What it’s like to start TREC
Hi, my name is Lee Macintosh and I'm a 53 year old wife and mother of two grown up children who works full time in IT. I brought my horse over from Spain 4 years ago as a very skinny 4 year old PRE stallion and we love to do a bit of everything but this is about our first year in TREC.
What a year! What a ride!
I first encountered TREC at the end of 2013 at a riding camp in Norfolk. Jenny Snowdon had come up from Surrey to give an evening lecture on it and the next day we really enjoyed having a go at all the obstacles. So
when we came home I went online to see whether there were any competitions near me and came across
Central TREC Group’s website.
I phoned the number on the website and spoke to Mary Weston. She was really helpful and said they were running an introductory training day and level 1 competition in Leicestershire which would cover map reading and obstacle training on Saturday, followed by a competition on the Sunday which could be done in a pair or individually. There were horses and riders of all levels, shapes, sizes and ages, and although we might have all looked a bit odd wandering around the field on foot with a map and compass, Anna (Mary's daughter & GB rider), made sure we had a giggle doing it and everyone said how good it was.
In the evening we all got together for a meal and social (another reason why I enjoy TREC so much is it's so sociable) and discussed the day's events with a glass of wine. The next morning was a beautiful day and the Leicestershire countryside for the orienteering was stunning (and the second reason why I enjoy it so much is you get to ride at some wonderful locations). That first time had a stable for our stay but has since taken to corralling like a duck to water and we've never looked back.
Over the winter we did a few indoor winter series competitions which involves the obstacles (PTV) and control of paces (COP) and then started with a full level 1 competition at Park Farm Northamptonshire in May 2014, which was really well organised and great fun (everyone is so welcoming and inclusive and there's always someone to help you out so I've never worried about going on my own). I guess you could say 'we've been bitten by the bug' because we've gone out every other weekend since, from the West Sussex Downs up to Lincolnshire (where we helped judge level 3) and Surrey Hills to the GB championships in the Cotswolds; this country of ours really is wonderful!
The 2015 championships are just north of Edinburgh so we are really looking forward to that. We've moved up through levels 1, 2 and are now starting level 3, which I know enjoys just as much as me, but others are quite happy to stay at level 1 or 2, and of course we're now much fitter too. We're off to Park National Trust Estate, West Sussex in a couple of weeks - can't wait!