The Camel Valley Riding Club held its annual camp the weekend of May 15-16 2021 at Chyverton Equestrian Centre in mid Cornwall, booked to capacity of 24. Although everyone had their fingers crossed for sun, the British weather was looking temperamental. This was unlucky given that Covid social distancing measures were still in place. 

Undaunted, the brave equestrians of the Camel Valley were ready to give it a go. Some huddled in our new blue tent (with one side up) to partake of fish and chips from the Hawkins Arms on Friday night. Then an early night was had in preparation for lots of riding on Saturday. 

Fortunately, the weather was clement enough to enjoy both the morning and afternoon sessions without getting too wet. Instructors Becky Kennen, Mirriam Hooper, and Becky Littleton put us through our paces, with some super flatwork and pole exercises in our different groups.

By Saturday night, all the remaining tents were up, and it was obvious that some of the Cornish had a taste for “glamping”! We had a beautiful bell tent, two tents with a porch, and even a fire pit. 

Before dinner, it was time to take part in a dance-fit session with Nicki from FitSteps Wadebridge. As we rocked through different genres of dance, our mettle was tested after many hours in the saddle - you could certainly see who had the endurance to make it to the end of the session! Lots of giggles and some great Rock n’ Roll tunes. 

After this, Helen and Gillian fired up their portable BBQs, and a great feast ensued, including burgers, chicken, and even Tracy’s home-made sausages from their own pigs. Heidi “won dinner” with the most amount of salads, and Roz had the poshest drinks: Prosecco on the first night and Pimms on the second.

Over a few beverages some campfire songs were heard, and everyone enjoyed chatting into the night…well, until at least 9.15 when it started raining again and everyone dove for cover. 

The heavens opened on Sunday, and we waited for the rain to clear (which it did, eventually). The instructors judged it was safe for us to hit the Cross Country course. Luckily photographer Kate Simpson was there to capture some exultant - and a few “oh my goodness” moments as horses and riders braved the obstacles. 

In a socially distanced presentation ceremony, we thanked the instructors and our wonderful chairman and camp organiser, Janet, and all were presented with flowers. After that it was the long slog of loading up tack, tents, and horses for the trip home.… no one was looking forward to unloading all the soggy kit the other end!

Another fun, bonding riding session with like minded people.