“Equidays Youth Camp 2019”- By Ally Hibbert

“Equidays Youth Camp 2019”- By Ally Hibbert

“Equidays Youth Camp 2019”- By Ally Hibbert

In just about any equine household a common known name is Equidays, this fun packed 3 day event has been running for about 9 years (Since 2011) and unfortunately the last one was held on the 18th, 19th and 20th of October. I was fortunate enough to be selected into the Youth Camp, this was an amazing and unforgettable experience, something I would go and relive in a minute!!

Ever since mum first went to the event alone in 2015 I was incredibly jealous and asked each and every time to go, I first went in 2017 I think and then again in 2019. I had applied to do the youth camp in 2018 but unfortunately wasn’t accepted so on a whim I filled out an application form and then around March I got the email and I was in tears, I was beyond excited and couldn’t wait!

I took my old horse Riley who is a 16.2hh Standardbred gelding, for me I found myself getting quite a lot of remarks and comments about Riley as he bet most the stereotypes, I found taking Riley made me work that much harder with the obstacles we had with each other.

I arrived on the Thursday beforehand, we had travelled from Whangarei to Mystery Creek in Hamilton, Waikato. Over the three days I was there we covered many aspects of my personal riding area, I had entered in the mainly jumping focused class but we had quite a lot of things that I had not taken into account, we had two days where about 80% of the riding lesson in our group of 6 riders and we only moved onto jumping when we had gotten confident with going over poles at the walk, trot and canter. On the other third day we did a number of group activities, one with Love Racing NZ where we had to complete a course at the trot or canter and match a time that a rider had set, riding Riley

I personally found challenging more so in that activity as he’s an ex racehorse and when he saw other horses doing it and then he did it, he just wanted to go! Another class I found quite informative was a Rider BioMechanics class, simply moving your thigh to another position can majorly change your whole riding time that day, this is something I will take into account every time I go for a ride now, even though it felt incredibly weird the difference in videos I saw was crazy!!

We also had verbal lessons, one with Amanda Wilson on goal setting – I’ve taken many things away from that! There were other lessons we had and they were all incredibly informative and I’ve taken lots away from it!
I will forever look back on what memories I made and the new people I met and made friends with over the four days I was there, some are my closest friends now!! I’m incredibly sad to say the least that Equidays is no more but we’ve still got some wicked events like Equifest, Horse of the Year, Equitanta so there’s no shortage of equine events! Maybe Equidays will return later down the line – who knows?

Could not thank all the sponsors enough! Especially Dunstan Horse Feeds who were the main sponsor behind this event! Could not have attended a better event or met and made connections with better people if I tried!
Hope you enjoy these pictures I personally captured during the event while watching the event.

By Ally Hibbert.

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