It has been the year of very high highs and very low lows.
It's been a year of travel.
It's been an active sales season in my barn.
With two selling within three weeks of listing, and I think a few more sales abroad that are coming into contract. There's also two new faces in the barn, bringing my population back up to four.
The season ending up here also means Florida is rapidly approaching. Only one of us is going, and much to my chagrin, it's not Mike or myself.
But it doesn't mean that we aren't totally out of Florida land. There's a few certifications and some business of the non-horsey nature that I need to attend to. Even if it means I have to come back to the bi-polar tundra of Kentucky.
PostScript is in Florida to do the pony jumper circuit.
The talented little pony needs some miles on the circuit and will probably not be coming back to my barn in Spring. Which was always the intent- to sell.
I'm very proud of that pony who has come a long way in a short time. While I know she's the odd duck in the barn (shortest, oldest), to see her transform from this raw, feral field pony to an athlete really give me a lot of great feelings. She may not be the fanciest of movers, but she will jump the standards for you, she's impressed a few people along the
Her southern move comes on the heels of dealing with some unplanned physical issues among the horses.
Namely Al who developed a crack in his hoof and required special shoeing, complements of Rood
Looking like the complete idiot, he was sporting hind shoes instead of fronts. One Z Bar, one regular. Almost three resets later, we're back to barefoot. He also had about four weeks off during the prime fall season, which puts us behind in training, and we're now just getting back into the swing of things.
For a horse that's used to working, it was equally hard on him to see the other go out and not him. He had to contend with hand walking for three weeks, and then an extra week off due to my obligations with the clinics and travel.
Moppi had a small bout of cellulitis which left him feeling sorry for himself, but bounced back, then went through a series of growth spurts. He's been lightly lunging here and there while he gains all his weight back.
The DeLaurentis mare that I was very hopeful and excited as a broodmare passed suddenly in her original owner's care as we were arranging shipping. Leaving us with two mares instead of three. Still looking around for another and kicking some other ideas around as well.
Moose, the Cliff's Edge OTTB gelding, sold but not without some drama prior to, where he stepped on himself opening an old scar. His new owner is thrilled with him and I think he'll be a good performance horse for her.
Then there's the new OTTB by Warrior's Reward. The three year old gelding was purchased by an owner and let down starting in June, and now just making his way back into work.
But I have a few bright spots on the horizon in 2017.
Early next year is already active, with travel, shows and horses needing to be started. I had to expand the staff. I have a few clients who are looking for their next horses. There's even some debate about doing the five year olds with Al and Delphic, and I managed to diversify a bit and it's starting to show dividends.
So to recap 2016 Goals:
1. Pursue young horse track. Get into the observation sessions.
We pursued the young horse track with a vengeance this year. Fahrenheit ended up 5th in the nation, one of my graduates won HOTY honors for materiale (funny because the horse is on track to do eventing, not dressage). We were on track for the USEF Young Horse Championships and we didn't get into the observation sessions for a few reasons, but namely by the time that the nearest session came through, Fahrenheit was sold, Flair went home, Al wasn't even started, PS isn't even the right horse, and Moppi well, Moppi is only two.
2. Continue to increase fitness (human and horse).
By Summer, the 2016 string was actively working six days a week and turning out well. Flair had finally lost the broodmare look and had put on a ton of topline in the process. I was going to yoga twice a week in addition to riding and walking quite a bit.
3. Continue to sell and source horses world wide. '
This was a major success this year. All horses that were on the sales list, sold. Quickly. We sold close to six figures of horses. We sourced Fahrenheit's half brother for one of my clients, Equibest Sine Metu G. (Sezuan/Calypso II) (nee, Moppi) and he's in development for materiale next year. We unexpectedly sourced PostScript, who turned out much better than expected. Our partner's in Germany started gaining interest from people, and there's a bit of a push in the British market.
4. Continue to create and dedicate personal educational opportunities once a quarter.
I started doing this weekly with a local instructor who I have quite a bit of respect for, and I changed focus of the clinic side of the business, drastically reducing the amount of clinics I host per year, and adding ones that are personally beneficial to me. I also started creating partnerships within the community to create regular opportunities. This will continue to trend like this for 2017 as there are other things that are happening that are taking me away from the clinics.
5. Continue to develop Flair.
Flair. Flair and I's arrangement came to an end in July. I still like the mare quite a bit and she was schooling an easy change and a fair amount of p/p/p in the process. But things happen and she went home.
With that being said here's 2017:
1. Continue developing young horses. Qualify for championships in multiple areas.
2. Continue to increase fitness both horse and human, and also develop a better diverse portfolio for investments.
3. Solidify sales sources and barn.
4. Continue education.