There's just too much excitement in Braidwood this weekend!
When it comes to horse riding as a serious sport, most people think of Dressage, Show Jumping or Eventing as the only options. But they're not the only horse sports that lead to national and international level competition! To help you find some riding goals outside the traditional Olympic sports, over the next few months we will inspire you with a variety of extraordinary professionals across a range of disciplines to help you decide which ones you would like to try! (most will be able to be tried at The Saddle Camp and some like cow sports can be arranged as special events with enough interest!)
This month it's all about Endurance!
Most people think of Endurance and think of car or motorbike racing, or they've heard its just a really long trail ride! Whilst Endurance is a test of riding through bush and other varying terrain like a trail ride, when your aim is to be the first to return through the start gate after 20, 40, 80, 160 or even 400km, to complete the distance and still pass a vet check is a win in itself!
We asked April Newman (2015 Australian points, distance, one horse/ one rider lightweight champion and on the way to becoming the 2018 middleweight NSW distance champion) why choose endurance?
"I believe you can learn more about your horse than in any other discipline in Endurance. You'll get to ride through some of the most amazing countryside on horseback at sunrise, make life-long mates that you'll get to camp out with at every ride and the best part; you don't need the most expensive or educated horse to do it - or do well at it for that matter! There is no need for the most expensive gear nor do you need to be the best educated in riding - as long as you are balanced with your horse, are kind and willing to listen to your horses needs you can make it to being a professional Endurance rider!"
April was home-schooled as a child and had to work her way into horse ownership. She started with an apprenticeship as a Chef to save money for her first horse (an aged Grey Stock Horse mare named Bikkie). She rode regularly just practicing in her paddock and surrounding rural roads until she saved enough money for a few lessons. Working her way up, April then purchased her float (that she still tows today!) followed by her tow car - Rhonda the Rodeo. After completing her Chef's apprenticeship she realised that the restaurant life was not for her and headed to the NSW South Coast to work on an Endurance Farm - already in love with the sport she was offered a position only due to her passion and willingness to learn all she could about Endurance! April's highest acheivements are on her own faithful mare "Tarnie AKA The Pit Pony" - the $500 pony that went on to be ranked #1 point horse and distance horse in 2014 under Aprils guidance. From this she was offered the proud position of Head Trainer at her stud and still competes Tarnie even though she regularly competes on her farms horses as well. It just goes to show; when you have a dream and a passion for something, all it takes is a little hard work to make it happen!
This month Saddle Camp has been has been a herd of activity with the October school holidays been and gone for another year and after-school riding kicking off for another term!
This month we FEATURE Equestrian Sports: There are sooo many more than just dressage and jumping to pick from! This feature is starring April Newman - 2015 Australian points, distance, one horse/ one rider lightweight champion and on the way to becoming the 2018 middleweight NSW distance champion
You can scroll straight to your favourites in the following order; What you can get involved in, What's been happening, Competitions, FEATURE (including how I got into horses), Shout outs and For sale.
What You Can Get Involved In this Month!
Now - Wed 19th December:
Saddle Club afterschool group riding - get picked up from Braidwood Central or St Bedes (or catch the bus to the gate) for afternoon tea followed by trail riding, group lessons or arena games! We also accept Active Kids Vouchers when prepaying for 8 weeks. Book Here or via email to use your voucher!
Champions Challenge, Saddle Camp Sleep Out and Aboriginal Culture Day. All trophy winners from 2018 will compete for the coveted Champion Rider '18 trophy and polo shirt, with prizes for everyone and trophies to third place. Aboriginal elder, Noel Butler, will take us on a Bush Tucker Walk and stay late for a Cook over the Coals. We'll sleep under the stars and wake up to a full day of horse riding - trails, side saddle, driving the pony and cart, an archery competition, a wildlife photography competition and party games on foot. $85 for the day or $150 for the weekend with bookings by email only!
Kate Fenner's Science in the saddle and Engagement Zone Clinics at The Saddle Camp - Be sure to contact Michelle on 0413 011 128 to book your spot (or ask any questions you may have). Helen can't wait - she's working with Callie in the Clinic!
What’s Been Happening?!
