One of the funnest things about Camelot has always been showing there with my friends. We’ve been going to Camelot for years and years and years — seriously, I think my trainer first took students to a one day schooling HT there back in 2011. My first show there was 2013 — from which I was summarily eliminated, but I had a ton of fun riding Quincy around bareback at night with my friends despite that.
This year, I knew pretty early on that Kate was bringing students, and Olivia would be coming, so it was for sure going to be a mini blogger meetup. I tried to rustle up a few other locals, but alas none more were to be had. No fear, both Kate and Olivia brought many incredibly adorable horses, which more than made up for it.
Sorry, Olivia. I suck at selfies.
But the highlight of meeting other bloggers was meeting Keith W. Matapouri of Post the Trot. (Also sorry Olivia and Kate that meeting up with you guys wasn’t the best part of the weekend. I mean blogger meetup.) In the time-honored tradition of the close blogging community, though, I’m going to refer to Keith by a made-up blogger name. Let’s go with Kathy. Kathy seems like a good, strong, blogger name.
I actually knew I was in the presence of Kathy even before we had been properly introduced. It was just one of those things. I don’t want to imply that I’m a stalker or anything. But you know when you see something you’ve never actually seen before in person, you’ve only heard/read about it, but the second you lay eyes on it you know that this is that thing you’ve read about? It was like the first time I ever saw a gerenuk. I’d never seen a picture of a gerenuk, I’d just heard of them, and then there was a gerenuk standing there in the scrub and I shouted
this is what it was like to spy Kathy
Alternately, you know when your dog jumps off the couch and makes that kinda subtle smile at you, and you know that you need to rush her outside right away because she’s about to start puking on the carpet (even though she hasn’t started heaving or gurgling yet)?
It was kinda like that.
Anyway, Kathyand I spent a little bit of time chatting after I introduced myself. We had a fascinating and in-depth conversation about the appearance, function, role, and genetics of dapples. Interestingly, did you know that nobody really understands dapples? I mean the dapples that show up seasonally, not dapples that stick year-round on gray horses. We think it’s genetic, it seems to be associated with nutrition in some cases, and some horses get to have dapples even when their nutrition is total shit. So what regulates whether a horse gets the ability to get dapples (like, what gene even controls dapples REALLY?), if a horse gets dapples within its lifetime, and how big/bright/patterned/obvious those dapples are?
NOBODY KNOWS. It’s interminably frustrating. Kathy understood.
Kathy also promised to take me horse boating sometime, so that’s pretty cool.
(I did, actually, see gerenuk a few times living in Kenya. This picture is from MF Kinnard at Mpala, which was essentially right nextdoor to where I lived in Kenya. Like, as nextdoor as you get when you live on a 200 square kilometer conservancy.)