Where have you been? What have you been up to? Is Smokey still even alive?

 

Oh yes, friends. I am back!

 

Since I last posted, Smokey and I have both done a whole lot of nothing and whole lot of growing up, getting in shape, getting out of shape, and learning how to be horse and rider. I went back and read some of my previous posts and was shocked at how far we’ve come, both from my point of view as a rider and his overall skill level.

I think it was late last summer when I was chatting with my barn owner about how all of a sudden Smokey looked like he had an adult face. Just like BAM….adulthood. He’s physically matured and has really mentally come around to kind of enjoying working. I was sick for a week recently and didn’t get out to see him, but when I did….wow. He followed me around like he missed me. Well, that’s a first.

Also, it’s very near comical to read some of the later posts where we were struggling to canter, much less function as a complete riding pair. Nowadays, you guys, The Smokes and I are a team. A real, honest to God team while we’re riding. We canter, we trot, we sidepass, we do poles, and sometimes we even jump! The jumps are about 50/50 good/bad at this point, but hey. For someone who hasn’t ridden a trained jumper in….years…on a green horse, we’re doing a-ok.

So here’s what we’ve been up to since I last posted, in picture form:

In the summertime, Smokey is Fabio.

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Summer turned to fall, which means mud. And a transformation into a chestnut mudstang.

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The dogs are learning how to trail ride with us.

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I discovered Smokey has a baby tooth that just won’t quit. The vet is keeping an eye on this, but doesn’t think it’s a concern.

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I got to watch some very talent mustang trainers compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Gainesville, GA. The winner is actually the guy who got Smokey on the trailer at a clinic for me.

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We trail rode. A LOT. Smokes was a champ every time.

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Smokey and I watched a pair of deer duking it out in the woods behind the arena.

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We jumped all the things. Even when we didn’t want to.

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I went to Texas to visit my BBF

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While I was in Texas, this idiot got an abscess.

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I came to the barn to ride at nap time almost every weekend, much to this one’s chagrin.

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Fall happened.

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This one got fluffy, then got clipped. Behold my clipping non-talents!

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Um…. shenanigans.

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There were a few mustang moments. But only a few.

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Mostly, they were goofy moments.

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We did a lesson with Elisa. The two of them jumped an oxer! This part of the team did not.

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Smokey tried to commit suicide.

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The dogs ate the Thanksgiving ham bone.

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It finally got real cold and the spacesuit came out again.

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Thoughts During a Spook You Won’t Stick – A Dramatic Reading

I got this.

No. No, I don’t got this.

I think I can get my feet down first.

Wait! I have a hold of some mane!

Nope. Still don’t got this.

Please don’t run me over.

Nevermind, you’re still going sideways.

You look scared, don’t be scared.

These are my favorite reins, please don’t break.

I definitely just landed on my phone. I’m sure it’s crushed.

People are staring.

My hip kinda hurts.

And my ego. Mostly my ego.

I’m so glad we have soft footing.

There is so much arena sand in my pants.

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