teamwork makes the dream work

Camelot’s August event was everything I hoped it would be, and then some.  I don’t quite have the energy for a full recap (I’m still catching up thanks to a sleepless Friday night and minor flesh wounds to both knees), but there are too many good pictures not to share some of them.  The short story is that we were successful.  But in reality, I’d categorize this as more of a wildly successful outing for us.

c/o Kate’s friend, Kathy. Thanks Kathy!

Thanks to my own stupidity and inability to ride down banks, I tweaked both of my knees on Friday afternoon while schooling the utterly enormous and incredibly inappropriate for the level 3′-ish bank that was flagged for the Novice course.  I suck at banks and we haven’t practiced them in a year, so we worked our way up to the big one.  Murray was fine going down the littler ones, but could clearly sense my hesitation and lack of desire to go down the biggest bank, so he stopped a few times.  I finally approached it with some commitment, then promptly lost my left stirrup. Murray turned a hard right upon landing, and physics was not in my favor.  I kept going straight.  As I slid over the saddle my right foot must have become caught up somehow, because my knee twisted on the way over.  I initially landed on my left foot, but promptly fell to my knee.

I lay there in the dirt, both of my knees stinging, while Murray stood next to me and judged me for my silly actions.  Eventually I gathered up the gumption to stand (stung knees hurt, yo!), got back on, and we schooled the bank and a few other fences with great success.


I love the Camelot standards. Thanks Kathy!

The whole weekend was really an exercise in teamwork, though!  First, Kate kindly hauled Murray to the show as we were short one trailer spot from my barn.  To my great pleasure, Murray happily walked right into Kate’s trailer, and then unloaded quietly once at Camelot.  Kate even had a pin of just the right dimensions to fix our own trailer woes, when the 3-horse we were borrowing was short a pin to keep the back divider closed.  I mean, if that isn’t a beautiful coincidence, I just don’t know what is.


a couple of fences at Camelot have glow in the dark paint!

After spraining said knees, one friend loaned me her horse’s Back on Track wraps, another drove to get me ibuprofen at a nearby gas station, and everyone pitched in to help fetch, carry, and lift while I limped around the facility like a pirate.  The good news that is NSAIDs and BOT helped my knee to feel pretty much normal by cross country time.  I don’t really know how I feel about Back on Track gear… part of me thinks it’s juju voodoo horsey pseudoscience.  The other part of my knows that the BOT treated knee was way warmer than the untreated knee, and it felt WAY WAY BETTER after putting the wraps on.  So… we’ll need to play with evidence based medicine for that one.

Kate’s Kathy and Olivia’s husband kindly got pictures of me during my stadium ride, which were so appreciated when I realized after stadium that in the course of bumping my camera around on my hip I had deleted every single picture from the entire weekend.  I felt sick when I realized that I had done that through carelessness and bad habits (of not turning off my camera or protecting my images).

picture credit to David on this one!

There was even some pretty solid team work getting my outfit together.  I’ve been admiring the Winston coats for a while, but they are solidly outside of my budget in even an off-the-rack scenario.  A couple of months ago L alerted me to a tack sale for an Oregon tack store that was going out of business, and they had a Winston in just my size for an amount that I could, somewhat drunkenly (and only if I don’t look up the email to see what the actual price is) justify paying for.  I hemmed and hawed over it, and Peony told me to do it (and buy a Samshield alongside to boot, but they had none in my size).  And Megan concurred. So I bought it.  It didn’t quite have the shiny buttons I wanted, so I headed to Etsy and found the brushed stainless buttons I needed, easily replaced the old ones on the front of the coat and voila!

 I adore everything about the damn thing, and having a really, really well-fitting coat is just so nice for me.

It was such a wonderful weekend to spend with friends from all different avenues of my life.  I can’t wait to do it again — maybe in April, guys?!

18 thoughts on “teamwork makes the dream work

  1. Ha, so I saw your coat on fb and was like “that’s a really pretty coat”… makes sense now! I definitely have a type. Love my Winston. Sucks about the tumble on the downbank… I remember when we moved to N the biggest difference for me was how big the drops are. Legally they can be up to 3’11”, and I think every course here has a decent sized down drop on N, several of them as part of a combination! They take that dimension seriously. We won’t talk about the ones on T, they’re like shit your pants huge (I mean really, is it necessary to drop 4’7″ at T?), but I’m becoming numb to it at this point.

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    • I know it’s a practice-makes-perfect kinda deal, but it’s hard to practice when there are so few around! Most of the Novice courses in area VI lately (the last year or so that I’ve been watching ride-on videos) haven’t had big drops, they’ve had up-banks in combos (fence to bank, or bank to fence), so it’s not been on my mind. Apparently it’s time to practice again!

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  2. I’ve been coveting a Winston… maybe next year will be the year!

    The size difference in the BN to N drops was the biggest thing for me I think. Banks freak me out so I always give the hairy eyeball – like when we shared one with training at my first novice 😳😳😳 Glad he tumble didn’t keep you from your weekend of fun!

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    • The reduced price REALLY helped. All of my other jackets fit like crap, and it was this little token of frustration whenever I was riding. It wasn’t a big thing, but just a little irritation. I don’t even think about this coat when I ride now, and it’s just one more thing off my mind. Plus, knowing I will look super fly in pictures is awesome. 😀

      You should for sure try one on before you buy though. The guy who helped me when I tried pointed out that the cut of the Winston coats suits some body types more than others, which is why other coats I tried (no matter how nicely cut and fabricated they were in general) just never fit quite right. Maybe he was BSing me to get me to buy the coat, but it was definitely something that solidified my desire to own one!

      And yeah, I remember events where this was marked as a training down bank so I was pretty O.O myself.

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