There was lovely weather for the BHS North West Summer Camp at Reaseheath College with 24 people attending with their horses.
The facilities provided by the College were excellent including stabling, large indoor arena and all-weather arena. There was also the use of the student accommodation and restaurant for breakfast and evening meal – making it more of a B&B experience than a Camp – with a packed lunch, everyone was well catered for.
Riders were put into groups of six and each had two, two hour sessions each day. Four Registered Instructors provided the training bringing their own unique style to provide variety. The ground work and TREC obstacle sessions were very popular, as were the rider biomechanics and flatwork riding lessons.
There was a great atmosphere with everyone getting along and making new friends, the horses were really chilled and riders reported that they were enjoying spending such quality time with their “partners”.
After settling the horses in on arrival and following a brief induction everyone enjoyed their hot evening meal with their favourite tipple and the opportunity to meet with like-minded people. A quick ice-breaker also encouraged people to think about what they wanted to get out of the weekend and everyone was encouraged to make the most of their time at Camp. This meant as well as the group sessions there was an opportunity for one-to-one training, confidence coaching, and human and horse massage.
On Saturday evening everyone was treated to a demonstration by Lisa Ashton who is the highest qualified Equitation Science trainer currently in the UK. One of the Camp participants was the demonstration guinea pig and she did an excellent job. The subject was of great interest and people said they would like to learn more.
The objectives of the Camp were to provide an opportunity for riders to spend quality time away from home with their horse, to try new things and build up trust and confidence as a partnership. Below are a few of the comments from participants:
'Catering was the best I have ever had at camp.' - Michelle Prince
'The instructors were informative, empathetic, knowledgeable and patient!' - Sophie Lamper
'I loved the one-to-one sessions and got a lot out of these and felt inspired by them.' - Ellie Mardell
'The ambience was brilliant. Everyone was friendly and helpful - that includes organisers, fellow participants, teachers and college staff.' - Wendy Walmsley
Positive Partnerships Camp was organised and run by Julia McHugh, Christine Worthington and Suzanne Davis all volunteers with The British Horse Society in the North West Region.