My First Camping Trip...
I am home from Camping! (And have met the newest edition to the Family the WAY too cute puppy! I am sure Puppy Training will be getting many a blog coming up...) But yesterday and today was Camping. Yes, a short trip, but one doesn't want to go overboard, what if I'd hated it?
I didn't. Quite liked it really, but I was with some wonderful people, which completely made the difference. Horsetrainer Mel, Bronco Jen, Mr Awesome and his Wee Lad. (Who, at 5 both outrides and outcamps me.)
Here are some important handy Tips for Camping:
1. There ARE Bears out there. Not theoretical Bears, but real Bears. In fact, one half of the Info board is dedicated to Bears. And what to do if you meet one.
Mostly, it seems to say, it will come down to your Luck and the Bears Mood.
The other half of the Info Board is dedicated to a Map of the Trails you will ride on. As you can see, this map has been MAULED BY A BEAR. Which is disturbing in itself, besides making the Map incomplete.
Doesn't matter much as the Trail markers are also incomplete. This means you will get lost, which only adds to the fun. If you could eaily find your way back to camp, why, your ride might be cut short those last several hours, as you try and find the thing again.
And hope the Bears have left it in peace while you were riding blithely thru the woods.
There are a couple things no camping trip should be without. Cell phone reception so you can Twitter pictures and say things like "HEY! We are here, does anyone know where this IS?" which may help you get back to camp. And may inspire responses like "Looks like the woods where that Gingerbread House was"
And Coffee. I don't drink coffee all the time, and when I do it is pretty entertaining, ask anyone who has seen me on it, but you NEED it while camping, mostly in the mornings, because you will not have slept in your tent all night, having forgot the ten pillows you generally sleep with and having woke up every ten minutes to Something Outside the tent Snuffling.
You can't go BUY this coffee, no shops in the woods and all. And you can't plug in the coffee maker, there being no, well, PLUGS. Or coffee maker. You need someone to make a fire, and then BREW it in a pot over the fire.
It will be the Best Coffee You Have Ever had. Trust me on this one.
I had planned on riding Chanel, a bay mare that I have ridden before, but right from the start she was a first class brat. I tried, but something about being in a new woods, on the trail and on a horse who seems intent on bucking me off, wasn't working for me.I needed to show her who was in charge and make her behave.
And it was my mind that failed, not my riding. I need to get past this fear of riding, and horses. Oh yes, it's there. I worry about getting hurt all the time, about not being able to manage the horse, about not riding well enough. And it's my mind that is failing, not my riding. Melissa told me this too. And she would know.
My horse friends are Very fun, and the back and forth is hilarious, they can take as good as they give, but when it come to the crunch, when I need them, they are dead serious. And instantly.
Mr Awesome, who owns Chanel got on her, after a few bucks when it became clear I needed help, and rode her off to make her mind. I got back on, but after a few more bucks, sitting, spinning and swearing not withstanding, I couldn't do it. We switched saddles and he gave me his other horse, a grey gelding named Lefty, who is as solid a trail horse as anyone could wish, and I concentrated on going up hills (Fast and leaning forward) and down hills, slower and leaning backwards) and sitting UP and on my butt the rest of the time, and did quite well. These aren't, mind you, pony rides around a ring. Serious trails, and hard riding, for long hours.
I love it.
But I need to get over this fear.
It's all in my head. And I need to win.
Love and Camping,