Why Camp Host Equiteam Love Lindores…
After a super busy camp filled Spring and early summer at Lindores, Louise Gillings, joint founder of Equiteam Confidence camps finds time to blog. Louise has written this blog about why Lindores Equestrian is the perfect choice for hosting riding camps.
Equiteam Confidence Camps first came to Lindores in July 2014, which seems like a lifetime ago. Liz, my business partner, and I ran one camp to ‘see how it would work’. 45 camps and several experience days later and 2019 is going to be our busiest year so far!
Before the first camp even started, the Black family and everyone at Lindores were welcoming and helpful. Nothing is too much trouble and whatever feedback we give is taken on board to make sure the venue is the best it can be.
There aren’t many equestrian training facilities that offer a schooling area, onsite cross country course suitable for all levels from complete beginners upwards. Luxury holiday houses with hot tubs, bunk rooms, toilets, showers, stabling and a meeting room (the bothy) with a wood burner and the all-important kitchen (our campers are a hungry bunch!).
We wanted to create a three day residential ‘Pony Club Camp’ for adults, that was friendly, encouraging and where people feel relaxed. We wanted to create an experience where supportive like-minded people meet and dare to dream / achieve their goals.
The facilities are perfectly suited to our needs. The XC course has everything we could possibly need. From tiny horse jumps for people who didn’t think they wanted to leave the floor, to some more progressively challenging fences. And of course the feature fences that everyone wants to jump – Danny MacAskill, the stone cottage, boat and the Wobbleberry fences. These signature fences are often the ones that feature the most in people’s goals.
The new arena was a great addition in 2018. It means that even during the challenging weather conditions of last year we could still always ride and achieve the lesson plan.
If The Bothy Could Talk!
I believe the real centre of our camp life though, is the Bothy. It has seen tears (both happy and sad), lots of laughter, many units of alcohol, a bit of dancing and the odd confession that might leave you speechless. The Bothy is such a great place for campers to come together or even have a sneaky snooze between lessons, it really is that versatile.
It doesn’t get much better at the end of a busy camp day to look around the bothy to see happy smiling faces. New friends relaxing by the fire and sharing their achievements.
In addition we are very lucky that as our camps are residential we are able to offer a number of accommodation options to suit all budgets. The most popular is the onsite luxury self catering lodges – all of which have hot tubs (and believe me you will probably want a good soak).
Alternatively there is hook up available for lorries, a camping area for your tent and we’ve even had more than a few campers staying in their trailers.
The recent addition of the bunk room offers a brilliant extra option for campers who don’t really want to ‘camp’ – there really is something for everyone.
I have heard people say that when they arrive at Lindores for camp it feels as though they are leaving their normal world and all of their worries behind and when they have to leave it’s as though they are re-entering the universe!
We love that Lindores Equestrian can offer the perfect venue to create our welcoming camp environment – a perfect place to have a holiday or weekend away with your horse. Roll on the rest of 2019… we can’t wait to be back.”
To find out more about Equiteam’s three day residential camps and experience days click here.
Interested in hosting a camp or event then get in touch with the Lindores Team who will be happy to help. Contact Lindores Equestrian.
Stay in touch with Lindores Equestrian
Website – www.lindoresxc.co.uk
Facebook – www.facebook.co.uk/lindoresequestrian
Instagram – www.instagram.co.uk/lindoresequestrian
Twitter – www.twitter.co.uk/lindoresxc
Lindores – Stay Ride Relax
Website – www.lindores.co.uk
Facebook – www.facebook.co.uk/lindoresstay
Instagram – www.instagram.co.uk/lindoresstay
Twitter – www.twitter.co.uk/lindoresstay
Horse Riding Holidays – NEW for 2018
For the first time ever, award winning hosts Wilder Ways are joining forces with Lindores Equestrian for a totally immersive week of horse riding, adventure, history, countryside, hot tub, cocktails, laughter and luxury accommodation.
