McKenzie's Horse Riding Trails

On Saturday the 5th of July, Amy, Brenda, Rachel, Laura and I went to McKenzie's Horse Riding Farm.

First, we walked up to the house and Heather greeted us. She asked us how experienced we all are and we all replied with, "very experienced". She decided on which horse we would ride. I was on Pixie, Amy was on Bubbles, Brenda was on Gem, Laura was on Molly and Rachel was on Storm. We all mounted our horses and just as we were about to leave, a huge lightning bolt flashed through the sky, quickly followed by a deafening thunder rumble. We all dismounted because it was too dangerous to ride during the thunder storm. About ten minutes later the storm passed, we were mounting again, Heather asked me about what my pony was like, I replied "She is a safe, quiet pony". Heather asked me if I wanted a quieter, safer horse. I replied, "yes". She went off and brought Olly to the mounting block for me ride. After a while, we were all ready to go. Heather took the lead on her horse, I went second, Amy followed, Rachel went next, then Brenda and Laura was at the rear of the ride. We walked and trotted the first part of the track. We reached a fork in the track, we turned left, up the hill. We cantered up the steep slope. We came back into a walk when we were going down the hills.

After about an hours ride around the farm, we got back to the house, dismounted, gave the horses carrots and went home cold and wet.

I really enjoyed my ride on Olly and hope to go back there again soon.

Sonshine Ranch

On Wednesday the 9th of July, Nicola, Caitlin, Shanae, Amy, Lauren, Katherine, Christine, Emma and I were all in Cabin 5 at Sonshine ranch. We were going to be in the same cabin for 4 days and 3 nights. Once we had gotten to know each other, we went out onto the grass to find out what horse we were going to ride. We sat down on the log with cabins 2 and 4. Hans told me that I was on Rimu, Nicola was on Opal, Caitlin was on Pearl, Amy was on Thunder, Shanae was on Rio, Lauren was on Oscar and Katherine was on Snuggles. We didn't know who Christine and Emma were on because the were our leaders and just get put on the horses that campers weren't riding.

We walked down to the stables and sat down at the seats. Two of the leader brought Mini Monty into  the seated area and tested us on our knowledge of the points of the horse. We all knew them all.

It was now time to ride. We tacked up and mounted. We trotted around the arena. We got put into groups according to our experience level. I was in the Intermediate group, Nicola was in the Beginners, Shanae was in the beginners, Caitlin was in the intermediate, Amy was in the intermediate, Katherine was in Advanced and Lauren was in advanced. We rode for about 45 minutes then dismounted.

We had dinner, devotions then played the log game. You are sitting on a log suspended above the ground facing towards your opponent . You have to wack them with a pillow and the person that stay on longest wins and finally after a long day we had supper and went to bed.

We woke up at 7am, got dressed, had breakfast, and walked down to the stables. We uncovered, groomed, tacked up and mounted. We trotted around for a bit then the intermediate group went down to the quarry arena to do barrel racing. My time was 31 seconds. We then went to the new arena and did some jumping. After about 30 minutes of jumping we rode back to the stables, untacked, groomed, covered and released the horses.

We ate lunch. Had lunch time devotions, got changed out of our horsey clothes and walked down to the climbing tower. We got told to do the five activities, running up and down the stairs, going through the dark tunnel, over the dangly doo, climbing sideways on the rock wall and up the centipede, as many times as we could in 5 minutes. We all gave 110% and got 8 cabin points. For the rest of the day we had to practice our vaulting routine to western music.

We had dinner, devotions, presented our vaulting routines, ate supper then went to bed. We woke up again at 7am, got changed, ate breakfast and waited in the barn for activity instructions.  Our activity was top team. We had 10 activities ad had 7 minutes to do the as many times as you can. We started with the pea picking activity, you have to get as many peas out of the drum as possible. Our next activity was the water transportation, you have a straw and you suck up water from the bowl and run about 5 metres.

We ate lunch, got into our horse clothes, walked down to the stables and rode. We did the same as yesterday, barrel racing and jumping. After looking after the horses we ate dinner, had devotions and supper and went bed for the final time.

When we woke up one of the campers were missing. Nicola was sick and had gone home. We got dressed, walked over to the barn to eat breakfast. We had breakfast and walked down to the stables, uncovered our horses, groomed , tacked up and mounted. We split into our riding groups and practiced for the show.

After lunch, Hans announced that the show was cancelled because of the weather and we were to preform our vaulting routine to the parents. Our cabin had to change parts of our routine because of Nicola not being there. We nervously waited for the parents to arrive but as soon as we went on we weren't nervous and we had fun!

Finally, we gut the results of the cabin points, we had come 2nd! A great effort! We hugged good bye and all went home.

This Sonshine Ranch camp is probably the best camp that I have benn to and hope that my next camps are at least half as good as this one was.