This past month at The Saddle Camp there has been SOO much happening! The school holidays were jam packed full of action as you will see from the photos with everyone living their dreams and kicking their riding goals, leaving with happy tears and longing for their next visit without even leaving the driveway!
The Bungendore Riding Club held their annual Trail Challenge at The Saddle Camp this month and we are thrilled with the days success thanks to all our Stewards in Training! We hope everyone involved had just a fantastic time like we did!
Our Halloween Spooks camp was a gouling success! Check out our spooky spread and scary costumes - can you tell our favourite show class is the dress-up class? If you have a special occasion during your visit that you'd like to get a bit crazy with, let us know when you book and we'll do our best to make your dreams come true!
We also had a special guest in our Tiny House this past weekend;
Brooke came to celebrate her 24th Birthday with her mum, sister and the horses.
We first met at her 6th Birthday - 18 years ago - when I brought Pebbles the Party Pony to her party in Sydney!
Brooke went on to complete our formal riding lesson program on Comet, and then joined our Show Team, competing in Hack Classes with the Macquarie Hacking Club. She's now gone on to be a Marine Biologist, working with the Dugong in Sydney Aquarium.
Happy Birthday Brooke!!! It was WONDERFUL catching up and seeing where your own dreams have taken you!
For those of you who have had the pleasure of experiencing our new Tiny House you have raved about it soo much that we felt it might have too many bookings over christmas, so to not disappoint those looking to try it out - on Wednesday 31st October we had a SECOND one arrive!! We will have more photo's released to our facebook and website real soon! Click HERE to secure your dates!
We have also been on the look out for some fabulous new Saddle Camp merchandise for you to show off to all your friends post camp! Let us know your preference and thoughts by replying to this email:
1. Charms (for school bags/ bracelets/ purses)
2. Hair Bows
6. Other (you name it, we'll look into it!)
To Continue reading and receive our monthly competitions direct to your inbox, add your details to the box on the right!!
So the last few months we've been featuring topics on overcoming struggles and bouncing-back positively into life. Naturally the next step from accepting change needs to happen is to actually plan your next steps forward and set goals to get your groove back! At The Saddle Camp, as much as we love watching our riders develop their confidence and take a positive step into the future back to everyday life, we also LOVE creating MAGIC and the seemingly IMPOSSIBLE! There is nothing more satisfying than proving to both ourselves and our doubters exactly what is POSSIBLE when you have a dream!
Our favourite quote at the moment is "The Difference between a Dream and a Goal - is a Plan" because of its abrupt truth. When you envision your dream, make stepping stone goals towards it. Our path is never straight nor flat when chasing a dream but as long as we are always moving toward it (be that forward or sideways) we can create our very own MIRACLES!
A family business that has successfully chased their dreams happened to walk onto our farm not too long ago and shared with us their story; Gilberts Equestrian.
Beginning with a love of horses in the UK, the Gilbert Family knew they would be a part of the industry from the get-go, it was just a matter of how!
With the drive and passion, little by little (over many years) that little competition hobby bloomed into a beautiful competition yard in the heart of Herefordshire. Now run by Penny and her daughter Chloe - a qualified riding coach - the yard specialises in Eventing and Event Ponies producing horses and ponies for all ages and skill sets. "We often have a vast range of horses competing from low level to international." Whilst running the yard, Penny still regularly competes at dressage on her warmblood named Diamond.
As riders themselves, the Gilbert Family understood the markets need for correct fitting and quality equipment for all riders (from happy hack to top level competition), and established Gilberts Equestrian in 2010. Its an online Equestrian Store. In 2017, after many visits and a round-the-world move, Penny's daughter & son-in-law - Annabel & Jonathon - expanded the family brand to Australia. Living in Australia only drives the Gilbert Family further to bring quality, dependable products that are sure to endure our climate from around the world, to your door so you can continue to RIDE YOUR WAY.
You will find Gilberts Equestrian products online at www.gilbertsaustralia.com.au
This month at The Saddle Camp there's been a buzz of excitement! Spring is in the air and new aspiring riders are coming out of the woodwork to enjoy all the Camp glory!
We have also Re-Vamped our Website; see the new look HERE!!
