What I Learned in 2012 (As Told through the Memory of my Instagram Account)

The new year is all about reinvention. It’s a time when people make resolutions, bare their souls to their friends and family about their shortcomings and vow that this will be the year that everything changes.

Tack will be cleaned after every ride and at least one ride a week will be without stirrups. Did I say entire ride? I meant 5 minutes of one ride….

For me my year starts a little later. Instead of kicking off the year on January 1st like a traditionalist, my new year starts with the first horse show. While others are busy starving themselves and hitting the gym, I like to kick back and reflect on what 2012 taught me.

My memory of course is not to be trusted as the show season of 2012 seems to have somehow blended all together, so I enlisted the help of my instagram account (aerohmer) for a more accurate portrayal.

1) You can Find Friends in Unusual Places.
I spend a lot of time away from my family and friends, living out of suitcases and possibly rivaling rock stars for the amount of nights in a year spent in hotel rooms. Sounds awful, right? But I’ve been blown away by the number of (semi) strangers who have invited me into their homes to share a meal, or to offer help and friendship. When you think you’re alone, stop and check your surroundings. There are actually so many friendly faces, they are just sometimes in unsuspecting places.

2) The Grass isn’t Always Greener
The grass may not always be greener on your side of the fence, but sometimes the sky is. Never underestimate what your horses can teach you.

3) Duct Tape Actually Can Fix Anything!
When the going gets tough, the toughest grooms just pull out some duct tape and keep going! Soggy conditions and old shoes weren’t going to make it through the long horse show day, but a little bit of ingenuity left me with dry and actually warm feet. Project Runway here I come!

4) Location Doesn’t Matter
You can be anywhere in the world and the best view is right between your horse’s ears.

5) Laughter is By Far the Best Medicine
Sometimes the situations that spring up are really serious and need to be dealt with properly and professionally, but a little laughter can go so far in helping solve the problem.

6) Everyone Needs a Little Reassurance
Flexible was inarguably the best show jumping horse of 2012. But even Flexible needed some loving reassurance from his groom here before tackling the big courses at Spruce Meadows this past summer.

7) Sometimes, You Just Need to Go With It
Wow. I still remember this day. We were not feeling it, and when my co-worker asked me if the bonnet was straight, I just said yes… Don’t worry, gravity eventually helped us out and the day went on and on and on….

8) Inspiration Can Be Found in Surprising Places
When my “littlest girl” made her debut in the International Ring at Spruce Meadows I seriously thought my heart would burst with pride and that was before I saw her name on the clock tower and before she turned in a nearly flawless ride. It’s amazing that such a seemingly little girl can teach an old comber so much about tenacity and bravery.

9) If You are Prepared Anything is Possible
Oh Bruce. He’s so ridiculous!

10) This is What I Love
A brief visit home at Christmas left me feeling a little blue and contemplating a “normal” lifestyle, but a quick look through my instagram feed has left me knowing that what I’m doing is right for me. I love seeing “my” horses with little smiles on their faces.