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Outdoor Trip and Ice Cream Crawl of Lynchburg

August 6, 2020

Written by Maria Campanella, Facility Manager at Hydaway Outdoor Center

It is officially summer and although things have been different surrounding our world lately, we are blessed enough to still get outside. In my opinion, the perfect pairing to an outdoor activity is ice cream, so I have compiled a short list of trips near Lynchburg that I have paired with a local ice cream shop for afterwards. This is a great beginner’s guide to the outdoor activities Lynchburg has to offer and the classic ice cream places as well.

Fly Fishing & MayLynn’s

One of the first trips we took as a group was to Hunting Creek for a fly fishing trip. Many of us were beginners, so don’t worry, it can be done! If you are a complete beginner and have no idea where to start, Angler’s Lane located in Lynchburg offers guided trips for people of all experience levels. Hunting Creek is a great location to learn and experience fly fishing for the first time as well. If you want to learn more, here is a great YouTube video to get you started!

MayLynn’s Creamery is well known for being one of Lynchburg’s best! You have two locations to pick from: their truck in Boonsboro or the shop location in downtown Lynchburg. Both locations are great and have a variety of flavors and treats to choose from. I personally prefer the truck, but no matter which location you choose, you will be getting high quality ice cream after a high-quality trip and outdoor activity!

Canoe Trip & Mister Goodie’s

The James River is a perfect location to do some river canoeing! Our department recently went on a 15-mile trip down the James River, and it was truly the perfect day. I couldn’t recommend it more. There are many different access points along the James River, so you can make the trip your own and specific to your goals. Here is a great list of the different places to start and finish a trip. Also, make sure you prepare before you go by checking the water levels and ensuring the safety of the trip.

If you do not have access to a canoe, they are available to rent at Hydaway! If canoeing isn’t your cup of tea, tubing is also a great option! James River Runners offers a 3 mile river trip and provides tubes.

Just like the James River is a Lynchburg staple, Mister Goodies is just as classic. It is the perfect stop after a long day on the river, and you can find their menu here if you have never been! Not to mention, they always have some kind of special going on.

Hike & Mister Goodies (Boonsboro)

Hiking is always a good option for an outdoor activity and there are plenty to choose from around Lynchburg. One that you may not have heard of is called House Mountain. It has multiple options for views, and it is a great hike for anybody! It is a little on the challenging side and is pretty inclined most of the way up, but that means it is an easy trip down!

House Mountain is an underrated hike, just like the Mister Goodies in Boonsboro is, in my opinion, a very underrated ice cream place. They have hand scooped ice cream with rotating flavors! Their current menu can always be found on their Facebook page. Everyone I have talked to who has been here loves it, including me! 10/10 recommend.

Liberty Mountain Trail Series & Outside the Cone

This is my personal favorite. There are so many trails within the Liberty trail system that are hidden gems. Clear Cut is one of my all-time favorite trails and one of our best. However, you can’t go wrong. If you don’t have a map to our trail system, you can find one at any trail kiosk or visit our website.

Last but not least, Outside the Cone is a newer option in Wyndhurst, but it is quickly becoming a Lynchburg favorite! They are constantly coming up with new flavors, and they always make sure they have vegan/dairy-free options available. Also, their vanilla and chocolate flavors won a National Award at the NIRCA Convention in 2019!

Happy summer, get out there!

      First Time Visit at LMGC

      July 31, 2020

      Written by Hope Thompson, Range Supervisor

      There are moments when we wish we could decide on something to do as fast as Phineas with a, “Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today!”. Well good news, there are plenty of options for you to spend your day up at Liberty Mountain Gun Club! Located directly across from Hydaway, LMGC is a recreational shooting venue available to current students, staff, and faculty and caters to both new and experienced shooters alike.

      So, What Does a First Visit Look Like?

      For new shooters or first-time visitors to the Liberty Mountain Gun Club, there are always friendly faces ready to help you learn about the ranges or any other questions you may have. The staff at LMGC strive to make sure every customer is comfortable and following the four main safety rules. When you first enter the facility to check-in, you watch a four-minute safety video and sign an Assumption of Risk form. After that, you will be all set to check out and start your range time or game! Liberty Mountain Gun Club typically offers a variety of different rental options if you don’t have your own firearms, which include Ruger Mark IV pistols (.22 caliber), Ruger 10/22’s, and Beretta over-under shotguns (12 & 20 gauge).  In addition to the various rental options, LMGC also has made a big effort to keep prices very affordable for users!

