As I look back on the past year, it’s been one of great blessings in the midst of utter chaos. And I feel truly and utterly grateful for so many things:

  • Each of you – your continued calls, emails, Facebook posts and Instagram comments.
  • The strength, resilience and continued collaboration of our partners.
  • The health of my family near and far.
  • These two silly, lovable beasts that make up my own fur baby family.
  • The incredible ability to still be in business despite the circumstances of this year.
  • The chance to look forward to 2021.
  • How fortunate I am to share my life with you – and to share in yours.
  • The ability to dream with you of incredible places that will fill up your memory banks.
  • The smell of my horse.
  • The feel of the wind on my face as we canter through the field.
  • A solid roof over my head (even though it’s a small one).
  • All the great new recipes I discovered when dining “in” was the only option.
  • How good it felt at times, to truly laugh – from my belly – even when COVID continued to batter us and try to beat us down.
  • The chance to grieve with you on the agonizing loss of loved ones, family members and beloved pets (and 2020 took some of the really good ones……).
  • How we all grew closer and championed each others causes and achievements.
  • That we can keep putting one foot in front of the other.
  • The chance to (still) celebrate the holidays, even though it will be with FaceTime this year.

2019 was an epic year, one of Active Riding Trips best ever. So when 2020 started, I was geared up for another banner year with all of you. And having lived in this biz through 9/11, through hoof and mouth, through SARS and MERS as well as any manner of other travel snafus, I truly thought “this will pass”.

But it didn’t. And then the days came when I just sat in stunned disbelief as every single wonderful place I’d known and loved to ride from Portugal to Peru, Australia to Avignon, began shutting down. And people were suffering. And the days were dark. And I wondered for a brief moment if we should just close.

But I was healthy, I still had tons of energy left to work – but what could I do? No one could travel – anywhere.

So, head into the wind, I stood back up and we kept moving – we kept on doing what we do best:

  • Getting our facilities out in front of magazine editors for features (thanks Elite Equestrian, Untacked and Chrome)
  • We kept on churning out social media content
  • We forged new partnerships (Have you seen what Kerrits has done for us? Or our new alliance with StreamhorseTV? Or some of the podcasts we’ve been on?)
  • We updated the website.
  • We helped you plan fun birthday, anniversary and friend trips for 2021.
  • We began finalizing a few new trips for the site (hello Transylvania…..)
  • We kept on keeping on – and you rallied around us!

So this holiday season, wherever it finds you in your own personal and/or professional journey, let me say to you that I’m grateful to overflowing to be able to have a few minutes of time with you here, virtually connected as you read this.

And as my healthy 89 year old father always says when talking to God, I’m grateful that things are as well with us as they are. If you think about it, that’s pretty amazing in itself.

Until we saddle up together in 2021, stay well! And stay in touch, please!