Glenbrae Riding Club Summer Camp 2017 Auchinleck Estate, Ayrshire

When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~William Shakespeare, Henry V
Pack a couple of dozen horses and ponies, book some great instructors, add some challenge-hungry club members and head off to Ayrshire for the weekend...
Never a club to do anything by halves, Glenbrae had TWO barbecues going - one for the carnivores and one for the two-legged herbivores.
Campers came in all types of conveyances - from big ones to little ones. A place was available for everyone...
... including the hairy ones who dressed up in their good clothes and went out for dinner
We were right beside Boswell's Coach House. Thanks to Aly and Rory Boswell who have looked after us for the past few years on our camps, we had our breakfasts and lunches delivered from the coffee shop kitchen and ate companionably in our own kitchen/dining room without even having to remove our riding boots. We appreciated the lovely new toilet block just out of shot to the right in this picture too!
On the Friday there was a wedding reception being held in the big posh tent just across the courtyard. The band was in good form and their song list had something for everyone. Glenbrae showed that it could belt out a tune or two and even dance after a cup of tea (or other beverage of choice).
Auchinleck House West elevation (rear) from the path to the gorge walk
We had a great mix of long-standing and recent members of the club with us - here are some of them enjoying the warm evening and glimpses of sunshine
Our scenic show-jumping lessons were held in the field right on the doorstep of Auchinleck House
Our TREC lessons were down in the meadow...
... a short hack from our base
The instructors were amazing and there was a great choice of who to work with, on which disciplines
The organisation was great and everyone enjoyed the instruction - we had up to 12 classes per day, covering show-jumping, flat work, TREC and cross-country.
The horses seemed to enjoy the surroundings as much as the riders did, and all abilities were catered for
It was good to see some of the Glenbrae committee relaxing with their horses rather than running events!
Our instructors were a well turned-out lot. Here we see Elspeth in her rather fetching wellies
The horses remained unfazed by the wellies and enjoyed a great flat work session
Even our camping was posh - nice barn to keep any rain off and soft straw under our beds.
On the Saturday evening we enjoyed a meal in the function room where we were able to sit and relax after a busy day.
Even the Auchinleck dogs were jealous of Meg the Collie's accommodation!
The Sunday morning cross-country lesson seemed a bit daunting for some members...
...but once in the saddle everyone was all smiles
Let's start off with some nice logs
OK - now let's go a bit higher
Higher still - and wider!
with plenty of fun in between each jumping section as well as quality instruction
Water seemed an attraction and was safely navigated by all...
...mostly at high speed
The horses were showing a clean pair of heels at the jumps
The cross-country course was uphill and downhill
and some of it was even flat
Our instructors were calm, knowledgeable, inspiring, and fun, giving members the confidence to try something new or aim for a little greater difficulty than they would normally.
As always, members were brilliant at supporting each other, celebrating success and encouraging those who were less confident
There were obstacles for all levels of development.
After lunch a quick photo opportunity
Glenbrae 'sMiles Better !
Then it was back to the action
Weary but happy, we made our way home early Sunday evening.
"Great cakes"
"amazing lessons"
"Best club! Best camp! With THE best campers!!!!!"
"loved camp, good friends and fun company"
"I survived some big jumps at camp 2017"
"Fab time as usual!"
"Camp just gets better every year, thanks again to our hard working committee for making it all come together.... Looking forward to the next one"
"had a fantastic weekend at camp with fab company"
"Had an amazing time at camp ... roll on next year"
"had a ball and I survived taking 2 horses with me"
"so much fun...everything went perfectly"
"I had an amazing time at camp. Just love it."
"Great lessons. Lovely food and fab company"
See you next year

Thanks for reading our story - Glenbrae is a very active riding club - we have over 100 members and organise a range of public and member-only events. Please have a look at our website for more information, or follow us on Facebook.

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All images copyright - ©Glenbrae Riding Club, 2017

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