Andrew Gray’s report from camp!

A friend had told me about TREC and having been in the scout movement many years ago and having really liked map reading and given that I learnt to ride three years ago, the combination sounded ideal.

Before competing, I decided to join Central TREC and go to the training camp at Somerford Park.  Even though I am a bloke and 47 years of age, I am quite a nervous rider.  So many members like Julia and Trish encouraged me to take part so I plucked up the courage to book onto the camp.  I turned up in our lorry with my wife (for support) and my boy Trooper and was made to feel welcome straight away.  The social side of the camp was brilliant including the meals and games and general chat and everyone was so friendly.  I soon felt less nervous. On the Saturday morning, I went on the farm ride which was a great ice breaker and a way for Trooper and I to settle.  I then started the training sessions.  I really enjoyed every session and the trainers soon knew how new I was to TREC and to riding and they were very supportive and encouraging, as were my “Newcomers” group.

Julia who ran the camp was really welcoming and encouraging too and I have to say the food was AMAZING right from breakfast to lunch and dinner.  Even though my wife did not take part, she was also made to feel really welcome.  We both had a great weekend and it has boosted my confidence in the saddle no end.  When I arrived, I never in my wildest dreams expected to jump cross country jumps on the farm ride, but I did.  I never expected in the controlled paces session to maintain a lovely rhythmic canter for one whole circuit of the school but I did.  I never expected to do half the obstacles Tot had me doing but I did and finally I NEVER expected to go on a cross country course and go in and out of water, jump cross country jumps and up steps out of water but I did.  I really surprised myself but it was all down to the trainers and the supportive atmosphere I found myself in (plus my lovely wife Sharon’s encouragement and belief in me.).  It was also a great bonding opportunity for Trooper and I.  He really enjoyed it too!

Although there have been no events local to me recently, I am looking forward to either another camp, training session or a competition.

I totally enjoyed the camp weekend.  I didn’t want to go home as I had had such a great time!  I would highly recommend the sport.

Andrew Gray