Sunday, May 30, 2010

Back Home

As I sit here after returning home from the Inavale camp, sunburnt and exhausted and HUNGRY (don't worry, there's a microwave dinner cooking as I type. Parmesan crusted fish with penne pasta and veggies in tomato sauce. Delicious.), I am still as pleased as punch (just how pleased IS punch, anyway?) with how the weekend went. Can you tell I'm tired? When I'm tired I give in to all those little tangential asides that pop into my head as I write, which you now get to see as an excess of parenthetical digressions. Lucky you. I apologize in advance.


This weekend, for the uninitiated, involves two 1.5 hour lessons each day, one XC and one Stadium, for two days. Plus an optional lesson on the third day, which I always decline because by the third day my horse and I are exhausted. It's held at Inavale (they've recently redone their site and it looks lovely!), where the scenery is gorgeous and the people are great. That nice fellow in the picture on the main page - the man, not the baby! - is Luigi, one of the owners of the property and organizers of the recognized event. With his tractor, he helped us get our truck and trailer un-stuck from a squishy part of the parking pasture today. (It's okay, other people got stuck too. Also, this fish is really good. How is it that frozen dinners taste so good?)

Right, so, Inavale. I love it there and it's wonderful. The horses get to stay in open-air corrals or nice temporary stalls, whichever you prefer, and of course we prefer the open-air corral because our horses really like to be out. McKinna gets upset when her vision is really restricted by a fully closed-in stall. Open corral? Totally her cup of tea. We even scored one of the best ones, right underneath a giant tree which protects from sun AND rain.

I am much too tired to try to write up a whole report tonight. It also wouldn't make sense, because all of the (copious amounts of) pictures and video are still on the camera, and what's an eventing camp report without pictures and video? A lame one, that's what it is.

So instead, here's a miscellaneous collection of thoughts to tide you over. Also I apologize for the haphazard nature of this post. Did I mention that I'm tired?

- McKinna rocks. Hardcore. She's amazing. I think she is well on her way to "XC Machine" status, if she's not there already. Everyone thinks she is adorable. She tries her heart out for me, she's as honest as the day is long (here we go with the idioms again), she's fiery but not uncontrollable, she's intelligent and patient with me when I do things like get a horrible half-stride three times in a row to a big Swedish oxer, and in general she's wonderful.

- When getting horrible half distances to a 3' Swedish oxer three times in a row on the second day of intense work when your horse is tired and doesn't have quite enough energy to give 110% like she usually does, consider changing your line. Because, you know, that fixes it and you will get a perfect distance.

- White XC boots are probably not a good idea. I mean, it's fine. But really. Definitely a lack of long-term planning in that one.

- I think I'm too hard on myself sometimes. I forget that McKinna and I have only been in serious schooling since January. I need to remember that even though we've improved quickly we will sometimes hit speed bumps, and that it's okay. It's not that I had a total meltdown or anything, I just get discouraged sometimes over little things. And I feel guilty when I mess up, like when getting those horrible half distances to a 3' oxer etc.

- Almost comparable to the pleasure of a kickass XC ride is the pleasure of a really hot shower after a long weekend of horse camping. Ask me how I know.

- Speaking of horse camping, we know how to do it. Burgers on the grill for lunch, plenty of Kettle chips and cheesy popcorn (so. good.), pork chops and grilled vegetables for dinner, banana boats for The best part is sharing with fellow campers, because it's fun to get everyone together and hang out.

- Banana boats: slice open the top of a banana peel. Pull the peel out to the sides. Shove in chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Wrap in foil and stick on grill until all melty and gooey and delicious.

- The look on McKinna's face when you go to tack her up for the fourth time in two days is PRICELESS. "You? AGAIN?"

- My trainer is awesome. Devin was one of the instructors at camp, I had great rides with her as always, and everyone I talked to really liked her.

- Sunscreen good. Sunburns bad.

- I think we have more clothing for McKinna than any other horse people I've met. This weekend alone we rotated through a blanket with neck cover, a sheet, and a fly sheet with neck cover. We also brought with us but did not use a second sheet and a cooler or two. These are among the perils of owning a grey horse, only offset slightly by the fact that when she's sparkling white everyone oohs and aahs over her.

- Have I mentioned that McKinna is a rock star? Especially on cross-country?

Okay, that's enough from me for the night. I promise tomorrow or the next day you'll get posts stuffed full of pictures, video, and silly commentary from me. I'm going to bed.


Albigears said...

Oooh love Inavale. Looking forward to the next report. Sounds like McKinna rocked! And... you guys got SUN?? (What is sun?) I bought tall rubber boots last night I'm so sick of the knee deep mud here...

(I'm definitely finding your tent at meal times the next time I camp out at an event.)

manymisadventures said...

We only got a LITTLE sun - mostly it was overcast and gloomy.

And please do come find us! We love to share. I think at the Inavale HT we'll be bringing a full-sized grill and a LOT of food.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet McKinna is glad to be your main horse-in-focus again. Sounds like you two are having fun!

I feel for you on the horrible half-stride-distances 3 times in a row when you & your horse are tired. Funny how the solution is so simple once you've had some time to regroup. (Might also have been a good time for a coach to mention taking a different line?)

Banana boats for dessert tonight!


Heather said...

I'm in the process of starting my own business and I am hoping to spread the word a little through my blogging buddies. I am making De-Lyte Bites, and electrolyte replenishing horse cookie! They come in 4 cookie servings and contain a balanced sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium electrolyte designed for sport horses. Check out for more info on the cookies and shoot me an email at if you would like to try a sample. I would love to send you a sample to try at your next event if you could review them on your blog for me! Thanks!

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