So once again I was a failure at keeping this page up to date.  2013 was a very eventful but overall successful year for me and the business.  Working for Greta was one of the greatest experiences of my life.  She is such a fantastic teacher and has been there every step of the way for Crescent and I.  Unfortunately, in June my back flared up again and I got pretty extreme doctor’s orders that if I wanted to continue to ride I needed a less strenuous job.  I spent a little bit of time wallowing in self-pity and feeling pretty lost, but then I got the opportunity to move to Southern Oregon to be with my longtime boyfriend, Brandon.  I was very excited to finally end the long distance part of our relationship even though it meant moving across the country again, and moving out of eventing country. 

I want to do a quick rundown of our 2013 show season starting with the Preliminary at Texas Rose in Tyler, TX.  Dressage warm up at TR was fantastic….Crescent was listening and relaxed, *insert sigh of relief*….unfortunately it was short lived as he fired up pretty badly while going around the ring.  I did have one of the best trot lengthenings I had ever gotten from him and was able to just smile, shake my head, pat my naughty pony, and move on to the next phase.   We had stadium next and he warmed up great…we had a plan…unfortunately I let him down a little and lost my power coming out of the turn to #5….ughhh silly stop….but we recovered great (which has not always happened in the past) and finished with only the 4 faults.  Cross Country was absolutely amazing!  We finished clear with some time faults, and some homework for me to let him coast more and not setup as much in front of the fences.  I was thrilled with him, and another NQR!  We skipped the spring Holly Hill and did the Preliminary combined test at FDL in Folsom, LA.   Crescent was fantastic and won his class, which was a good tune up going to Poplar Place in GA.  Unfortunately, Poplar did not go quite as planned.  It poured down rain all weekend…which never bodes very well for my riding.  Dressage was absolutely amazing!  We decided that lunging Crescent for 20 min before I get on to ride on the flat loosens him up enough that he is ready to focus and work.  One of my best tests at the level even with the rain!  Next up was stadium.  By my ride time, the warm up ring was ankle deep red clay and the grass ring was super torn up.  He warmed up well despite me being very concerned about it.  As I was waiting my turn outside the ring, the heavens opened up…I’ve never been that soaked in my life.  I completely shut down and should have just withdrawn; instead I pulled him up in front of 2 fences even though he was trying to jump for me.  Incredibly upset with myself for that one.  For whatever reason, I feel very sure that I could have ridden XC just fine in that weather….note to self to continue digging into why stadium is so different for me.  Next on our schedule was Chattahoochee Hills in GA.  Dressage was okay…not our best or our worst.  Of course it decided to rain before XC, so I bought some bigger studs and decided I would go to warm up and make a decision.  He was so calm I wasn’t sure it was even him I was riding.  Crescent walking calmly in cross country warm up?!?!  Who knew that was even possible??  He was absolutely beast on course!  We finished with only 4 time penalties which I completely attribute to the ankle deep mud in places.  We were jumping out of stride and I was incredibly proud of him.  The next day he came to SJ warm up ready to play!  Jumped great in warm up and into the ring we went.  We ended up kind of “hunting” around and were picking up speed with every fence.  Greta and I had a plan to ride very aggressively into the double combination in the middle and triple combination at the end of the course.  He was so game he ended up putting 1 stride in the 2 stride double and I should have thought to back off a little, but I didn’t want any stops, so I overrode the triple a bit and he almost bounced it taking the B and C rails down….My grin was still a mile wide because rails are way better than stops! 

I must say at this point how incredibly proud I was of the ERE/Haven team all season long!  My students had some incredible highs and lows, but everyone learned so much and it was an absolute pleasure to teach them! 

In September I made the move up to Oregon with Crescent and a little sales horse named Remi.  I entered Crescent in my very first CIC* in October and was really looking forward to it.  Unfortunately, his new farrier made a mistake and he battled a hot nail while we were at Woodside.  His dressage was the best test he has ever had!  The adrenaline must have worn off however, because he jumped great in warm up for stadium but came unglued in the ring.  I was indescribably upset with him, but by the time we came home he was almost 3 legged lame.  At that point I just felt like a terrible mom for pushing him.  Oh well….life with horses I suppose.  I had a dressage lesson shortly after we came home and she completely changed my riding on the flat…he has been getting stronger by leaps and bounds!  Late October brought us to a tiny local hunter/jumper show where I decided I would try jumping him in a hackamore.  What a difference!!  He has been jumping brilliantly since then!  Remi sold in November which was very exciting and I am so happy for her new mom!  When my mom visited at Christmas we jumped 4’ and he was amazing!!  I have, however, made the decision that if the right situation were to come along I would sell the big man.  I am not actively marketing him, and I am thrilled to say that we are tentatively looking at the move up to Intermediate in the summer if he doesn’t sell.  I truly feel that while he is still game to do his job, at 16 he would probably be happiest teaching someone the ropes of novice and training level forever.  I am planning to mix in some jumper shows with our spring/summer event plans to keep us fresh and improving upon our stadium homework! 

On a much sadder note, in January my very first horse, Rhythm, this company's namesake had to be put down.  She was owned by one of my students and had spent the last few years of her life teaching Alea the joys of jumping and owning a horse.  She had been officially retired last summer and was living out her days fat and happy in a field.  Out of the blue this fall though, she started losing weight and by January it sounded as if she was going neurologic, possibly from EPM.  Alea made the tough but completely fair decision to have her put down.  I wish that I could have been there for both of them, but was very grateful that my mom was able to be there.  The autopsy report showed not EPM but a very very rare (only 8 equine cases ever) form of cancer all over her muscles, and organs.  I am so glad that she had such a wonderful life and didn't suffer any longer than she had to, and that even in her death she was able to teach the vet students.  RIP I've Got Rhythm 1990-2014.

Crescent is a wooly mammoth up here right now, but there isn’t much snow on the ground, so lots of hacking and flatting in the fields when we aren’t snowed into the indoor.  We can’t wait until spring!!  Until then, hug your horse it will keep you warm!