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December 31, 2015: End of the Year Wrap Up

It is now the last day of 2015. I’m sure that the minds of many are filled with graphic images of mass shootings and terrorist activities. I know of these things because I read the New York Times, but I so seldom watch television that my head is filled with differing images.

It was a big year around here – for me, riding-related doors swung open because I pushed hard on them. Really hard. It all began with two Centered Riding clinics which were held in April and May, in California. There I met Susan Harris and got instructor status. This was definitely a good thing to do – I became a more confident rider.

In July Pete and I both participated in the Fairbanks based Challenge of the North Competitive trail ride. I’d messed up my ribs a few weeks before, came off Raudi and hit some rocks in a creek bed. So I was not up to riding in the Open category, as planned. I instead joined Pete and Tinni who moved up from novice to the two day Competitive Pleasure division. I came in second in horse conditioning to Pete and Tinni – my confidence had been upped by doing a pony club clinic that in part was taught by Dan Stewart, a fellow who knew a great deal about sports psychology.

While in Fairbanks, we nearly lost Ryder – our then house sitter Jennina Carney left her dog’s liver flavored Rimadyl on the table and Ryder scarfed it down. She spent a few days in the veterinary clinic, but then pulled through. It would have been a major loss, had she died. While in Fairbanks I also learned that my mother had had a stroke. She too pulled through. So, quite obviously, I was not in the best of spirits that weekend.

In August, Pete and I organized two local back-to-back Centered Riding clinics – both went very well. As Susan said, we did a great job of bringing Centered Riding to Alaska. After, I was able to ride with others who were familiar with the six basics – breathing, soft eyes, centering, body alignment, clear intent, and grounding. And these riders knew what I was talking about and vice-versa.

Had lots of dental work done in the spring and summer, which culminated with my having a tooth pulled a few days ago.

In November, I went to Europe for ten days. The first few days in Amsterdam were tough – I suffered from a serious case of jet lag. But once I met up with people things improved. I did a Centered Riding update clinic and also attended the 2015 Centered Riding Symposium.

The bad news came on September 21, and took the form of a phone call. My Dad’s wife Carol, in a flat voice, told me that my father had died of a heart attack the night before. I am still thinking of things I want to tell them, but then I catch myself and realize he is no longer around. A huge loss for me – made even larger by the fact that my sister Eleanor refuses to talk with me about this. I have been feeling as if I no longer have any family members.

As I wrote earlier, my younger brother Matthew also died this past summer. My mother is doing okay, but as I am well aware, she could go at any time.

A mild winter thus far. Been doing agility with Raudi – we blew the December competition – missed the deadline that was earlier than usual. Still, now getting in numerous rides, and looking forward to what 2016 will bring.

Next: January 1, 2016: Ringing in the New Yea

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