      What Are the Four Main Safety Rules?

      We’re so glad you asked! Here are the four main firearm safety rules:

      • Treat all firearms as if they are loaded at all times.
      • Muzzle Awareness: Always keep the muzzle of your firearm pointed in the safest direction possible.
      • Trigger Finger Discipline: Keep your trigger finger straight, out of the trigger guard, and off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
      • Know Your Backstop. Always be sure of your target, what is in front of it, and what is behind it.

      If you aren’t quite sure what some of these mean, the LMGC staff will be happy to help further explain and demonstrate these rules to ensure your visit is as safe as possible!

      Educational Classes

      Insert advertiser voice, “But wait, there’s more!”. There are several residential classes that students can take for credit. These electives take place at the facility with our very knowledgeable and enthusiastic full-time staff. These classes are geared toward those who want to learn more about firearms, ammo, and how to handle firearms in general.

      LMGC also offers a free General Firearms Safety class which is available to current students, staff, and faculty and immediate family members thereof. The class is an introduction to firearms safety—a perfect opportunity for new users to learn how to safely operate their firearms! It will also allow a Virginia resident over the age of 21 to apply for their concealed-carry permit once it is completed.  It can be useful for getting your Liberty University concealed carry permit, but is not required.  We will provide a firearm, eye-and-ear protection, and everything else needed to complete this course.

      What are you waiting for?

      Overall, it is definitely worth the drive up the mountain to the Liberty Mountain Gun Club. Whether it’s your first time up or your 100th, there is always something to do. But don’t just take our word for it, come up and see for yourself!

          Fun Mini Games At the Bowling Alley

          July 24, 2020

          Written by Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

          It’s bowling night with your hall at the Montview Bowling Alley, and you want to do something besides a normal game. But what’s this? Your roommate has stumbled upon variations to the classic game on your lane’s bowling screen. Bowlin’ Hood? Monster Factory? Last Pin Standing? These will for sure give bowling night a refresher!

          Skill & Classic Games

          Start by asking the attendants at the desk to set up your lane as a timed game as opposed to by number of games. These special games are only available under timed mode. Once you get to your lane and input all players into the system, follow these directions:

          • Tap “Your Lane Your Way” at the top right side of the screen.
          • Choose “Skill & Classic Games” (third option down, on the left).
          • Choose which of the eight variations your group wants to play, touch the checkmark, and start bowling!

          These games are simple variations on the classic bowling game, with different scoring rules and rules on which pins to hit. For an overview of each game, read on below!


          Named because the system will insert an automatic strike in the 3rd, 6th, and 9th frames, this version will make your games faster and help you achieve a higher score.

          The 3-6-9 default frames can be changed to any other frame from the front desk. The maximum score per game for this version is 100.

          Even Better

          In this version, your goal is to only knock down an even number of pins. However, if you knock down 10, which is a strike, the system will count it as score of zero. The same goes for hitting an odd number of pins or zero pins at all, including a gutter ball.

          One ball per frame. Max score 80.

          Head Hunter

          The goal of this game is to hit the head pin on each turn—but without getting a strike. If you hit 7, 6, 5, or 4 pins, you get a bonus that converts your score to 10. If you don’t hit the head pin, or if you get a strike, the frame score is zero.

          One ball per frame. Max score 100.

          Last Pin Standing

          This game is the opposite of Head Hunter: the goal is to knock down as many pins as you can—without hitting the head pin. Your first ball must knock down pins without the head pin to get a shot at a second throw. If you leave the head pin standing after the second ball you achieve bonus points. To get a strike, hit all pins except the head pin with the first ball. If you hit the head pin with your first ball, the frame will be over, and your score will be zero! If you knock down all the pins except the head pin with the second ball, you get a spare.

          You have the potential for two balls per frame. Max score 300.

          Low Game

          This game just might be the ultimate test of skill. In this game, the system scores in reverse so the lowest score wins. Bowling your first gutter ball gives you a strike; second gutter or zero pins gives you a spare. Tip: aim for only the 7 and 10 pin.

          Two balls per frame. Best score 20.

          No Tap

          For players of differing skill levels, No Tap may be a good game selection! This setting allows a lower pin fall value to be set and count as a strike. Knock down 9 pins and the system scores a strike or choose a different value for each player (7, 8, 9, or OFF).

