I will spite survive

A few weekends ago I went horse camping with friends! It was for a local trainer’s ‘Wine, Women and Working Equitation’ camping and clinic weekend and it was 100% what I needed! Jane Stone offered the course (limited entry), I had a great time, and Oats is SO GOOD at working equitation! His keenness and flexibility to learn makes me feel just overjoyed!

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You can’t fake a smile like that! Photos are courtesy of photographer Christi Kay. 

I took the Friday off work and we hauled the horses and a metric ton of camping gear, hay, grain, water (there is a drought right now) up island for our camping weekend. We settled in and I was happy to see that I could camp right next to my boy!  How awesome is that? I think we bonded even more because we got to camp next to each other for two nights 🙂

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The fixed gate obstacle was no problem for Oats!

Friday was an in-hand session, where we learned how to get the horse to yield and bend based off equitation science principles, specifically to work on aspects of the working equitation obstacles that we would be tackling. I’m not that great at in-hand… But hey low pressure and no fuss!

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Oats is so brave over the bridge!

Dinner that night was pizza from Prima Strada, and it was soooooo good. Yum! I sure ate well that weekend, no doubt. Saturday was our introduction to the obstacles, and we were all in different sessions. Oats was very cooperative about learning more about them (we have done a working equitation clinic before and loved it!) and he’s super good with the obstacles. Some of the other horses were not so sure about the obstacles…My friends each had their own hands full!

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I was…not great at the garrocha pole

Dinner was a potluck and we had a TON of food. I ate too much! hahah. My dear husband dropped off meatballs for me to bring AND cinnamon buns from the Ladysmith bakery (my absolute fav..ever!). It was just nice to relax and talk horses with my buddies.

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Around the ‘cattle pen’

Sunday was the ‘speed round’ and run-throughs of the course. Oats was a superstar~ I had trouble with the garrocha pole (felt like I was going soooooo fast, and had trouble timing it enough to grab it correctly), but man it was so fun.

It was exactly the weekend I needed, as I came home on Sunday night to pack for my flight out the next morning to work on my deployment to Lillooet. Busy busy!

Beer Week event recap: Pizza, Beer and more Beer!

My lovely husband bought tickets to this ages ago, in December, for my Christmas present! I had been counting down the days to be able to go…And then it was yesterday!

For the uninformed, Beer Week has been going on for three years, I learned last night. It’s a week of educational and fun beer learning/drinking/eating events. Too many to list here, so here is the site to check it out: Victoria Beer Week March 4-12, 2016.

We went to the second seating at Prima Strada, a very fine pizza establishment. The name of the game? Pizza and beer pairings, the more unique, the better! I was HUNGRY too, having ridden Oats very quickly beforehand and zipped home to change…

We bought a beer while we were waiting for the festivities to begin. Seating is the long-table style of dining, which is pretty cool but always seems to end up with me going for a seat, and then the person next to it saying they were saving it for someone…Every time! Jeesh.

Anyways, there was a lot of ‘other’ seats available, so we had our choice. And even better, we ended up with brewery representatives at the table too, sitting across from us. They were super cool, and really pleasant.

Here is how it went down: Four beers from four different breweries, and four unusual pizza pairings. It started VERY strong, with a Townsite beer that was like 9%!! It took me ages to drink it, hahah. The pizza pairing was light, roasted root veggies with gremolata and mozzarella. I didn’t love this pizza. It was very ‘eh’…

The next one wowed me though- Driftwood beer paired with Thai-style coconut yogurt with basil pizza. SO GOOD! Yummmmm. I could eat/drink a lot of this one.

And then we had another amazing pizza- and bear with me, because I thought it sounded bizarro at first…Creamed brussel sprout pizza with very salty bacon? It was SO GOOD! It was paired with a surprisingly drinkable IPA from Yellow Dog Brewery. (I usually really hate the bitterness in IPAs so this one was a nice depart actually).

And it wrapped up with a beer that was a real showstopper- Category 12’s special cocoa nib/coffee stout. Wow. It was so dense and rich, and coffeelike, that I swear it kept me up at night! It was paired with a really cool pizza- pulled pork with red cabbage. I know, you’re thinking–red cabbage? On a pizza? But it totally worked.

A great event, we were wrapped up by 10pm and it started at 8pm. Now I can’t wait to try some other awesome Beer Week events!