This is your chance to try a blend of trail- riding Wilder Ways style with riding the Lindores fabulous and very accessible cross-country course and show-jumping arena. Enjoy treating one of the adorable Wilder Ways horses as your very own all week and bond over a range of activities and natural horsemanship games.
Wilder Ways horses are extremely safe and experienced. Nikki and Cara who run Wilder Ways have a herd who are extremely special and well looked after and have safely served as faithful companions for many guests experiencing their own trail- riding experience. If you want to find out more about the horses in the herd then please visit the Wilder Ways and get in touch with Cara and Nikki your friendly hosts!
Lindores is set in the hills near the beautiful Tay valley and during six days of horse riding we’ll explore along the River and surrounding hills. This is a beautiful open landscape with sweeping views, tracks and open fields. As well as being steeped in all things horse for the week, we’d also like to spoil you in one of Lindores fabulous new Lodges complete with private hot-tub and stunning views. The week includes 7 nights’ accommodation and full board, plus an afternoon visit to Lindores Abbey Distillery where William Wallace rested after battle – the visit including a distillery tour and cocktails.
This horse riding holiday experience is for horse riders of varied abilities who want to immerse themselves in the Wilder Ways way of life for a whole week. Utilising the fantastic equestrian facilities on offer at Lindores, exploring this wonderful landscape and its cultural delights and enjoying the company of a new equine companion, whilst indulging in a little luxury in the evenings with like-minded folk.
For a fusion of fantastic facilities and experienced steeds. Join us! This week is limited to six places so book now to avoid disappointment.
Package: £1,950 pp including 7 nights at Lindores Luxury Lodge, full board, horse hire for the week, the use of all facilities plus a tour of Lindores Abbey Distillery. This adventure is also available for riders wanting to bring their own horse.
The week runs Monday Sept 24th – Monday Oct 1st 2018
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07826 273 291 to book your spot.
This Months Wilderways Newsletter
Author: Equiteam Instructor Liz Daniels UKCC Level 2
Wobbleberries Camp Day Three – Event Day!
Day three is our final day of camp and it’s a busy day again for the campers. The day starts with a bacon and egg bap (thanks Lou – you rock) and of course endless cups of tea!
As this camp is for Wobbleberries who are aiming at BE80 we carried on our eventing camp theme and today our campers rode all three disciplines (a dressage test, show jumping course and cross country) in one day. Day three is about consolidating what has been learnt during camp and gaining extra confidence / self belief to then go and recreate it on their own.
After wolfing down breakfast I went out with some campers to walk the grid distances that were still out from yesterday, so that they can practice at home. After that it was down to the dressage field where I had a quiet half an hour with one lady who is dyslexic and struggles to learn her dressage tests.
I always love working with people, finding out what makes them tick and ways which I can maybe help a little. It doesn’t matter what someone’s own challenges are I’m a great believer that many roads lead to Rome and it’s just about finding out what works for the individual.
We soon had a plan in place of what we were going to do and how we were going to approach the dressage test riding together.
Dressage tests and show jumping…
We invited instructor Dossie Wang to judge the dressage tests and Lou did the writing. Its such a huge bonus having an actual dressage arena set out in a separate field for our use, and is so good for test practice. Each camper is allocated extra time so that Dossie could give extra feedback.
As the first couple of campers rode their dressage tests I built a show jumping course so that following their dressage they could come and pop around the show jumps, with the dreaded F word. For those of you unsure of the F word.. its fillers!
All of the campers jumped amazingly and proved that fillers are not as scary as some thought! What was really nice to see this morning was the new found confidence in both the campers and also in the horses. One camper had never jumped a course before today and went straight in and happily popped over an 85cm course like she had been doing it all of her life.
Three of the very inexperienced horses, (one had never jumped at all prior to camp), came in brimming with confidence and really wanted to do the job. The ground being so hard due to lack of rain at the moment has of course been a real consideration throughout camp and coupled with tired ponies everyone just jumped one round.
