2019 Season - By The Numbers
Cathryn's Post inspired me to recap my 2019 season by the numbers specific to Sierra, not only because it's fun, but mostly because it felt like absolute garbage at the end of the season and I think looking back, I will feel a little better.. plus I have very little blog content right now, so here we go!
In 2019, I made some major efforts to really push out of my comfort zone and get back in the show ring. Sierra and I had a * lot * of issues with her show ring anxiety, and I felt that the only way we would be getting passed it is if we buckled down and hit as many shows as financially and physically possible while considering other responsibilities and restraints. I also made a goal in late 2019 that I needed to take more lessons and do more field trips - it was a big leap from previous years, and aboard a fractious horse it can be nerve-wracking to say the least, but I think we made out okay and emerged the other side relatively unscathed.
Following Cathryn's clever outline, some highlights don't apply so I will be skipping those and/or subbing in others to personalize this post a little.
Number of Lessons Taken
In 2019, I took a total of 6 lessons.
That's measly, lol! But hey, it's a start. I took one lesson with my friend S when she came to visit with a client who bought Kidd. I took two (one / two) with Instructor J in October, and I took three (one / two / three) with CA in November. My first lesson with friend S was very much a Dressage lesson, while the other five I would consider just 'flat' lessons with some poles mixed in.
Number of Shows Attended
In 2019, we made it out to 5 shows.
Of these 5 shows, 4 were at the local indoor (where I have boarded throughout most of the winter thus far), and one was at an outdoor venue we had never been to before.
The first two (one / two) shows were Parts I & II of our local clubs "Hunter Training Series" in which we participated in the Walk/Trot Flat classes.
As summer rolled around, our club also hosted a Jumper Jackpot Series, in which Sierra and I attended Part II of the regular schooling shows, and then snagged a few more points at the biggest show of the season - the Fall Finale, which also was tied into Part III of the series. The day after Part II of the Jumper Jackpot Series, I was upset with Sierra's performance followed by getting back on after the show and having a lovely school, so I decided the next morning to haul her to a random, tiny 4H type show somewhere I had never been before, just for the sake of getting her in the ring and it was quite an adventure in itself.
Number of Field Trips
In 2019, including the 5 aforementioned shows, we made it out on 10 field trips, several of which were multi-day events such as clinics. I won't bore you all with the links of them, but three were just trips to the arena to school in a different ring, two were clinics at the same arena, and five were shows.
Number of Ribbons Accumulated
Despite a small show season geared entirely towards experience and the goal to just stay on the horse, we managed to bring home a few ribbons. They included:
1st - 4
2nd - 1
3rd - 0
4th - 1
Many might question my sanity in looking at the number of firsts and reading of my complaints, but most felt like flukes or gimmes, however one was 100% earned, and I am damn proud of it. In that particular event, we made it through a qualifying round at the largest show of the year and into the Finals to win first.
Number of Invested Expenses
In 2019, I spent a (very roughly) estimated $10,000 CAD on Horse Expenses related to Sierra. This is a rough estimate because I'll be honest, I got lazy and part way through the year stopped tracking things, but this number includes:
* Board Costs (part of the year)
* Show Fees and related expenses (gas, etc)
* Lesson Fees
* New Saddle (biggest lump sum expense of the year)
* Body Work
* Body Work
Number of Horse Changes
In 2019, we had quite a few changes to our field. We gained one, then sold it, then sold/rehomed four more, and gained one for good. Confusing? I know. While this post is geared 99% towards Sierra, it seemed like it was necessary to honor some of those who have moved on, and welcome others!
My very first homebred was born in in April of 2019. She has since been sold to an Jr Ammy Hunter rider and we have a full sibling coming Spring 2020!
In June, I sold Kidd to a lovely Adult Ammy rider. They are doing great and she absolutely loves him.
We also took King, one of our OTTB's, to my niece in BC in August after her horse passed away. While we still technically own him, he will likely spend the rest of his life with them.
Finally, in the fall of 2019 we welcomed Lass into our life. Lass is an older Clydesdale mare that friends of ours rescued, however they are not horse people so after getting her health back on track, they gave her to us. She is allegedly broke to ride and drive, but seems very rusty with both. She's quite stand-offish and her teeth are in atrocious condition, so for now she's just looking cute, eating us out of house and home, and getting comfortable with her new family.
I also made the decision to give Nikki and Kai, two of my OTTB mares I rarely talk about, to my Father In Law for his breeding program. Nikki is an older mare and I don't think she will be producing any more foals. She is my hubby's horses (Banker) mom, and will likely come to our farm during the breeding season as she wreaks havoc with the cycling mares due to a hormone imbalance caused by a cyst that has limited her broodmareship. Kai, however, will hopefully transition well into this new roll as I don't trust her soundness to be a riding horse.
If you're currently questioning all these horses you've never even heard of, don't feel alone. Many don't get mentioned often since this blog is 99% of my riding journey, and most of them are pasture puffs or broodmares.
2019 was an interesting year. If I had to describe it in one jumbled up sentence, I think "Absolute frustrated bliss and immeasurable growth" would sum things up.
2020 is going to bring a very different set of numbers due to the addition of a new family member coming this summer that will throw a wrench in my riding plans through the majority of the season. In addition to the 'loss' of most of my summer due to the new family member, I have already made the decision to not board Sierra next year. Instead, I will just ride at home on days that are nice. I may try and swing a few months boarding to get a jump-start on the '21 season, but I am really nervous about my income being cut in half when I'm on Mat Leave, so time will tell!