NewsA Newbie Goes to Camp with CDRC: What An Adventure!

A Newbie Goes to Camp with CDRC: What An Adventure!

A Newbie Goes to Camp with CDRC: What An Adventure!        

Finally the big weekend had arrived. No, not Glastonbury but ParkEnd Equestrian Centre and CDRC summer camp. Me and my pony, Joseph were off to join the good and the great of the horsey world.

The panic had set in a couple of days before when, unknowingly I had entered myself as a Novice rider, only to discover that Novice didn’t mean beginner! Frantically calling the lovely Penny who assured me she would change my entry, my friend Lou and I set off for the unknown.

Packed to the gunnels we arrived at ParkEnd, the home of riding legend Charlotte Ridley (affectionately, later to be named the Commander).  The scene before us was of natural beauty. Shame I felt sick and in need of the loo! However, we were soon parked up, ponies stabled and with gear in hand we set off to find our sleeping quarters. That’s when we stumbled upon the ‘Big Girls,’ Annie and her Pimms Wagon! Well in for a pound, in for a penny. Vodka shot in hand, welcomed by smiling faces, we joined the gang. Sometime later, nerves calmed by the lovely grape we headed off to bed.

Morning came early and with it a weekend of the most amazing experiences, starting with another legend, John Hill, “more bend Nicole,” (later lovingly named the Camp Instructor). Having beguiled him with my very own unique style of dismount, (falling off the side) he soon had the Joseph and me with ‘more bend’ than I’d ever thought possible. Culminating in us going XC with Commander Charlotte and the nickname Mary Queen. Who’d have thought it possible!

Days were spent riding, observing, learning, making friends and pony chat. Like school without the teachers and your best toy to play with. Evenings were full of great food, thanks to the Commander, “there’s no arse in XC,” who seems to make things happen effortlessly.

Great characters, John, fabulous in pink and tab, “yah”.  Becky, who’s hilarious one-off’ remarks commented on the “dawn chorus” of snorers, think I was part of that gang. Katy, “I think I’m still hungover,”got to hand it to you girl, still going early hours of the morning then jumping that big thing in the field, you have stamina. Annie, with her “more pimms,”. Penny and Carol trying to keep us in order and doing a monumental job. Julie, with her silver teapot, “lovely cuppa.” Angie and Tracey, calmness itself. The lovely Emma and Jenny. And many more to mention.

Through fun, encouragement and two legends, the Commander and the Camp Instructor, knowing their stuff, I watched everyone there, go from strength to strength, no matter what level of rider, horse and owner got it!

It was fun. It was challenging. There was laughter, and tears of joy, when scare was overcome with great accomplishment. Oh and a few bricking it tears, they were mine; show jumping but I did it. Through it all there was an incredible sense of one for all and all, for one camaraderie.

I for one had the best time of my life. A life changing experience and I don’t think I was the only one. Cant wait for the next one.