          Two balls per frame. Max score 300.

          Odd Duck

          This version is just like Even Better, except here your goal is to only knock down an odd number of pins. If you get a strike, an even number, a gutter ball, or zero pins, the system will count it as score of zero.

          One ball per frame. Max score 90.

          Odds & Evens

          This game is simple. Score an even number of pins and you get a strike. Roll an odd number and you get a spare.

          One ball per frame. Max score 300.

          Mad Games

          These games are a little madder than the skill games above. If you’re looking for a crazy night, try some of these games out! And don’t forget to ask at the desk to have your complimentary memento printed to take home!

          Like with the skill and classic games, you’ll have to ask the desk attendants to set up your lane as a timed game. From there

          • Go back to “Your Lane Your Way”.
          • Tap “Mad Games”.
          • Choose from the following four games:

          Bowlin’ Hood

          Throw on your feathered cap, stock up your quiver, and get ready to prove your sharp-shooting skills in this bowling-archery competition. Challenge your opponents in just 5 shots! Your archery score for each shot depends on your bowling score and skill level. Pick your starting skill level, and as you play better throughout the game, you’ll be promoted to a higher level.

          Monster Factory

          Challenge your friends to see who can build the coolest monster. Each ball you throw adds a different part to your monster, depending on your score that frame. You have five shots so make them count!

          Character Factory

          Just like Monster Factory, you and your friends can each create your own character friends! With each ball a new feature gets added to your character, depending on how many pins you knock down. Again, you get five shots!

          Battle on the Lanes

          This is the game to settle feuds. Each team gets a castle and the object of this game is to destroy the castle of the opposing team! The more pins you knock down, the more damage is done to the opponent castle. Your projectile and your power depend on your bowling score and skill level—pick your starting skill level and play well to be promoted to the next level.

          So next time you have to go to another bowling night, don’t be distressed—get excited! Tell your friends to try out one or all of these games!

              The Iron Path

              July 17, 2020

              Written by Tim Lewis, Assistant Director of Outdoor Adventure

              This summer we visited NROCKS Outdoor Adventures in West Virginia to tackle the Via Ferrata. Privately owned by NROCKS, the Via Ferrata at Nelson Rocks is a climbing and traversing adventure using steel rungs and cables to move up the rock face rather than climbing on the rock itself. The term “via ferrata” is an Italian word simply meaning “iron path.” Via Ferratas trace their heritage back to WWI when soldiers constructed them to quickly move across the Italian Alps.

              Today they are a popular recreational pastime for the thrill-seeking adventurer. While the climbing does not require a specialized skill for climbing technique, choosing appropriate routes, or placing hardware, it does demand a certain level of physical and mental equilibrium, a skill essential to any climber and outdoor enthusiast.

              The Via Ferrata

              Upon arrival at the NROCKS lodge, we met our guide who framed the day for us and provided us with a thorough safety briefing. Next we harnessed up and grabbed our double set of carabiners and made our way to the cliff face. After a short, yet steep hike, we came to the base of Nelson Rocks where we discovered the conspicuous steel rungs and cables spiraling up the cliff face and out of sight.

              The first section introduced us to the technique and rhythm of the Via Ferrata without overwhelming us with too much elevation or exposure. After 15-20 minutes of climbing, we came to the edge of the first rock formation. A quick peak around corner revealed the massive valley below us and the rest of Nelson Rocks; the first taste of what was to come! At this juncture, we had the option of turning back as NROCKS strategically placed an exit point along the route. After taking a moment to take in our surroundings and truly put our trust in our harness and connection points, we continued along the opposite side of the wall we had just climbed, except this time several hundred feet in the air and surrounded by open valley below.

              The Bridge Crossing

              We continued traversing on the wall for 30 minutes or so, taking time to take pictures and appreciate the view. Shortly we came to the end of the second section and made it to the 200 foot long bridge stretching to the second cliff towering above us. This was the second and last exit point for the rest of the tour and a good opportunity to check our mental and physical preparedness for the next leg of the climb.

              Crossing the bridge was really something out of a movie and certainly one of the most exciting parts of the day! The swinging bridge was supported by incredibly strong steel cables that allowed us to clip in and slide all the way across without having to clip into multiple sections as before. Crossing the bridge can be done at your own pace and is a great opportunity to take pictures and trust your footing. Once we reached the second wall, we were committed to finish the last half of the climb.

