NORC Summer Camp 2013
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Camp feedback by Fiona Hall
Arrived at camp Friday evening, with a shocked look on my face at how beautiful the place was.

I parked the car in the camping field and took out my pop up tent, which really did pop up.... The quickest tent in the west!

After going down to check the horses and tour the grounds it was time to pop the cork and have some tea.

It was a lovely evening we sat talking and debating what we were all going to put our names down for in the morning.

After a good nights sleep and a full hearty breakfast I decided to put my name on the flat work list for the day.

Both morning and afternoon sessions were great and I learned a lot, both myself and M (my horse) were shattered and I had blisters between my fingers from the hard work.

We bedded our horses down for the night giving them all lots of treats, it was then time to treat ourselves with a glass (OK 2, maybe 3) of wine and another fabulous dinner. Sue and I decided to put on a play to entertain everyone, I think we succeeded!

Sunday morning and time for breakfast and signing up for more flat work. This was yet again a brilliant lesson, although I needed first aid by Sophie for the blisters that I got on Saturday. With plasters all over my fingers I carried on.

I didn't do a session in the afternoon instead I opted for laying by the pool and relaxing my hard worked muscles.

Going to camp as a new member of NORC and with not going to any training sessions I was slightly nervous as to what to expect, but I found everyone there and the trainers really friendly and help full.

I had a fabulous time and really felt like I had achieved something.

Can't wait for next year, I am looking forward to it.

Camp feedback by Bronwyn and Toddy

Well we turned up quite early but it was on the last day of camp. We were met by Catharine who gave us a quick tour and showed us where to put our ponies etc.

Oh what a place it did take our breath away; we eventually found the kitchen area and had a lovely cuppa and a bit of brecky. Oh again what a place – you could tell that you had all had a great time, the flowers and the incredible organised kitchen "staff" what great chaps they were.

We put our names down for training opting for pole work. There were three of us in the class and we did lots of exercises to improve our balance and rhythm, which seemed simple but it was difficult to get right. We all went the wrong way a few times but after a bit of practice and just starting to get it right the pattern was changed. It was all great fun and the concentration made you relax putting your shoulders "back and down" and hey presto you got it. Then it was all speeded up with some trotting over several poles followed by a small jump or two.
Neither of us had jumped our ponies before but we flew over.

Lunch was amazing – thank you we were well fed and watered the atmosphere was friendly we were able to talk to the trainers. Lots of discussion on what we were all going to do in the afternoon. There was a lot of egging on and finally the brave ones upped their game and went for the cross country. Toddy said well I want to go along and if I am not sure I can come back etc. Well what can I say we did not see her until the end of the day and she won the "jumping queen" rosette? I did chicken out a bit and did another flat work lesson, which was very different but enjoyable. We finished off having a good practice at the water jump on the cross country course; we all got in and out at walk and trot once we chucked out Catharine and Felix who were not going to shift!!

Back at HQ – the pool was so inviting, everyone was in, and I did attempt to do an Intro A test but flagged towards the end. Tea and presentations followed then the tidy up ready for home.

Looking forward to next year.

Sophie's Camp Report
So, finally after all the waiting, the date arrives and it’s time for NORC Summer Camp!

Campers arrived in the afternoon on Friday, and settled their ponies into the stables, got their tents up, and had a swim – absolute bliss!

It also just happened to be Barbara’s birthday, so we couldn’t let that go by without celebrating – we had gorgeous lemon cake made by Alison (thank you Alison, it was amazing).

By the evening on Friday everyone was getting to know each other, and we had wonderful helpers in the form of Ian, Nigel and SJ who did loads of food prep, washing up, tidying up, refilling of glasses, running around and all those important chores one needs help with – including getting tents up, and pumping up mattresses!

At 5pm we had a demo on Bio Mechanics from Gloria Leverett – which was fascinating. It was too hot to get a horse and rider to demo, but Gloria bought her skeleton to show us how all your joints work when riding. We all stood up and tried different positions!

Dinner in the evening was cooked and provided by Anne, chilli and all the goodies that go with it, well done Anne, a sterling effort. Then eventually off to bed.

Saturday morning, the trainers arrived at 9am, we had 5 trainers and 19 campers, so only 3 riders per session, which worked out brilliantly. We had Sophie Martindale, Claire Deuten, Charlotte Agnew, Natalie Allen and Tania Cherry – this meant that everyone could choose a session to suit them. Some only wanted to do flat work, others XC, jumping and pole work/grid work.

We had two sessions per day, each of two hours, with a break for lunch in between. All the trainers joined us for lunch and tea, and we were able to have a good chat with all of them.

After training, more swims, more tea and cake, more wine!! And the same all over again on Sunday.

We were fantastically lucky with the weather, and the venue. Lyneham is a fabulous place, the facilities are second to none, and Sam Sandberg, the owner could not do enough for us. Everyone said it was the best camp ever, and could they come back to the same place again next year!

So, in conclusion, I would say it was a success for the club, we had 19 campers in total, including 4 day campers on Saturday, and 2 on Sunday, which I think is the most we’ve ever had at camp. Everyone said the trainers were great and only having 3 in a class was perfect to get some one on one tuition.

Everyone made full use of the pool and all the fabulous facilities, and by Sunday afternoon there were some very tired, and very hot people!

I would like to thank everyone who came, those who trained, and those who helped and gave support, we couldn’t have done it without you. We’re hoping to put together a CD of photos for all campers as a memento of your time at camp.

Hope to see you all next year, same time, same place?

Sophie