The Secret Life of McKenna: 'If you're not laughing, you're crying'

That's one pearl of wisdom junior blogger McKenna Oxenden took away from last month's USEA Area 2 Convention.

From McKenna:

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to attend the United States Eventing Association Area 2 Convention, held Jan. 13 in Leesburg, VA. Area 2 put on a fantastic meeting and assembled a fabulous day of educational and fun lectures.

The afternoon of the meeting was mainly focused upon Young Rider: programs, what to do, how to do it, why to do it. Let me start by saying I am super excited about these up-and-coming programs; I think are going to be able to help a ton in the future.

Area 2 is awesome enough to have had a YRAP program, the Young Rider Advanced Placement program. It has been active for a few years now, but within the past year or so it has really taken things to the next level. YRAP offers camps and clinics, and has put together a few team challenges. This year, the ever lovely Skyler Icke Voss and Lynn Symansky created a pilot program. The program includes several different clinics, shows, fundraising opportunities, scramble teams, grants and ways to get to know people, with everything being geared towards the Waredaca Novice/Training 3 Day Event in October. The point of the program is to help young riders who are not ready for preliminary and intermediate start preparing for NAJYRC and making a name for themselves.

The Young Rider program is also making some changes. New coordinators Meg Kep and Pam Medlin are both adding their own touch of flair to the program. The YR program is going to become even more rider involved with tons of different fundraising ideas, opportunities, and options! I don't want to give away ALL of our secret weapons, but I will say that our programs are awesome.

Meg Kep, who in addition to being a new Young Rider co-coordinator is Sinead Halpin’s head groom, presented some really great and fun lectures. At one point Meg said, “If you're not laughing, you're crying. So make the most of life.” Let's just say it's definitely stuck with me.

The beginning of the season is right around the corner. Unfortunately for me, the beginning of mine is a tad blurred but it will be there eventually. It may not be when I want it, but it'll happen. Until then, let's make the most out of life, because laughing sounds a whole hell of a lot better than crying.