Home from our whirlwind trip to Camelot Equestrian Park and finally feeling like I’m back on my feet. I hope the pony does too because I’m headed out there to ride. I meant to update periodically throughout the weekend but my phone ran out of batteries.
It was a long drive out there, and very stressful sometimes (I can’t give enough props to Eric for driving through those mountains!) but we made it to the park at about 2:00 in the afternoon. Originally we were going to leave the barn at 8:00 am and get their at noon but we decided to postpone that for Black Friday sales at our local feed store. I’m glad we did because not only did the puppy get a new bed but I also picked up an extra fly mask for Dandy since I hate the one he has right now. They had really nice Kensington fly sheets for half off but the only size that fit Dandy was in purple and sorry, not even for a great deal is Dandy going to get a purple fly sheet.
Driving into Camelot was a weird experience. The camp area is pretty ghetto, to be honest, and I was expecting just a bit more. Pens were just set up everywhere and there really was no direction on what to do. They had run out of rider release forums so we just put our money in the drop box and found a site that didn’t look very muddy. It would be really nice if they would arrange it to have actual camp sites with fire pits and all. Next time we’re bringing a fire pit because it got dark so early! But the bathrooms were good and really, it was perfectly fine to camp in.
But the cross country course… swoon…. they had so many options! Like I mentioned, we got there a few hours later than planned so I hurriedly tacked up and warmed up and we headed out into the hills. Eric was my photographer for the day which meant a lot of walking for him! While it had rained there recently, and looked like quite a bit, the paths weren’t slick despite being muddy. There were a few jumps that were just in too much mud to work on but I still had plenty to play with.
The first thing I did was play in the water complex. It was so awesome. Dandy did fabulous of course. We walked, trotted and cantered in and out from all different spots. We turned in the water and made bending lines. We even went up and down our very first bank! I really think I’m not going to have any trouble with water complexes (unless it’s Dandy stopping to drink water but more on that in Day 2).
The cool thing about Camelot is that they have elementary versions of almost every type of jump so I didn’t have to worry about taking Dandy over anything big and scary if I didn’t want to. I was really excited to try a coop but couldn’t find the elementary version even though it was stupidly enough right in front of me. Instead I put Dandy over the BN one. I think we probably jumped high enough to go over the N.
I really let Dandy have his head these two days of jumping. I let him pick his distance and do basically whatever as long as he went over. This got me into a bit of trouble as Dandy was really looky and then liked to crack his back over the jump. I spent quite a bit of time in the saddle which I didn’t like. Hopefully by the time we go down next spring Madchen will have gotten both of us going a little better. But I can’t really complain because Dandy was having a blast and really gung-ho for anything. While Dandy did run out once the first day it was totally my fault as I had stopped riding and he just sort of wiggled right past the jump. Oops.
I spent probably only a half hour actually going over jumps but it was enough to have both of us sweating and exhausted. When we had walked out onto the field, Dandy had no desire to stand still. After one run through the water he was taking any break he could get. So after a really nice string of low jumps (logs, hay bales and some boards that I don’t know the name of) I got off and walked him back to our campsite. Luckily it was warm enough for a bath so he got that and put away with a bunch of hay.
Poor Dandy hated being by himself in a new place. It took him hours to settle in. He didn’t want his grain or hay until about 6 or 7 in the evening. By then, Eric and I had had dinner on our little camp stove and had crawled into the tent to watch a movie. I couldn’t wait for the next to day to get back on and ride again.