The month started off with rain…which has continued through the month and made for some amazing, unusual foggy mornings.
Foggy morning walks. Sofie loves the cooler weather and is acting 5 years younger.
Liberty got some downtime after McDowell, so rather than ride Jingle Bell Trot, we volunteered our time and pulled ribbons.
Fog-covered Estrella Mountains. “It’s like Scotland, but with saguaros!”
Liberty is officially registered as a Shagya Arabian.
A festive, pre-Christmas ride out at the Superstition Mountains with my friend Michele, who came down from Prescott Valley for the day.
“I thought elves rode reindeer.” As overheard from a little girl along the trail.
One last visit to Bergie’s, our favorite local coffee shop in downtown Gilbert that is closing its storefront doors after a decade and half. It was close enough to home to be able to walk there, and I’m very sad that it’s no more.
A pre-New Years ride with my friend Lauren, who came down from the snowy cold of Flagstaff to get some desert riding in before the Tonto Twist ride in January.
Majestic Mare Faces
One last ride for the year, finally sharing the trail (on my own horse!) with my friend Lucy, visiting from the rain-drenched Auburn area. It was really good to see her again and ride together.
Rain = perfect sand wash footing.
One last shot of this photogenic face to wrap up the month and the year. We’ve been testing a borrowed Reactor Panel saddle all month, after her back conformation changes that came with a marked increase in her fitness rendered our PK Saddle no longer as ideal for her. At first glance, she doesn’t look hard to fit, but the truth is, she’s very challenging, with drastically different angles to accommodate, and a very wide spine that needs a lot of clearance. Reactor Panel has been my dream saddle ever since I started endurance, and I’ve spent hours at every AERC Convention at their booth, learning about the saddles and trying out different models, and while I could never justify getting one for Mimi (especially after she was retired, since she would have needed a super-custom tree width, etc), I think Liberty’s performance and our aiming for bigger and loftier goals in the coming years means this is as good a time as any to finally spring for my dream saddle.
A pictographic summary of the month…tell me, do you guys like this format as a quick way to do a monthly wrap-up to cover all the things that aren’t necessarily significant enough to warrant their own posts? This might be a good way for me to compromise on trying to get a little more blog content up (especially for those folks who aren’t on social media and aren’t Facebook friends/Instagram followers) that isn’t just ride stories, but not feeling pressured to try to post on an ‘x number of days’ basis, because we’ve already established that isn’t going to happen from this blogger.
And with that, I’m signing off for the night, and for the last couple hours of 2022…see you all in the New Year!