Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Eventing for All Ages Camp Recap & Updates

August is in full swing. The older I get, the quicker time flies and some days it seems hard to keep up. This month is no exception. The month started off with a bang as I was the clinician for the "Eventing for all ages Camp" up at Sunset Park in Blaine. As the title suggests, the camp is open to riders of all ages, and levels, who express and interest in eventing. We had an amazing group of 13 riders!

Next up on the calendar is a derby at Polestar Aug 20th, Aspen Farms HT Sept 9-11, Whidbey One Day Back-to-Back Sept 17-18th, and E.I. HT Sept 24th-25th. I am aiming to move Swag up to Training level at Aspen, with EI as my back up (currently waitlisted for Aspen). I am beyond thrilled with how far Swaggy has come this year and I truly cannot thank everyone enough for all of your support. There is no way I'd be able to campaign his without the generosity shown by my friends and family. While I'm a long way off from my goals, every bit helps. I am still hopeful that I'll manage to earn enough to finish off the season, but need your help.

Eventing For All Ages Camp
Sunset Park, Blaine, Wa.

The Eventing for All Ages Camp is an annual fundraiser for the park put on by "Friends of Sunset. Day one consisted of semi-private dressage lessons. This gave me a chance to access the riders and give suggestions on how to improve their flatwork. Many of the comments given on day 1 continued on throughout the weekend. Balance, straightness, and rhythm. We finished the day with a ceremony which opened the newly renovated water complex and a group trail ride.

We started day 2 off with some hands on learning on how to set fences and measure distances. All of the riders helped to set the course before the first group rode. It gave everyone a chance to ask questions and see how you measure a horses stride. There were four groups of jumping lessons in the arena. We worked our way through the different exercises, a line, a bounce, and a combination, as well as several single fences. All of the groups made huge progress as we worked through each exercise and finished with a course to put the pieces together. For the afternoon session riders had a choice between working on their pacing (220mpm, 350mpm, 400mpm, etc) or doing a basic intro to cross country riding. Riders took turn trotting, galloping, and jumping, and everyone had a fantastic time. As we waited for dinner, Swaggy and I gave a demonstration on jumping on the lunge line. Swag proudly showed off his skills and loved all of the attention.

The final day of camp was cross country. We began the morning working with about half of the horses on the lunge line over fences. This allowed riders to see the horses work through some issues without the rider on their back. It was super educational and I think this could a clinic all by itself. It's amazing to see the different types of horses, those that jump quick and tense, and those that need to establish a better "go" button. 

We broke into groups of 3-4 riders for the ridden portion and had a great variety of levels. For some riders this was just about riding in an open space, while some of the more experienced pairs but different elements together such as a coffin, a skinny, and a bank combination. After a bit of practice riders were able to put it all together over a course. Everyone made huge progress over the 3 days it and was wonderful to see the pieces come together. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every rider and am already counting down the days until next year!