't to be and Coolie and retired on the course, after jumping so well in SJ.
November started with another visit from Jonna where we really unpacked somethings with Henry and we had a discussion that had been brewing for a while. It needed to happen and looking back at all most posts I can see my confidence had eroded away over the year. The discussion I had with Henry has put to bed a lot of those fears and inspired me to crack on with my horse!
Henry went on a bush ride with our friend Tahlia and then won his show jumping round at a local show. We also had a show jumping lesson to work through some things and my confidence was sky high! We had a show jumping training day which was a really positive outing and I was confident and happy the whole time. No nerves what so ever.
Henry turned 5, we had another really successful show jumping outing and Henry was just the best little horse ever!
We kicked off December with Equestrian in the Park and a ride out with a friend. Jonna came to Perth one last time for the year and I had 3 great lessons, despite a fall. The rest of December is about Christmas and life in general. we have a beach trip planned but other than that the horses are going to have a cuisey time.
All up throughout the year we were insanely busy. I actually didn't realise how much we did and I went back and counted all the outings we had, and that's just the ones I blogged about, there are a few others that I didn't end up writing about. We went out more than 55 times in less than 12 months.
Looking back, I can see so much improvement in both of the horses, and myself as a rider. It was at tough year confidence-wise, even if I didn't realise it at the time. I guess that's why I write this blog though, as a useful tool to help me reflect and learn!
I must say I feel tired just reading about all that we did, and can understand why I was feeling burnt out. I think the horses are fine though, they had plenty of breaks since I usually only had one out at a time. Next year I will manage myself a little better!
I think to date Coolie and I achieved our best results, and I really did a heap with Henry too. I pushed the boundaries and met my goals, and we progressed way further than I thought we had. It was a tough year, but I think the highs out number the lows significantly and this perspective has been hugely helpful. I need to hang onto this for next year!