Each year, usually in January, I take a look at what I am riding and ask, “why?” I mean, really, why am I riding this horse — what do I hope to accomplish with him — what is the reason he is being schooled or the reason I am taking the time to work with him? I ask that question first and it helps to channel my thoughts about the horse.

I just like riding Lucky. He fits me and I don’t care that he’s not as schooled about shows and stuff. He is usually a good ride at home. But we have to fix that and get him out more. Rugby’s ongoing creakiness pushes him further and further down the priority list. That will be addressed this year, and soon. (When the vets get back from vacation!) George’s wonderful demeanor and soundness should have him a priority but instead he really hasn’t been in the forefront of the list. That has to change, because he’s a great ride, too, and I’m lucky to have him. And finally, the star of the string, Hamish has good all-around skills that are increased every time he goes someplace. His cheerful attitude keeps him high on the list. His jumping is so good. He is reliable and strong. I look forward to sitting on him. But not being full Thoroughbred, he takes more conditioning work and longer saddle time.

Right now, rather than set a riding schedule, because the weather has been so foul, I’m just keeping it flexible. I wish there were a good indoor nearby that was easy to ship to, didn’t have a pile of junk in every corner, or was dustier than a middle Eastern country.

My farm is wetter and muddier than it has been in many years. I am hoping for the best but prepared for absolute mush worst. Envy the snowbirds! Wish I could go to Aiken!