Our monthly FEATURE ARTICLE is The Difference Between a Dream and a Goal; how we made our Dreams Come True and how you can too! We also hear from Gilberts Equestrian on how their dream equestrian business came to life!
All your favourites can be scrolled to in this order: What you can get involved in, What's been happening, Competitions, FEATURE (including How I Got into Horses), Shout outs and For sale.
What you can get involved in this October!
School Holiday Weekend Camps 1 place left for a Sleepover on the last weeekend. But there are plenty of places available for Day Camps and Mini Adventure Rides. You'll have your own horse for as long as you stay, for magical adventures! But they're filling fast so BOOK NOW
Halloween Spooks Camp! October 27 & 28 weekend camp will be a fabulously spooky camp, featuring a trick or treat spotlight tour on Saturday night and Fancy Dress Show Day on Sunday (so pack your costume!) BOOK NOW
Saddle Club After School Horse Riding returns in the school term. We are also accepting Active Kids vouchers when you prepay for an 8 week term! You can reserve your place in the Club online HERE or book direct via email to use your Voucher!
Christmas Holiday 4 Day/3 Night Camps are filling fast. If you want your horse riding dreams to come true this Christmas we highly recommend BOOKING NOW! If Santa doesn't bring you a horse for Christmas, maybe he could bring you a Gift Certificate for your own horse at Saddle Camp! So much easier than squeezing it down the chimney :)
SAVE THE DATE:
14th October: Be a Steward for the day for Bungendore Riding Club's Trail Riding Challenge at The Saddle Camp. You'll learn about stewarding a course, vetting a horse before & after the Challenge, and you'll receive a special rosette for your efforts! Enjoy a delicious complimentary picnic lunch while watching the beautiful horses complete their challenge before your eyes. No minimum age and families are welcome - we need at least 14 keen stewards! Email [email protected] to confirm your spot.
3rd November: Kate Fenner Engagement Clinic and Demonstration hosted at The Saddle Camp - poster above (Contact Michelle Ridley for Bookings and any questions)
17 & 18 November: our Champions Challenge, Saddle Camp Sleepout and Aboriginal Cultural Day is on again! All our trophy winners from 2018 will compete for the coveted Saddle Camp Champion Rider '18 Trophy and Polo Shirt, with prizes for everyone and trophies to 3rd place. Aboriginal Elder, Noel Butler, will take us on a Bush Tucker Walk, and stay late for a Cook Out over the coals. We'll sleep under the stars, and wake up to a day full of horse riding - trails, side saddle riding, driving the pony & gig, an archery comp, a wildlife photo comp and party games on foot. It's $85 for a single day, or $150 for the whole weekend. Book in now via email to save your place!
What's Been Happening:
During September The Saddle Camp has been a herd of activity! Below are just a few of the highlights that could be you on your next visit!
Horsewyse Magazine competition winners Caitlyn and her friend Alexandra (above) had a FANTASTIC time on their weekend camp! Thank you to Horsewyse magazine for organising their stay! You can enter to win any of Horsewyse Magazine's competition by purchasing it at your local newsagent or online. Check out www.horsewyse.com.au
We also had the pleasure of helping the Air Scouts from ACT complete their World Environment Badge by planting some native trees here. They compliment our Sheoaks we've planted for the Glossy Black Cockatoo. Adam Shipp from Yurbay took the scouts out for a Bush Tucker Walk, and we all sampled the rice plant, and Black Wattle Tree sap that's growing here, along with some beautiful teas and mountain peppers he'd brought along.
Adam was a wealth of information about our native bush foods, and we filmed tidbits of his knowledge. Helen's working on putting them on QR codes around the property, so very soon you'll be able to go for a "Technology" Bush Walk or Horse Ride. Stay tuned!
If you're interested in your own tour - Aboriginal Elder, Noel Butler, will be taking us out on Saturday 17 November, and staying with us till late as we cook up dinner in the fire coals. Email [email protected] to book your place!
We have had many people come and stay (and other show up and upgrade their accommodation!) to our New Tiny House!! We are stoked you all love it as much as we do! and encourage those who haven't checked it out yet to do so through the link or come and visit for a walk-through! You can book our tiny house directly through www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/27033779 Our latest visitors can be seen on a family trail ride in the pictures!