After 11 horses had jumped round I went to help the lovely lady with her dressage test. She did an absolutely brilliant job, I was super proud, and she bagged herself a lovely 65% test!
An afternoon of achievements…
After a super quick lunch it was time to climb up Lindores for my favourite office view and we were back up the hill for the cross country. Today I wanted to simulate course riding so after a warm up we walked the course discussing the varied fences and terrain and then each rider rode a course to suit the level they are currently riding at. Again Lindores Cross Country is so great for this as there is a big variety of fences.
One lady had a fall warming up cross country. As we all know this is something which happens, but it’s never nice for the rider (or instructor – believe it or not we dislike this as much as you!). She was soon back on her feet and dug really deep to carry on. This can often be the hardest part – getting back on after a fall and jumping the same fence again and then pushing yourself some more. The lady did absolutely brilliantly, rode amazingly and finished the session grinning from ear to ear having added many more achievements to her belt.
Everyone jumped brilliantly and some riders bagged the Lindores Boat in the water complex for the first time – lots more grins from horses and riders and a huge well done to you all.
After the last group walk back down the hill Lou and I had a mini de-brief about camp and we sat for 10 minutes in the glorious sunshine among the coconut smell of the gorse. Simply amazing! I always feel a mixture of emotions after the lessons have finished, so genuinely happy for people’s individual achievements, but sad that’s its almost over.
The final presentation…
Back at the hub of camp life (The Bothy) we did a final presentation, shared some big achievements, recounted a few highs and lows and of course thank our campers. We always ask our campers for feedback and ways of improving our camps in the future but once again we were totally humbled by comments and feedback – thank you so much. Watch first hand how our campers felt at the end of the experience here
This camp was dedicated Wobbleberries, inspired by Hannah Francis, and so Equiteam (Lou and I) and Lindores Cross Country will be donating a % of the camp profits to this fabulous cause.
As another camp has come to a close there are two tired but very happy camp hosts looking forward to an early night! A massive thank you to everyone who came to another brilliant camp and once again to the Black family at Lindores. Without this facility we would be unable to host anything like that in this area and I feel so very lucky to have it. We are always made to feel so welcome, nothing is ever too much trouble and I joke that Lou and I will be moving in soon!
For anyone thinking of hosting a camp I couldn’t recommend it enough. Thank you Anna and family – you guys are awesome.
Thanks for reading my blog
If you’re interested in attending an Equiteam Camp with Instructor Liz Daniels
- Get in touch with friendly camp host Louise Gillings who is more than happy to answer any questions! Contact Louise_Gillings@yahoo.com Equiteam Confidence Camps
If you’re interested in stable hire or training your horse at Lindores Cross Country
If you fancy a holiday with your horse
- Read about staying at Lindores Lodge and using all the equestrian facilities Liz mentioned at Lindores Lodge website
For Wobbleberries updates
Event: Wobbleberries Camp May 2017 – Day 2:
Author: Equiteam Instructor Liz Daniels UKCC Level 2
(Not sure where to start!!)
Last night we had a Lindores experience which we hadn’t previously encountered and it’s too good not to share!
Just before 11pm we got a phone call from a lovely camper to say that there was an issue with the spare toilet and it was inhabited by a calf who had escaped its pen, gone into the toilet and destroyed the contents in only a way a cow could! Luckily the calf is fine, needless to say the toilet is not and now getting a refurb!! Possibly the most unlikely event we could have predicted and another job for the Lindores team!
We arrived on day two and the campers are already smiling. Day two is usually my favourite day at camp as you see people achieve things they didn’t believe possible! To me it doesn’t matter if this is cantering in an open space for the first time, or jumping 1.15m, it’s all relative but there is nothing like seeing a genuine smile on someone’s face and it always makes me feel so lucky to have such an awesome job!
The morning lessons were grid work. For a couple of our riders this was the first time they had ever done grid work, but they fully embraced it! Grid work is so educational for both horses and riders and something we always do at camp. Alongside the grid work we looked at how to jump on an angle and the striding between fences – which everyone nailed!
