I have a cool digital photo frame in the lounge at the barn, and it’s time to upload some new photos. A client set us up with the initial group of photos, but they’ve been on there for a while and while funny and cute, they are outdated. I’ve been going through photos from my computer and from Facebook friends’ pages and I’m reminded of what a great year it’s been. I’m so grateful to have such a great group of clients. There have been lot of changes this year, but throughout this time, we’ve solidified our team. Most of all, our riders’ learning and performance has improved. The horses are healthy (and even gaining weight through the winter with not much time off in spite of this cold weather we’ve been having).
I know how important it is to have a good social atmosphere at a show barn, in addition to excellent instruction, and I think we have both. Our Holiday Stall Decorating Contest and Holiday Party were great examples of everyone coming together to share some holiday cheer with one another. We also had a super work day in September when many of our riders and their families pitched in to repair and paint fencing, as well as neaten the facility’s overall appearance. It was fun working alongside everyone and there was a real sense of accomplishment at the end of the day (finished off by a great end-of-summer barbecue hosted by one of our barn families). In October, over 35 people from our barn went to the Verizon Center to cheer on Elizabeth Parent to champion honors in the WIHS Local Pony Hunter. It was a thrilling victory and so heart-warming to have so many people there to witness Elizabeth’s great jumping round on Rock Star. I’ll never forget the roar from the corner as she jumped the final jump!
So many other great moments from this year: a rider qualifying for Pony Finals, sixth in the VHSA Pony Medal Finals, three riders qualifying for the VHSA Children’s Medal Finals (and placing well in the classes that week at Lexington National), excellent performances and ribbons at Upperville; riders comfortably moving up from local to rated shows; some new horses (congrats to Ali, Eliza and Shannon, welcome Kaela).
On a personal note, Don and I added Veronica Jean to our family last year. Born February 1st, our daughter has been such a joy in our lives.
It’s been a whirlwind year… and 2011 promises to be full of more great times. Here are some of the photos for my digital frame. I thought I’d share them with an even wider audience. Thank you to everyone who made this a successful year!