I figured I’d take this time to share with you Sixteen Highlights of 2016. Narrowing it down to only 16 was a lot harder than you’d think! The things meant a lot to me, so in no particular order here we go!
- I won my first ranch roping. And it was the first one I’d ever entered. Our friend Dave, booked our barn the 20th of November to hold his “Roping on the River”, and so much fun was had by everyone! There were great folks, and I got to make some new friends! Our winning team consisted of me, our neighbor Jesse (the person responsible for keeping Avie’s feet in tip-top shape all season), and of course my Cowboy! I’ll never get this lucky again! Haha! Avie really worked good that day! I just love that horse!
- It was the first year I really got to compete on Avie. I feel like we made great progress and I’m itching for the weather to straighten up so I can get back on him and go more! I won money at half of the major barrel races we went to! We competed in six states – South Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota and Minnesota. Next year, I’m hoping we get to add a couple more to the list! Kansas seems like a logical choice! And maybe Wyoming or Montana, or both! Dino should be in the rotation next year too – so I’ll be hauling two ponies down the road!
- Hiring my first Intern was a great idea — Molly is helping me a lot, and I hope that will translate into more products, showcasing the pretty photos you all love and more blog posts, sharing my charmed life with you.
- Getting paid to write is a highlight of my life — I still write for Cavvy Savvy, and this fall I picked up a new publication: Ag Week! Make sure you head over to see the stuff I’m writing there! People pay me to tell stories and share my
wisdomstuff I’ve learned? Shut up!
- I moved Dino into the Two-Rein. I’m well on my way to having a straight up in the bridle, horse! And for those of you that understand what an accomplishment that is, I know you’ll appreciate the work it takes to get there! He’s in a JPW San Joaquin Mouthpiece with a Nevada style cheek.
- I had several images featured by the AQHA via their Instagram Account. And one made the pages of America’s Horse in September!
- If you’d have told me that at some point in my life, I’d have a photojournalist follow me around, I’d have laughed at you, but that’s exactly what happened when Kristina Barker did a story on me for Intersection Journal! That was certainly cool! She took some very cool photos, but this one, is probably my favorite! Pardon my turkey neck. Anyone know a good plastic surgeon?
- I found myself featured in Oprah Magazine (January 2016)!
- Instagram has been so much fun for me: I now have over 11,000 followers. All I do is take photos of my life, and apparently that many people think I do a good job! It’s crazy! I’ve started a hashtag just to search all my images that contain negative space. I’m finding my style. It’s only taken me nearly a decade!
- In October we headed to Texas for my 20 year high school reunion. Yes, I’m that old! It was great to catch up with old friends! So much has changed in 20 years and yet so much has stayed the same!
- Also in October we went to Nashville! It was my third time there and the family has planned an annual trip to go listen to the amazing musicians in that part of the country. While there, I got to see my friend Brooke and catch up with her, though Lower Broadway isn’t a place so conducive to good conversation!
- We held the first events for our Non-Profit, Project H3LP! this summer. That was super fun! Those kids kept us hopping! I know the crew is looking forward to the coming summer, more kids, and more events!
- Copper joined the family in July. He wasn’t too sure about me at first, but now we’re pretty inseparable. He’s a dang good dog! A busy border collie for sure, but a good dog, nonetheless.
- The ranch hosted 5 college interns this past summer. That’s the most we’ve had at one time! And so far this fall we’ve had 9 applications for the 2017 season! Three of the nine are booked and ready to arrive come May!
- Through our Non-Profit we hosted 2 additional, local interns for our horse program. Those girls are certainly looking forward to returning in 2017, I’m certain of it! Teaching folks about horsemanship and horse training is certainly one of the most fun things I get to do!
- Curt Pate came to the ranch in October for one of our Non-Profit events. He is one of the kindest, most positive, can-do-individuals I’ve ever met. We can’t wait to host him again! We all learned a lot, and the kids had a blast. So did he!
Again, I was super blessed this year. My life is charmed and I still need to periodically pinch myself! I hope that 2017 is just as much fun as 2016 and maybe, just maybe, I’ll make another “highlight” list! How did 2016 stack up for you?