Another awesome thing I see at camp is the development of horses and riders and I’m a great believer that horses go away and process things overnight and come back the next day with a completely different understanding.
This was certainly true for a number of the less experienced horses who had cantered down the poles yesterday unsure and struggling to consistently make the distances, where as today they were brimming with confidence, ears pricked, taking their riders through the poles and ready for the next challenge.
All of the horses and riders jumped brilliantly, with many more getting PB’s, everyone improving and growing with confidence. Such an awesome job, well done all!
A quick bite to eat at lunchtime (and no exercise session today the legs are just a touch stiff!) before heading up the hill for the cross country.
I always walk up to the top of the hill (instead of drive). This is for two reasons.. Firstly I can justify eating more of LouBirds amazing tiffin(!) and secondly because as you get to the top and look left the view is breathtaking. I never tire of seeing it and it’s always worth the climb.
Many of our horse and rider partnerships are new to cross country and they all did brilliantly. On the XC there are a huge range of fences from 40cm upwards and after a warm up I always try and send the riders out to string a few fences together. From an instructors point of view it’s a great course as you can link lots of fences together whilst still being able to see the riders!
Many campers jumped the ski jump for the first time as well as the new Danny MacAskill keyhole fence, which has become the ‘must jump’ fence for 2017! There were a couple of ‘digging deep’ moments, but some massive steps made!
A few of the riders were concerned that their horses were feeling tired before they went XC, although they definitely all perked up when they were up there and jumped fabulously. Many of our Wobbleberries are now realising their aim of a BE80 is very achievable and firmly insight.
As a training facility Lindores is great, one horse had an ‘issue’ with ditches and it’s an ideal place to address this. After sessions finished the lovely walk down the hill means that the horses are nicely cooled down by the time they get back to the stables.
As lots of happy faces congregated in the bothy, shared stories, experiences and write their days highlights on the ‘achievement board’ Lou had another amazing meal prepared.
During dinner one of our lovely campers set up a slide show of the achievements she had captured in between her own lessons. I really enjoy the fact that the campers are all so supportive of each other and this really is what makes camp so fab (of course I’m biased!)!
After dinner we welcomed Julia Craig to chat about saddle fitting. As always Julia was enthusiastic and informative and our campers learnt lots about different kids of saddles as well as tack fitting. Big thank you to Julia for giving up her time to chat to us.
Another long but very enjoyable day at Lindores and we are all looking forward to day three!
More to follow tomorrow,
Equiteam Confidence Camps Facebook page
Julia Craig Saddle Fitter
Danny MacAskill Wee Day Out – Behind the scenes of Hay Bale Film Footage
Lindores Cross Country – Horse Holidays and Camp venue
Lindores Lodge – Luxury self catering accommodation in Fife, Scotland
Author: Equiteam Instructor Liz Daniels UKCC Level 2
Event: Wobbleberries Camp May 2017 – Day 1:
Lou and I arrived at Lindores this morning at 8am to lots of slightly petrified looking faces!
We did our camp introduction to mostly silence! This is not uncommon for day one when people are sitting there wondering what an earth they have let themselves in for! Of course we always try and make people feel at home and the Lindores experience and the fabulous atmosphere is all part of that.
As an instructor and host it’s really interesting seeing the personal journeys people go on and I love remembering the transition from introduction to the final presentation on day three.
After the Wobbleberry rider introductions we started our day with flatwork. We have 12 horses at camp (and 11 riders!) and on day one I split them into three groups of four riders.
As the campers do their first lessons you can see them starting to take a breath and realise that maybe they might enjoy it! We ride in the front field, which is a great space to work in. It’s enclosed but big enough for riders to have plenty of room.
In the morning session I often go right back to basics and this morning there were definitely some eureka moments for riders resulting in some fabulous flatwork.
During the morning we also had a visit from Sarah Cruikshank, who is the Bailey’s Horse Feeds Scottish Rep. Sarah came with the weight bridge and all the campers got their horses weighed and given nutritional advice.
