Sometimes, a picture says more than a thousand words. Ergo, 53 pictures tell quite the story. Riding camp for adults at RideCare by Taulov, Fredericia, Denmark — the pictures appear in no particular order.
Photos by Birgitte Heuschkel, Caroline Frandsen, Tine Engell-Nielsen, and Tina Hald Petersen.
Kristoffer and Pilar experiment with the concept of jumping. Pilar thinks it’s easier to simply walk over, something which surprises no one that knows her.
Cargo takes jumping practise a bit more seriously.
Nathalie jumped liberty-style on Angie, using only a cordeo, or rope around the neck.
The weather was not entirely on the group’s side, but a trip to the beach was managed all the same.
Pilar did what she does best: She ate sea grass.
We had a spread of competence ranging from absolute beginners to very experienced riders. Here, Kristoffer is leading on Pilar after just four days of horseback training.
And here he is, trying out the gallop.
Beautiful trotter Keystone jumping with laid back ease.
Maria Louise has to jump bareback on White — she will not tolerate being saddled.
It’s a bit ironic that the Danish riding organisation, DRF, is being all panicky about allowing bitless riders for some competitions. Here, we had bit, tack, and saddle-less horses all over, and to no one’s surprise, no one died.
Lisbeth tries riding with the cordeo on beautiful Mara — but keeps the bitless bridle on just in case.
Lone practises the cordeo galloping on beautiful Ginny.
Bit- and tackless horses everywhere. Still no casualties.
Cargo is the resident expert at liberty riding. That horse can do anything.
But Angie is no amateur, either.
During lectures we were asked to write or draw our goals with our horses. Here’s mine — wanting to be totally relaxed when I’m on Pilar’s back.
No collection of horse girls without a beautiful black Arabian.
Every morning and some afternoons, rides into the open countryside.
Want a break? Go play with the Icelandic mares and their babies in the field.
The weather wasn’t all that fantastic. We had weather like this most of the time — not quite wet, not quite dry, just sort of undecided with casual showers.
Icelandic gelding Ari and PRE gelding Desca had the best view of everything.
Saddling all the Friesians. Spot the Arabian.
Tina takes a break with Simba, the old yellow lab attending camp with his owner, Lone. He charmed his way into everyone’s hearts in a matter of minutes, such a friendly old boy.
Saddling a horse is not as easy as it looks when you’ve never tried it before.
Friesians, Friesians, Friesians. I’m going to hang this picture of Mara and Ginny in Pilar’s stall in winter, and tell her to practise looking like the Friesian she’s supposed to be.
Lessons in close range combat were restricted to the very youngest attending student.
Two extremes, once again — Friesian and Arabian.
Nathalie and Angie became quite the couple. I think Nathalie was giving serious thought to hiding Angie in her backpack when going home.
No need to worry about not knowing everything. Helpers Tine and Maria Louise were everywhere, assisting experienced riders and novices alike.
Hands-on lessons in clicker training, with Pilar assisting as the highly treat-oriented horse that needs to learn to stop shoving the trainer for food.
Novice riders Camilla and Kristoffer on Cargo and Pilar. In five days, they went from the very most basics to galloping and jumping. I’m still impressed.
Babies, everywhere, running along when their mums were being exercised.
The sun did come out at times, and when it did, Pilar did what she does best. Aye, eating.
Baby needs to go back to mum and be just a bit less adventurous.
Beautiful pinto mare White can do her smiling trick when ordered from her back, too.
Who doesn’t love a Haflinger mare?
Or a beautiful white PRE gelding?
Or a gorgeous pinto pony?
Karina and Pone (short for Al Capone) had help with posture and seat. Those two really made big steps.
Trail riding through the ears of a Haflinger.
On one of the morning rides, a halter broke.
Guess what Pilar is doing…
The RideCare horses are used to being turned out without fences or ropes. It’s not like they want to leave.
Tina on Friesian Trisse. So gorgeous.
Lectures were based on student requests. Understanding, concentration, courage, ease, body, accept, feeling safe, peace, relaxation, joy, company, communication, pleasure, learning, trust, anatomy, balance, listening, jumping, belonging together, daring to try new things.
Writing down or drawing our expectations.
Multiple smoke breaks in the sun and in the rain alike. A large part of the fun of riding camp is all the talking we riders do between lessons.
At the end, though, we were all exhausted. Here’s Pilar saying goodbye to go do what she does best.