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Adult Camp/need ideas and suggestions

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  • Adult Camp/need ideas and suggestions

    Our GMO is considering offering an Adult Camp this Fall. We have done it in the past..... the last time, about 4 years ago, almost did not fill. We keep prices as low as possible. We tend to get not expensive BNTs as clinicians, but out-of the area ones with good reps for dealing with AAs. Our format has been two or three clinicians that the riders cycle through....
    OUr membership is mostly adult AA, riding TL-First.
    Would you consider attending a three day camp this year? Or, is the economy too bad for you?
    Who would you be interested in training with ? (we are in the South East... let's keep air fare reasonable!)

    thanks for all your input!

  • #2
    Oh, that sounds like a blast! Financially, though, this is not a good year for most riders that I know. They are stretching to include all of the regular lessons they want, and don't have a lot extra for clinics and such.

    There's actually a clinic in June at my barn, and although I'm barely even riding right now I'm thinking about signing up if it doesn't fill just to encourage future ones


    • #3
      You might want to add some unmounted sessions over lunch or in the afternoon/evening to build commraderie and offer valuable practical info beyond riding. For instance, you could partner with a tack shop that really knows its dressage show attire and talk about how to present yourself at a show like a pro....how long should our coat be, how high should our boots be, how do you get them to shine like the pros, how do you deal with different hairstyles under a hat, how much bling is appropriate, etc.

      You could partner with a personal trainer and do a session on equestrian related stretching/ pilates.... what can we do off a horse that will help keep us supple and fit on a horse, etc

      you could ask a financial planner or attorney to talk about how to deal with horses in estate planning

      You could put together a panel of FEI AAs to talk about how they have been able to balance the time and non horse committments in order to reach that level.

      These people may talk for free, so they would not increase the cost of camp, yet could be a draw to get participants.

      As for trainers, you might want to give Susie Dutta a call. She is fabulous with explaining the basic to the complex. She's friendly, down to earth and approachable, can deal with any type of horse. As the alternate for the Pan Ams twice and a long listed Grand Prix rider, she has "star quality" and she is staying in Wellngton this summer into fall, so she could drive to your location.
      Liz Austin is another idea from the Wellington area who might be a good fit.
      PM me if you need more ideas. I think AA camp is a great idea. Best wishes for a successful event!


      • #4
        I agree with adding ground sessions. Perhaps a session on emergency first aid for the equine; clipping and trimming; nutrician, etc...


        • #5
          Agreeing on the ground sessions too. The barn I take lessons at is offering an adult camp, and I would like to take it, but the price for three days of riding is enough to buy me ten lessons--but if I find out that it has extras and seems like the fun horsey camp experience I always wanted when I was a kid, I'll fork over the money. (:
          "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

          Graphite/Pastel Portraits


          • #6
            if one of the instructors is an 'r' judge or higher, having a question period on judging, followed by a mini show the first day, and then again on the last, where each person rides a test and gets scored, can be good if the participants do show and want to see exactly what their scores are. a session after can allow questions on judging.

            written homework is another idea. everyone comes out of the camp with a written evaluation and suggestions of exercises to work with their trainer on or to work on themselves.

            having a vet come in to give a talk on sports horse lameness and keeping horses sound, or developing fitness thru athletic training, i think would be better than something general such as dressing wounds. having a footing or arena guy come in to talk about footing might be good. a brief presentation on rules pertaining to tack, bits and clothing might be good if the people are inexperienced, but if they're all more familiar with that it would be less productive.