              The Final Climb

              After 20-30 minutes of climbing we reached the edge of the second rock face where we would leave the valley and begin traversing the opposite side of the wall. At this point, we were still relatively exposed but no longer had the second cliff as a reference point; all we knew was that we were going up! After another 30 minutes or so, we came to the final leg of the climb, an optional 100 foot climb to the summit of Nelson Rocks. By this point, it seemed like a reasonable challenge and an experience not worth passing up. After a short climb we came to the very top of the Nelson Rocks fin which was no than 4-5 feet wide and hundreds of feet from the valley floor where we began that morning. The first thing we noticed was just how far down the bridge was from us. We had climbed so far and high since then! This was by far the most spectacular part of the day and the best place to pause and soak it all in. After 20 minutes or so of enjoying the view, we down climbed the 100 foot wall and then made our way to the forested slope nearby to finish the climb. We had conquered the Via Ferrata!

              Expect to see this trip in early September on our calendar. We hope you will join us for the trip of lifetime!

                  What Even is Snowflex?

                  July 10, 2020

                  Written by Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

                  Snowflex… The Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre. You may have gone up for a fun event, or to go tubing, or to jump on the trampoline. But if you’ve ever skied or snowboarded or even sledded on the eponymous white carpet-y material, you may have wondered, what even is Snowflex?

                  Snowflex is…

                  According to the official website of the company that invented the artificial snow surface, Snowflex is made up of six layers from top to bottom:

                  • Snowflex composite, sliding component—slick, springy, hard wearing monofilament
                  • 2 in.–5 cm. shock absorbing layer
                  • Impervious membrane
                  • Geotextile separating layer
                  • Carefully selected gravel layer
                  • Sculpted sub-soil layer

                  Let’s Break That Down

                  If you’re like me, you have no idea what a lot of these mean. Thankfully, the Internet is a helpful and easily accessible resource for deciphering some of the more technical terms.

                  Polymer Composite
                  The Snowflex composite is made of a material called a polymer composite, which is “a multi-phase material in which reinforcing fillers are integrated with a polymer matrix, resulting in synergistic mechanical properties that cannot be achieved from either component alone.”[1]

                  Basically, this material is a large number of similar units bonded together at the molecular level (that’s a polymer) that are then mixed with another material (making the composite). All this is made into a monofilament, which is simply a single strand of the man-made fiber, comprised of that polymer composite.

                  Shock Absorbing Layer
                  It is unclear what exactly this shock absorbing layer is made of, as there are many materials available for shock absorption, but I would imagine it is some kind of foam material, to cushion the slope.

                  Impervious Membrane
                  The impervious membrane is a thin material that water cannot get through, so the water from the BritonMist lubrication system stays on the top layers and keeps the ground below from becoming too water-saturated.
                  This membrane is also used for recycling water that keeps the slope slick. When the water from the BritonMist system is sprayed onto the slope, it runs down onto the membrane and back to the piping mechanism to be reused on the slope.

                  A geotextile is a type of permeable fabric that helps separate, filter, reinforce, protect, and drain the soil beneath it. The geotextiles used for Snowflex make up a woven layer that helps prevent earth movement as people ski and snowboard on it. This is better for the environment because it creates limited disturbance, so the soil stays healthy.

                  Gravel Layer
                  The carefully selected gravel layer works with the geotextile layer to provide texture to the soil which prevents sliding and erosion.

                  Sculpted Subsoil Layer
                  The sculpted subsoil layer determines the lay of the land for the slope, including hills, bumps, and curves.

                  In Simpler Terms

                  If that explanation was still so much more than you ever wanted to know about your favorite artificial snow surface, here are the (very basic) basics. From top to bottom, Snowflex is made of:

                  • White carpet
                  • Foam
                  • Stuff that keeps water in upper layers
                  • Woven fabric
                  • Gravel
                  • Soil

                  Benefits of Snowflex

                  There have been many ski surface inventions over the last fifty years, but Snowflex is recognized as the artificial snow surface that is the closest replication of snow. Previous synthetic materials came out of the brush, plastic, or carpet industry, but Snowflex was designed specifically for skiers and snowboarders.

