The Secret Life of McKenna & Dorito: Looking ahead

McKenna is counting down the days until Spring Break, Rolex and (drum roll, please) summer, when she will strike out on her own as a working student for event rider Emily Beshear.

From McKenna:

Well, I’ve officially been with Horse Nation for a month!! So this first paragraph is going to be a bit of a thanks! First and foremost, thanks to the people who are supporting me with my posts, making comments and such. On my “Gah, Nobody gets me post”, the way it was received was overwhelming. I can’t tell you how happy it made me to know that you guys really liked it and related to it because that’s what I’m here for! Needless to say it led to a rant email to Wylie thanking her for such an awesome opportunity. I digress (it seems that that is a usual occurrence for me, ey?) And also HUGE thanks to the few fans I have. Shout out to one person in particular who lets me know that she likes my posts on FaceBook, you know who you are! And again, thanks to Wylie who is letting me write for HN, I absolutely love it! Despite that fact that I have been scrambling for a decent idea all week, I L.O.V.E. it!

It’s that time of the year, winter is winding down, the event season has started down south and out west, and everyone that has been stuck in the “cold” is finally starting to get out for some XC schools and schooling shows. For us at Tara Equestrian, emails have been swirling and schedules are beginning to take shape. With schedules comes thinking… and I’ve been thinking alright! Which if you know me, may be a scary thing!

What have I been thinking about you ask? I’ve been thinking about how this spring, I WILL be moving up to training level (*please pause for panic attack*), what shows do I want to do and when I am I going to move up? Recently, all of those things have been on my mind, but within the last few days my summer adventure has really been on my mind. In case you’ve been in Siberia, I’m packing up and moving to Somerset, VA, for the summer to work with the fabulous Emily Beshear, successful CCI3* rider. While I am SOO SO SO SOOOO excited about this, I’m slightly terrified.

My fantabulous mother and I were at Dunkin’ Donuts the other day and started talking about Spring Break, which coincides with summer as I’m working for Emily when I’m on my Spring Break as well. Don’t ask me why but it was almost like at that moment, I realized what was really happening. I realized that for the first time in my eventing career, I won’t be planning the bulk of my show schedule with my trainer of seven years. For the first time in a long time, when someone asks me who I train with the answer will be, Emily Beshear. Say what?!

I’ve realized the significance of what is happening, before but it’s kinda like everything is just becoming so real. In four months am I really going to be on my own? Left to choose the food I want to buy (FINALLY!) (side note: I like to say my parents don’t believe in grocery shopping because there is NEVER any edible food in my house, hence my excitement that I get to go shopping) and to deal with finances (well, at least more than I do now!). Am I really going to actually be working for someone whom I get to call my boss and coach? And am I really going to have to wash my white pants all by myself?! (Yeah, that realization came to me a few weeks ago… EEK! Despite what your friends suggest and think, they just don’t understand what the big deal is. I mean just throw some bleach on there right? Over my dead body will my new FITS go in bleach!)

And the biggest question of all, am I really leaving the only place I know as home to further my CAREER? The answer is yes. Yes, at the age of 15 I’m leaving the only place I know as home and jumping into the unknown so that as a rider, I gain more experience and exposure and ultimately help myself in the long run. I look around me as my friends are chattering about their summer plans or about talking about how they have no idea what they want to do with their lives and about how they want to get out of Howard County. While I can relate to them, I can’t at the same time. Yeah, sure, I’m the same age as them and we’re good friends and we have a good time, but I know what I want to do with my life. As a sophomore in high school, a 15 year old, I made the decision to further the career choice that I made in 1st grade. And again, the decision has been made for a while now about this summer and I am ecstatic about it, but I still can’t help but feel shocked–am I really doing this? Is this really happening? Someone really wants to teach ME?

Third quarter is halfway done and Spring Break is T-Minus 29 days away, and Rolex is 61 days away!

Here’s hoping I can survive.

Closer to summer. Closer to leaving. Video by Jackson Schrickel who is also the rider in the video–she’s up on Sky’s the Limit. One of my favorites from her!

By the way, Horse Nation, if you can’t get enough of me, you can check out my “personal” blog at

Top and above photo: Photo shoot back in October. Photo courtesy Redline Photography.

Fair Hill International CCI2/3* picture taken with a film camera courtesy of yours truly. Bonus points if anyone can identify the rider.

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