Monday, January 1, 2024

2023 Wrap Up

January: Overall not the most fantastic month for us. Ben ended 2022 with a severe, mystery lameness that rapidly improved over a few days. We got right back to it after that week, but he was also diagnosed with ulcers in the first week of January. We started a long chain fatty acid supplement (ResolvinEQ) along with a 28 day course of gastrogard. While we schooled well, both cross country and stadium, our third training level event didn't go smoothly. We had a solid dressage test and clear stadium round at Rocking Horse in the training rider, but then slipped into a solid oxer on cross country. We did regroup and finish the course, but with shaken confidence. 

Offending oxer on our second go at it 

February: Ben and I put the pieces back together from our Rocking Horse scare. He got studs tapped, and we resolved not to go out cross country without them. We won our division at a schooling show with a much more confident cross country round. Ben also got a little brother who quickly endeared himself to me and JT as quite possibly the best baby horse. 

What a bebe! 

March: Ben and I started the month with a confident outing at Rocking Horse where we tackled the same jump we had slid into and made it to the other side on the first try this time. Unfortunately I also learned that Ben cannot tolerate leather pads with dental molding. He spent the next two months recovering from some badly bruised feet 

Gotta buy the picture of our redemption

Goggles stepped up a bit while Ben was recovering and did some long lining and moved to the GY's where he worked on tying, bathing, jumping solid jumps in hand, and ponying on the trails. 

April: Ben continued to suffer from sore feet this month. Consequently the rest of his body also became pretty uncomfortable. We took rads and switched farriers towards the end of the month. We did get out for one schooling when we thought he was on the upswing, but that ended up being false hope.

May: Goggles started doing some big boy horse things like trailering back to JT's for a few lessons. He also learned target training and worked on being okay with being away from the other horses at home. Meanwhile Ben went through a couple different injections trying to sort out what was sore from compensating for his sore front feet. 

June: Goggles had a ground work lesson with the cowboy. We then worked on using those principles on trailer loading. He spent the first half of the month on ground work and lunging before I got back in the saddle again. Ben got put back to work under JT's tutelage. She emphasized SOFT through his ribcage and no bearing down into the hand at any point, but especially when he spooked. He also started to rebuild his fitness

Continuing to be the best baby and going for a bareback hack in the rain.

July: Goggles essentially got himself kicked out of the GY's by either kicking her horses or being eaten by them. So he moved down to JT's and for a few brief and glorious moments, we thought Ben and Goggles might be the perfect turnout buddies. They were not, however, after Goggles decided in one night to kick Ben many times. Other than kicking all his friends, Goggles continued to be the perfect baby and went out for a second cross country field trip. Ben continued his training rides and aquatredding to build his fitness. 

August: Ben had a delightful return to the show ring with two fun jumper rounds at Majestic. He then took a brief hiatus while dealing with some cellulitis, but fortunately he recovered well from that. 

Goggles got super serious with his first real jump lesson. He surprised me by being WAY less casual than he was over the logs I'd taken him over at the GY's. But still the best egg. 

September: This month marked Ben's return to being a for real event horse. We had a fun jump around a schooling show at the horse park. I also realized I needed to maintain my stud holes if I wanted to be able to stud my horse. Goggles had a couple of under saddle jump schools with JT and started showing his bravery and desire to do the job! Ben and I ended the month with our first away show ever together - novice at Stable View. It was a mixed bag for stadium and dressage, but we ended with a confident, fun, clear XC trip. 

October: Ben had some more practice in stadium, both with JT and me. He felt more confident each time out. Goggles went off property for a few hacks and for a XC field trip. He was a super boy and again really seemed to want to do the job. He also got a friend who didn't take any BS from him. 

November: At the start of the month Ben and I moved back up to training level at Rocking Horse, our old fave. We took another field trip to Majestic for more jumper practice, and he felt even better there. 

Goggles took some time off and got his neck shock waved and his HUGE fecal egg count dealt with. He came back feeling great and kept working on some of the finer points of baby horsing with JT and me. Both boys got their teeth done at the end of the month - Goggles had two incisors to extract and Ben had an overgrown/worn down situation that their dentist kept working to fix. We also started the long journey of finding a saddle for Goggles, somewhat unsuccessfully in November anyways. 

Ben and I started this month with our trip to the Thoroughbred Expo which was overall a fantastic experience. We did have a hole to patch - a scary shadow on the down bank that completely blew his mind. The rest of the month was fairly quiet between a week of overnights and some rainy weather. Goggles finished up his month with a week of training rides then a wonderful first show experience hopping over some poles at Majestic. 

Look, a whole horse!

But still a baby! 

No Christmas post, so here's the embarrassing picture of the season

Happy New Year! 

2023 was a pretty excellent year for the two bay thoroughbreds and our little fam in general. We're looking forward to a few fun adventures in January, both with and without horses. 

I hope you all had wonderful holidays and start 2024 off well! 


  1. congratulations on a spectacular year, despite the nagging hoof issues mid year! it's been fun following along, and looking forward to seeing more adventures in the year to come!!

  2. Sounds like a very productive year! I love all the gorgeous jump media.

    1. We are so spoiled by our show photographers here, they do such a great job I can never resist.