            • #7
              Hi Lorilu,
              Have you put out a survey to your members to get a better idea of what your members would like? You might get some good feedback from your current members to put this together. Also offering it in the late fall, winter, or early spring could be options to see when your members would prefer to attend. A Friday evening through Sunday usually works well for working adults and those with kids. Ideas to start Friday evening could be a social, barbecue, wine tasting and a couple short lectures whether it be horse or rider related. Then during the clinic on Saturday/Sunday you could have rides, lunch with a lecture, more afternoon rides and then evenings of dinner and lectures. Fill the day with rides but also allow times for lectures whether it be on horse health, rider position/exercises, musical freestyle, and there is just a whole array of topics to choose from but again it would help to survey your members to see what areas they'd like to have focused. Sounds like lots of fun. Hope this helps.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for all the ideas. Some sound familiar, others are new and exciting! The club will discuss the idea later this month, but I feel certain there is enough interest to do it... if we can keep the price down.
                Thanks for the clinician ideas, too. I am starting a list. Since I have planned clinics for the club inthe pst, i will probably be part of the committee planning this one, too.
                You all are awsome, so creative ...



                • #9
                  I did a camp a couple of years ago, but they didn't have separate sections for adults and kids. That particular one was H/J instead of dressage based. I might be interested depending on price and other logistics (I lease one horse, and get to ride a few others, so would need permission to use the horse and arrange trailering and such). I really enjoyed the off-horse learning - we covered first aid, shots, wrapping, clipping, nutrition, and other topics, but your target audience may feel they already have that covered sufficiently.
                  Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.


                  • #10
                    I just got back from a 3 day mini camp at my farm. My trainer hosted it, and she isn't a BNT by any means, but she knows what she's doing, and it was fun, which was the main thing. She didn't focus on discipline specific, so I don't know if my experiences will be any help to you or not, but here's what we did.

                    There were 8 riders, 4 western and 4 english. Since we were all in different levels of our riding, she tried to come up with things that we could all work on. Her theme for the weekend was balance.

                    The first day of camp, she took our pictures to show us our position at the beginning, and then after we worked on our posture all weekend, she took pictures on the last day of camp.

                    We did lots of stretches, and riding without stirrups, lots of circles and serpentines.

                    Our unmounted sessions included horse massage, clipping and braiding, mane pulling, etc. We also took two trail rides. It was a really fun weekend, and I think everyone walked away feeling that they learned a lot.

                    Hope my experiences help you a bit!
                    Proud Closet Canterer!


                    • #11
                      saw a great camp idea from a texas farm a few years back. It was a spa camp. Horses got pampered between lessons with massage, chiro etc and riders also got spa treatments like facials, massage, pedicures.
                      I thought this was a fantastic idea to make it a very special get away for both horse and rider along with regular lessons.


                      • #12
                        i wonder if some clubs might consider some 'mini camp' weekends too.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tartanfarm View Post
                          saw a great camp idea from a texas farm a few years back. It was a spa camp. Horses got pampered between lessons with massage, chiro etc and riders also got spa treatments like facials, massage, pedicures.
                          I thought this was a fantastic idea to make it a very special get away for both horse and rider along with regular lessons.
                          Now this is a camp I would go for!


                          • #14
                            If you have three clinicians, do you try to have three that are very different or three that follow the same training philosophy?


                            • #15
                              My only suggestion is to make sure that your publicity emphasizes the clinic is suitable for TL riders, so that people won't worry that they're not 'good enough' yet.
                              ...somewhere between the talent and the potato....


                              • #16
                                dressage show as entertainment

                                Novel ideas allowed?

                                After dinner (and a glass of wine?), what about a mock dressage show without horses?

                                People could rotate into the roles (gatemaster, judges, scribes, coaches, runners). People show at the level they would normal show at or dream to show at. Inexperienced people can pair into the positions of judge, etc. You might choose to have high point awards, etc. For anyone truly hapless, they could be the audience.

                                So, there are you with a bunch of (mostly women) doing a dressage show sans horses! It could be a real kick!

                                Of course, if you wanted, you could do it all with horses too but the after dinner and wine part might have to be eliminated...

                                But shucks, we all seen this video and know what a kick it is to watch,
                                Wouldn't this model be a blast to really set it up as a "real" show? The added benefit is that I think people would really, truly learn from the experience about the rules, regs, how it feels from the horse's perspective, etc. And it would be a truly bonding experience for all involved.
                                Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


                                • Original Poster

                                  I LOVE IT. We could even have a scribe and judge... training vol's for our shows along the way !!
                                  GREAT idea!