For Luke and I, the month of December is a time to hit the reset button.
By Kelli Neubert
December 22, 2015: To most of the country, the end of December determines a markedly stressful time of year. There’s the seemingly endless shopping, mountains of gift wrapping, hours of meal planning and preparation for either traveling to be with loved ones or hosting holiday guests (sometimes both!) Did I mention the pile of gifts to wrap? We make lists, we check them twice, and then we give ourselves minor anxiety attacks when we still can’t remember if we’ve gotten everything done or not.
Although come to think of it, I feel like that a lot, anyway.
For most of my Texas friends, the holiday season is not so much the beginning of stress, but the end of it. It seems as though most of rural Parker County has let out a sigh of relief, mostly due to the conclusion of the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity and the hubbub that ensues. The sales have concluded, the champions have been crowned and life in Texas has soothed and settled like a fresh December snow—without the snow that is.
We’re wrapping up the end of the year with beautiful, spring-like weather and excitement for the year ahead. Most of the 2-year-olds that we had in our program have gone on to their next phase with other trainers and our barn doesn’t have too much going on. With most of our horses turned out and a window of time ahead of us, we’ve decided to load up the ol’ pickup with our (still!) unwrapped gifts and head to California for the holidays.
See, just over a year ago Luke and I packed up our gear, clothing and animals and headed down to Texas to give ourselves a new challenge and create greater opportunities for our business. Leaving the Central Coast of California was a big decision for us, and although we felt like it was the correct choice, it left a small part of us wondering if we would harbor any regret. Once we adjusted (as much as one can) to the Texas climate and settled into our new house, we learned to enjoy and respect being in such a different state. Although my hat is still shaped the same and my stock trailer’s still got a full roof on it, I’ve embraced the spirit and style of the Texas horseman and feel as though it’s been an educational and rewarding adjustment.
To be honest, we’ve learned to love Texas. Yes, our trip to California has been wonderful—it’s been a celebration of memories for both of us. We visited several of our friends and favorite places in Paso Robles and reminisced fondly of previous times. We stopped in Hollister where Luke showed me the ranch that he lived on until he was 6 years old and shared stories with me about the place that greatly shaped him as a young horseman. We still have several more experiences ahead, between my family in Carmel Valley and the Neuberts in Alturas.
I’m thankful for where we came from and the places that have shaped us, but I’m even more excited about what’s to come. We have a talented string of 2-year-olds lined up for next year and a lot of ambitious goals to work toward. I feel truly blessed and am looking forward to our journey. I wish each and every one of you peace, blessings and a little Texas spirit this Christmas, no matter which state you hang your hat in.
Now if you’ll excuse me, (I may have forgotten to mention this) but I have a few gifts to wrap.