It’s been a good one! There have been so many good times I don’t know where to start!
2011 flew into January 2012 and saw me with Oscar. Towards the end of 2011 we’d been having some issues due to him testing me as a rider, as most horses will do when you first get them, and partly due to lack of turnout and nervousness on my half. But in January we started to iron out are issues and were getting on like a house on fire! This really was the beginning of something great!
Another great thing about January was that I had my interview at Harper Adams and in February I got offered a place! This was a massive step on the way to getting to Harper and had me buzzing for months. Now all that was left to do was put the work in to get the grades required. It felt like after such a long time of working out where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do in life, falling in love with Harper and setting that as my goal, I was finally getting there! I wrote this blog about my interview and this one about being offered a place.
February also saw a spluttering of snow which I got VERY excited about but didn’t amount to that much at all :P
But by the end of February the weather had taken a turn for the better, warmed up and I was even riding in a t-shirt! In February! And by March the reservoirs were emptying and we were officially in a drought. Things started to get serious at school, the revision began and I’d already started counting down the months until Harper! The badger cull debate was in full swing and headlines were raging. Looking back, it’s amazing how much went in to something that came of so little.
In April our boat Exuma went back into the water, we did some work on her and moved her to her summer home of a swinging mooring. We also got our kitten! She still looks very kitten like – and definitely behaves like one!
In April, the rain started. Riding became a bit more difficult and infrequent. And it’s still raining.
May was absolutely hectic! What with revision and exams and projects to be handed in, my 18th came and went in a blur of family and champagne. But by June it was all over. Exams had been and gone, and I could finally relax. Summer had begun! It started with a LOT of horsing around – including this comedy fall!
July started with a very early start at Barbury Horse Trials, grooming for my friend Sheryl who was competing in the Pony Club Team Showjumping. She and Sovreign jumped well one appalling ground but unfortunately there were a lot of faults in the rest of the team and they weren’t placed.
July was also a chance to test the shiny clean sails out properly with a long weekend to Chichester Harbour. It was a fun weekend with a big, choppy swell in the Solent but the sheltered harbour was flat and peaceful in the morning sunshine.
August was FANTASTIC! Oscar and I made our dressage debut at Ambitions Equestrian Centre an were placed 4th! We came out with 59.2% on a test with a tricky rein change in canter, but that had ridden well for our first time out together. I was one proud Maddi on that day I can tell you!
I also got my A-level results and I got into Harper! This has to be pretty much the highlight of my year – I worked so hard for that and would have been devastated if I hadn’t got in, and don’t know what I would have done – I didn’t have a back-up plan! I still can’t believe it and I’m there!
I also took Oscar to Sower Hill for some more dressage, this time coming out with 62% despite a few wobbles so again, very proud Maddi there! We finished 6th there in some good company :)
It was September already, and the month I moved to Harper! September was spent having fun with Oscar, hacking about, and seeing all the people that I wouldn’t see when I’m at Harper. I went up to Congleton and visited my cousin Libby and her baby and ended up going on a blood run for a snowy owl, went on a picnic with Sheryl and Andy on one of the very few sunny days we had (like I said, the rain didn’t stop!). As a last outing with all the horsey gang we went to Blenheim Horse Trails, and I won an Ariat voucher on the horse cross country simulator (And I won’t stop rubbing it in that I beat Sheryl!) :P Then, at the end of September, I moved to Harper!
Freshers flew by and before I knew it lectures had begun! I was settling in to life at Harper and by mid-October it felt like home. I came to realise that Harper really was the right place for me and I’m having so much fun there it’s unbelievable. At this time I also made the difficult decision to leave Oscar behind – something I won’t dwell on but is hard to forget.
November so many, many fancy dress parties, assignments being set, and yet again exams looming. Our flat was trashed so many times I lost count but towards the end I seemed to be spending more time listening to the bar from my room than being in it. By December, Harper was starting to tire me out. I was stressed by exams and really couldn’t wait to get home and have a meal cooked by someone else! Here I am at home almost a month later, and I can’t wait to get back to Harper! I was never unhappy at the end of term, just drained. Now I’ve had my rest, I can’t wait to get stuck into the new term.
I want a special mention for a few people (this is the soppy part). There have been great times in 2012 but there have been difficult times, with exams and such. And there are some people who helped me through this. My friends on twitter, my ‘twitfam’ have been there through thick and thin lending support or a snarky joke (Lorraine I’m looking at you) so thanks, to Marie, Debz, Irene and Lorraine. Sheryl is my favourite person in the whole wide world who has helped me through exam stress and taking Oscar out for the first time and listened to me moan about coursework and shared my moaning about yard owners :P And at uni, Hollie and Steve have been there when I’ve decided in my head that I’m going to fail my law exam and that my life is over. So thanks you guys :) [EDIT: The fam have been great too until they got grumpy that I didn’t mention them in here]
And here we are. There are 24 hours and just over 30 minutes until 2013. We’ve survived the end of the Mayan calender. We’ve made it through another year. And hasn’t it been a great year, with the Olympics and the jubilee. But for me, 2012 has been one of the greatest of my life.
Come on 2013, let’s see what you’ve got in store!
Bring. It. On.