Where to start! Last January I started riding Cisco in weekly lessons at Krystal Point Equestrian. The year ended with Cisco belonging to me and looking forward 2020 with a new coach and a new home for her in a few weeks. There were a few health scares with my little Maverick and two surgeries to boot. What a tough cookie he is but I fear his eye sight is deteriorating and it just breaks my heart. I started this blogs, travelled a bit, met some amazing people learned so much, both in the saddle and away from the barn.
In between all that wee some cold, cold, -25° rides, hot sticky and sunny rides and everything in between. We showed in the pouring rain and rode in the snow. We went adventuring in the fall and I went to boot camp in Ottawa in November.
April took Mr G&TJ to Kentucky for Rolex with some long time friends who met us there from a Nova Scotia. We shopped, we ate, we drank and shopped some more. We’ve made plans to go to Badminton in 2021 for the next big milestone birthday of our little group and I’m going to hold everyone to that!
Summer got Cisco and a I out on a few cross country courses where Cisco got to baby sit me and I tested out my brave pants. I did the tiny jumps at Wit’s End and some slightly bigger but still tiny jumps at Gelnarden. Summer seems to fly by though between work and going away on course to help my day job. I volunteered at a few horse trials and spent hours riding with Nicole and other barn friends. Man do I miss hanging around the barn til it gets dark at 8pm! These days I find I ride at 6 and I’m gone by 7:30 with a serious chill and desperate for a hot shower. I ran a half marathon in Halifax in June with the girlfriends and then returned in July for a much needed visit with friends. You meet some people that you just click with and I’ve keep in touch with a few people since we left NS 8 years ago now. Horses certainly have a way of connecting people and bringing the right people together.
September long weekend took us to a hunter pace with Kate and Nicole and then the end of September found us hunter pacing with Nicole and Ashley after I ran a relay run from Toronto to Ottawa. Man did we have fun!! The first hunter pace prompted me to join the Eglinton & Caledon Hounds and I went along one weekend to road whip. What a cool part of the horse world I had found! I really really want to get out riding with them next year.
This fall I started this blog! And my IG to go with it. I was inspired to share my story about overcoming my nerves to ride and do what I’ve always wanted to do. I want this to be a community for plus size riders to see they’re not alone and we all struggle weather it’s mentally or physically. We got this! The work needs more cheering and more support! I’ve met some other crazies who feel the same way I do in some great IG accounts (@thehaplesshorsewoman, @bigbootybreeches, @may_as_well_event and @ride_above_hate to name a few).
October was a baby horse trial. I rained. But oh. My. God. Did I have fun! I did it! I finally did it! All 3 phases in one day! And we even came home with a 4th place ribbon! They talk about the high you get after cross country and it is so so true. I was sad that the show as so late in the year and couldn’t do it again before winter but I have goals for next year. And just a day before the show Cisco’s fancy new Delgrange saddle arrived. I felt that riding in a brand new saddle at a horse show is similar to wearing new running shoes at a race and decided to save the new saddle for another day and I’m so glad I did!
Mid November I packed up to go to Ottawa for 5 weeks for riding boot camp. I rode with no stirrups a lot and rode a lot of fancy warmblood, some much nicer than others! Hehehe. I made it exactly half way through the course before my nerves got the best of me. I made a tough but right decision to come home. I met some lovely people and I know I will be keeping in touch with them as they make their way around the country as part of the Ride. I had made plans with Shannon to buy a Cisco and make it official in January when I got home from Ottawa but we made it happen early and on December 4th, on my 13th anniversary with the RCMP and the day I walked away from the Musical Ride, Miss Cisco was officially mine.
Unfortunately I found my nerves got knocked back quite a bit after the Equitation course. I think my riding improved in some ways but I was just more nervous overall. But Cisco is mine! And I don’t have to ride different horses every day, I have my steady Cisco and goals to crush. I’m getting back on track though including by leaps and bounds today riding with a new coach. Unfortunately Shannon is closing Krystal Point and I need a new home for Cisco and a coach for me, but Kate hooked me up with Julie Clark, her Eventing coach. I think we really clicked and I’m looking forward to what 2020 has to offer.
It’s been quite a year! Where will we be this time next year? Still here in Toronto? Maybe Ottawa? Maybe Regina? Who knows. Work has some opportunities for me and when I leave the office at the end of the day I have my fur babies and Mr G&TJ waiting for me. What more can I ask for?