Friday, May 4, 2012

Tales From Adult Horse Camp ~ Okinawa Style

I've been meaning to post this for a while but with everything going on I thought it would be best to save it for a time when I could do it justice. Let me just start by saying adult horse camp is so much fun! I really have to give credit to the instructors at MHC. They do a heck of a lot with the limited resources that they have.

The first day of horse camp started out very relaxed. We sat around and did some introductions as most of us didn't know each other. There were a couple of ladies who either had never ridden before or only a very little. They had children who rode at the stables but this was their first opportunity to come without their kids. (And of course I say GOOD FOR THEM!)  After that we went up to the roof of the barn and did some Yoga. We practiced a lot of balance positions which was fun and caused a lot of laughs as some of us are a little balance impaired!

After that the first group of riders went out for their lesson while the rest of us just hung out and chatted. It was a lot of fun. I have to say I try to never take for granted having other adults to talk horses with. It's nice to be able to talk about things like lead changes and tack with someone who knows what you are talking about!

I rode Mocha with the second group. We did some flatwork for warm up and then some small gymnastics. I was very humbled afterwards as so many of my fellow campers complimented me on my riding. It was very nice to hear as I can be quite critical of myself. It was a good reminder that even though I still have so much more to learn and I want to be much better I have also come very far and learned so much.

We ate lunch after the second group lesson and we had an unmounted lesson at the same time. Eden discussed how we can keep ourselves and our horses motivated and meet our training goals at the same time. It was a great discussion with lots of participation. The third group had their lesson next and then afterwards there was a beach ride. Unfortunately I opted to not go on the beach ride. I knew there was a good possibility I was going to be leaving Japan for the summer so I was a little anxious to spend as much time with my husband as I could. But, I heard the beach ride was a ton of fun.
Campers enjoying an hour at the beach.
The second day of camp dawned with lots of rain. We had to cancel the yoga session and we all huddled under the awning to see if the rain would stop. We decided to have our unmounted lesson first while we waited on the weather to give us a break. This time the discussion was about the training pyramid. It was presented very well. Some of it was maybe a little advanced for the beginner riders but I still think they enjoyed learning as much as they could.

The rain settled down after that so the first group of riders mounted up for their lesson. I was in the first group this time so I got Mr. Mocha saddled and ready to ride. For this lesson Alexis video taped us while we rode on the flat and then we did some more gymnastic exercises. Mocha can be such a fun little jumper. I still have a tendency to jump ahead from time to time and I still need to work on staying closer to the saddle but it wasn't terrible. We practiced two bounces in a row and that got a little interesting as we were riding with Sky (the giant) so the striding was a little tricky but Mocha got it most of the time.
After our lesson the second group went. There was only two groups for the day but they lasted quite a bit longer about an hour and half+. After the second group we started setting up for Alexis' goodbye party as this was her last day at the barn. While we did that Alexis called us up individually to go over our riding videos. Can I just say that I HATE to watch myself ride! I know it is very important to do because it really can make a difference in how you ride but ugh! I think I'd rather pull my teeth out sometimes! Alexis had a lot of positive things to say, though, so it wasn't too horrible.

The last part of camp was pretty much a party. Adult beverages were present and there were lots of laughs and fun.
Some of the girls after our ride.

1 comment:

  1. What a great camp experience! I've been to Adult Camps twice and loved it... some of the people I met are still my friends today...