At lunchtime you might be forgiven for thinking we let the camps sit down and have a chill in the sunshine.. Not likely! It was time to get the trainers on and David from Culture Health and Fitness came and put us through our paces with some circuit training.. Cue achey legs and lots of sweaty ladies!!
I feel really strongly that you need to be fit enough to do the job that you are asking your horse to do. You wouldn’t expect a horse to do XC without being fit, but we often forget our own fitness levels.
After a lovely lunch, provided by Lou, the sunshine really started to break through, the sunglasses came out and our busy afternoon sessions got underway.
The afternoon was pole work which progressed to some jumping. A couple of campers jumped their PB height wise and everyone did really fantastically and came out smiling – alongside safety I see this is as one of the most important parts of my job – after all that’s why we do it!
Once the sessions had finished it was back to the Bothy where Lou had an amazing tea on the go. We had ran out of drinking water and within minutes fresh water appeared -The Black family really are the most fabulous hosts and we really couldn’t ask for them to be any more accommodating.
As some people went for a sneaky dip in the hot tub, the hardcore campers got showered and ready for dinner.
No sooner is dinner finished Jane Brindley from Horse Riding with Confidence Scotland arrived to chat about the mental impact on riding and mental toughness.
We had another great talk from Jane, followed by yummy brownies! The people staying in Lindores Lodge went back for a glass of wine and to soak their muscles in the hot tub, while the hardcore campers all relaxed in the bothy, making life long friends!
It’s been a really good day one and we can’t wait for day two which is based around grid work and cross country!
More tomorrow, Liz
EquiTEAM Confidence Camps
Baileys Horse Feeds
Culture Health and Fitness
Horse Riding with Confidence Scotland
Life at Camp – Day 0
Author: Equiteam Instructor Liz Daniels UKCC Level 2
Co-host Lou and I are no strangers to Lindores and have been hosting camps here since 2014. We love it at Lindores, which is why we keep coming back! Primarily our camps are confidence camps but this one is a little different as we are hosting on behalf of the lovely Wobbleberries.
The Wobbleberries have two end goals in mind, one is to complete a BE80 and the other is to raise money – inspired by Hannah Francis. So far Wobbleberries across the UK have raised a fabulous £150,000. For more information on the challenge click here.
Today is arrival day before the start of three intensive days work for
horses and riders! As camp hosts its important
to be there to welcome everyone and make sure both horses and riders are all settled in.
Lou and I arrived at Lindores at 4pm in glorious sunshine and it wasn’t long before Mr Black Snr and his lovely smile appeared to ask if we were OK X and needed anything. Anna, Richard and family are always so accommodating, which makes running camps a real pleasure. This is our 6th so far this year – and it’s only the beginning of May!
The first horses arrived, alongside their nervous riders and as always the stables are clean and tidy and ready for us to use. For many people simply coming to camp is a huge achievement and a big deal but we constantly remind everyone that is what we are here for. As people arrive Lou has got her homemade tomato and red pepper soup warming and once people are settled they come in to the bothy and have soup and baguettes.
The bothy is one of the most amazing things about Lindores,so rustic, yet so welcoming and you can’t help but feel at home here (I do keep joking that I am moving in soon!). Mr Black had kindly lit the wood burner so when it started getting chilly there is a nice warm place to congregate. It really is the hub of the camps.
Some of our campers have opted to stay in Lindores Lodge, which is stunning inside, the view is to die for and it has a hot tub. No more selling required! The remaining campers are staying in trailers or in tents (hard
core!), but again it’s great that Lindores cater for all.
For me tonight is really a time when I try and get to know a little but more
about our campers, hopefully give some reassurance to those that need it and
then go and plan my teaching groups, which start tomorrow. It’s another late
night, but Lou and I can’t wait until tomorrow and are keeping everything
crossed that this wonderful weather continues for camp (even though the
ground desperately needs rain!).
More to follow tomorrow,
Wobbleberries Challenge – Ride for Hannah 2017