I have been contemplating my first blog of 2010. Should I look back and reflect? Should I post some goals for the year? I finally decided to do a little bit of both. And, in my typical randomness I'm sure.
Looking back, I will say 2009 is a year of many memories. I never knew a year ago that I'd end up traveling around the country competing Hank. I only had hopes that he would be able to do some distance trail rides with me, and stay healthy. We far exceeded those goals. A year ago we drove out to CA to pick up another horse from a very good friend, for my hubby to use for riding. Flag, the cheerful little pinto has become a family member and has won our hearts. After losing my husbands mare, Fancy in 1998, he has not had that special relationship and bond with any of the horses since.
Hubby and Fancy at a CTR in CA in the 80's
But I think Flag has sparked his desire to ride and see some trails once again. One can never replace that special horse that comes along but we can always have room in our hearts for another. We are blessed to have Flag in our lives and look forward to spending more trail time together this year. This is of course planned around his busy work schedule.
Not sure Flag is as excited about Texas, and the weather as we are having him here.
In 2009 I traveled about 15,000 with Hank. I met some new friends and saw parts of the country I never thought I'd get to see, much less enjoy from the back of my horse. I look forward to possibly going back to a couple of these new locations in 2010 but also getting Hank back to some 50 mile endurance rides along with NATRC competitive rides. I have a "thinking about it" goal of doing Tevis with him again (the grand-daddy of them all 100 mile endurance rides) but do not have it as a hard, set goal. I will let him tell me if we are to go back again. In 2005, with the first attempt with Hank, we finished.
Hank and I heading over Cougar Rock on Tevis in 2005. He missed the little turn we need to make, and went straight up.
We went back in 2006 and he had a colic come up out of the blue at about 1/2 way. He was doing great up until that point, in fact, felt better than the previous year. I have always wondered if he had something happen that day that lead up to his major colic issues, then surgery but vets have told me they don't think so. But one does wonder. So, while I'd like to conquer the trail that beat us in 2006, I am also one that just loves that trail and would ride it over and over if I could. But at 1700 miles away I know that I won't be able to go out every single year. I'd also like to do one of the multi-day endurance rides and ride Hank all 5 days, 50 miles a day. I'd really like to ride the one in Bryce Canyon UT in the Fall but again, I'll just let Hank tell me how he is doing and what events to try. Again, one of my "thinking about it" type goals.
In 2003 I went to Bryce and rode 4 of the 5 days. Above I am on Gambler as he gets a drink.
In the Fall we added Marti, the puppy, and yet another cat named Cooder to the family. We are watching Marti grow, and are thinking she is not going to be as big as we had hoped. But she has sparked a new life in to Thelma, our other dog, who is getting older and a bit slower. They play a lot and play hard, run, jump, tumble. We could not have wished for more on that aspect and had not really thought about the fact maybe Thelma needed a friend. She is teaching Marti the finer points of barking at night when she hears things in the woods, kitties are not chew toys but to be loved and respected and if you hear the front door open, that means you can score a cookie if you hurry.
Now, we did not need another cat, we have too many already. But this little guy has been such a joy to have in the house. He too, has added new life to the other two indoor cats, (we have outdoor cats too) getting them to play and run more. Cooder is great entertainment and I'm not sorry he convinced us to take him too when we went to look at Marti at the rescue.
Our other love is going out to see live music with some of the regional Texas artists. 2009 kept me away on so many weekends, or too tired when I was home to head out for the evening and I realize how much we miss taking in some live music. I have also been photographing shows for some time and miss that too. So, in 2010 I am hoping we will be able to take in some shows again and I might even pick up my camera some more. We have watched some of our local bands go from small, local favorites, to getting nationwide recognition. The first time we saw Jack Ingram was in 2001. We have seen him in venues so small that we had less than 30 people there. Now he has been doing Nationwide tours and playing to audiences of thousands and thousands of people.
We discovered a little band who started in a neighboring town of Denton Texas when they opened for Jack Ingram at a local club. Today we watched the Eli Young Band sing the National Anthem at the Cotton Bowl game and have watched their audiences also grow to outstanding numbers.
I was honored to take pictures this past summer of EYB at Red Rocks in Colorado
While watching these artists start to achieve their dreams of being artists that are known nationwide, we also love to go to the small shows, with artists that don't have goals of playing to huge audiences. They are mostly songwriters, who have stories to tell. Most start as writers but find that if they want their songs heard, they need to preform them themselves or they won't get heard. They will never be seen on CMT, or play the Grand Ol Opry but they share songs that touch us. They are not singing about Sexy Tractors or Bo-donk-a donks. They sing about life. They sing from the heart. And maybe I need to share with y'all some info on some of these artists once in awhile, you might find something you like.
So, welcome 2010. I have no idea what you have in store and I won't set any hard fast goals but let you show me where we are going and take me around the next corner of the trail. Never know what will be there.
An Icy creek crossing on a New Years Day ride