                  Besides the obvious benefits of year-round usability and the ability to be built anywhere, Snowflex has many other perks:

                  • Low carbon footprint compared to a refrigerated building
                  • Softer to fall on than hard packed snow
                  • Slopes can be built on land that might otherwise be unusable for building
                  • Maximum forward speed and extra edge control for turning
                  • Ability to create adventurous and interesting terrain and stunt formations

                      Fun Facts

                      In case you’re still curious about this mystery material on the mountain, here are three more fun facts about Snowflex:

                      • Must be installed by the company that designed and manufactured it (Briton Engineering Developments Ltd—they’re British!)
                      • Suggested replacement time about every ten years
                      • BritonMist water spraying system mists water at a particular droplet size, giving maximum effect with minimum water usage

                      Now you can impress all your friends with your hi-tech knowledge of Snowflex! And of course you have to come visit to check it out yourself!

                          How to Up Your Ping-Pong Game

                          July 2, 2020

                          Written by Tanner Hoffarth, Marketing Employee

                          I’ve been wanting to take my ping pong game from 0-100 so I can ace my friends and family in some friendly competition. After doing a bit of research, I found some tips and tricks on how to up your ping pong game that you can take to the table.

                          First Things First: Spin

                          Spin in the game of ping-pong is essential. As a beginner, it can come off as very daunting but once understood can improve your play immensely. In ping-pong there are many different forms of spin, but right now we will cover the top three techniques.

                          The first spin and the most common out of them all is topspin. Topspin can make the ball seem as if it is attracted to the table and can be a great way to keep the ball low on the bounce.

                          The second spin that is great to learn to up your game is backspin. Backspin is a great way to begin to layer your strategy because when done well, it can completely change the speed of the game. When kept low, backspin can make the ball act as if the table is made of ice and slide. When the ball is higher, it can make the ball seem as if it has stuck to the table like glue.

                          The last type of spin is sidespin. Sidespin serves as one that is harder to understand, but once understood can be used in many different forms offering a large variety to your bag of tricks, especially serves.

                          Using Your Whole Body

                          One of the most common things beginners run into when learning their stroke is how to be consistent and in control. Learning to control and manipulate the ball in the way you want to all starts in the hips. Consistent gameplay happens when utilizing your whole body, almost like a spring. Using your whole body looks like turning your shoulders backward while transferring your weight backward to wind the spring, then releasing in a fluid motion while turning your shoulders back, shifting your weight forward, and striking the ball.

                          Use a Consistent Paddle

                          Understanding your paddle will take you from a leisure player to some who is serious about the game. Having your own paddle and knowing your paddle will help keep you consistent across the board. Just like you know everything about the back of your hands, your paddle will soon become that. A different paddle is like learning to drive someone else car—you don’t know their blind spots yet, the breaks could be touchy, and parallel parking the car is a nightmare. When it comes to paddles, some are more grippy then others or even different weights. Having your own paddle, you can learn the grip and power so every time you play there are no surprises. If you’re not looking to purchase your own paddle, study and master the ones that we provide in the Montview Game Room!

                          Keep it Low

                          Last but not least, the height at which you serve or return the ping pong ball matters. The lower you keep the ball, the less of an angle you create for your opponent to return with power. However, not all cases are good to keep it low.

                          Now that you’re ready to step up your ping-pong game, we look forward to seeing you in the Fall in the Montview Game Room!

                              Tips to Improve Your Running Form

                              June 26, 2020

                              Written by Nikki Kilian, Group Exercise Manager

                              Many people view running as something instinctive that anyone can do, and to an extent, they are correct. Even in our toddler stage of life, we have the ability to just go run. However, when it comes to running for fitness, things can get a little more complicated.

                              According to the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, as many as 79% of all runners will sustain a running-related injury during any given year. Therefore, learning proper form for running is imperative to help prevent injury and also aid in optimal performance. Running with improper form could lead to a slower pace or shorter distances.

                              To begin critiquing running form, think of proper standing body alignment from head to toe:

                              • Neck—neutral, not jutting forward or sinking back
                              • Shoulders—over the hips
                              • Spine—should not excessively arch (anterior tilt) or come forward (posterior tilt)
                              • Hips—over the ankles
                              • Knees—relaxed and not locked out
                              • Toes—tracking in the same direction as knees

                              When running, you want similar posture alignment, but less rigid.

                              Start with Your Head

                              Again, the head and neck need to be neutral, neither jutting forward nor sinking back. Also, pay attention to your eyes. Keep your gaze forward and not looking down. This will help prevent in any neck soreness.


                              Make sure your shoulders are neither elevated nor depressed when running. Tip: when running long distances, roll your shoulders forward and backward every mile as a reminder to keep them down and to alleviate any stiffness.


                              Don’t put too much emphasis on keeping your core engaged while running. If you draw your belly all the way to your spine to engage your core, it will be difficult to breathe when you begin running. Most experts suggest your core being about 25% contracted while running.

                              Legs & Feet

                              You want to make sure you are running on the balls of your feet rather than your heels or toes. However, when running uphill it can be beneficial to shift your weight slightly onto your toes.

                              Tip: The surface you are running on can make a difference.

                              • If running outdoors on a paved path for a long distance, switch up the side that you are running on.
                                • This may go against the etiquette of running on the left side of the road toward incoming traffic; however, paved paths typically have a slight curve on either side which has potential to lead to improper form or misalignment.
                              • If running only on concrete, switch it up and run trails because they are softer on the joints which may help in preventing injury.

                              Misalignment/Improper Form

                              If you are worried that you may have a postural misalignment or improper running form, have a friend watch your form to give you feedback. If you notice improper form, what do you do about it?

                              • Identity the root cause. Is there a biological cause inhibiting your form, such as scoliosis? If there is a biological cause, speak to your doctor.
                              • If there is not a biological cause and the improper form is the result of a bad habit, try corrective exercises or cross training.

                              Adding resistance training into a running program can make the world of a difference. Strengthening specific running muscles, which is most of your lower body, can help strengthen your form as well. For a specific corrective exercise prescription, speak to a personal trainer, certified corrective exercise specialist, or physical therapist.

                              • Form could be inhibited by sore or overworked muscles. For sore muscles, make sure to incorporate stretching at the end of your workout.

                              With especially sore muscles, incorporate foam rolling. Most runners tend to have significantly tight hip flexors and iliotibial (IT) bands. Rolling out these muscles can aid in proper form during the next run.


                              For overworked muscles, analyze your training schedule. Are you over-training? Do you allow adequate time for your body to recover? If not, allow more time off in between your running days. Your body is not a machine; it needs time to rest and recover.

                              If you have a hard time taking rest days, try changing your mindset to actively working on something else that day. This can be a hobby you enjoy, like painting, or something more internal, like improving your mental health or prayer life. We are not just bodies; we are souls and beings with bodies, and all parts of us need to be exercised and nourished.


                                  Western vs English Riding

                                  June 17, 2020

                                  Written by Kimberly Counts, Assistant Coach/ Barn Staff

                                  There are so many different activities and things you can do when it comes to riding a horse. Here at Liberty, the two disciplines we focus on are Western and English riding. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the disciplines and find out what riding event you might like best!


                                  The most obvious distinction between English and Western riding is what the horse has on. When looking at the two saddles side by side, the most notable difference is the big horn on the front of the Western saddle. While many people think it’s an area to grab on to if they’re scared or nervous, there’s actually a very functional reason it’s there: ranchers use the horn as something to tie their ropes to, whether it be to pull or secure something. Western saddles are a lot heavier than English saddles and if you’re like me, it can sometimes be a struggle to heave the saddle up onto the taller horses’ backs!

                                  An English saddle is smaller, more compact and not as flashy as a Western saddle. LU has saddles that are what we call forward seat, or close contact saddles. This type of tack is designed to keep the rider close to the horse and allows them to feel a lot of the horse’s movement underneath of them. These saddles are designed so that a rider can stand up off of a horse’s back when they’re clearing jumps. Now that you’ve learned about the saddles, let’s move on to disciplines!


                                  Both Western and English riding have many different events that riders typically specialize in. Within the Western discipline, some of the more well-known events are reining and barrel racing. For English riding, some popular events are show jumping, hunter jumpers and equitation.

                                  Have you ever seen a horse do a sliding stop, or spin really fast in a circle? This takes place in reining and is really fun to watch! Reining riders must memorize a pattern of intricate maneuvers and perform them to the best of their ability. These moves include things like sliding stops, guiding the horse through a variety of speeds, backing up long distances, and doing 180 degree turns. Reining takes a lot of precision and accuracy, and riders in the show ring are penalized pretty heavily if they mess up.

                                  Barrel racing is a sport that you might be familiar with. Here, riders must go around a pattern of barrels, without knocking any down. The fastest rider, without penalties, wins. The name of the game is to be quick and efficient. If you knock a barrel over, or go off pattern, you’ll be penalized and possibly even disqualified. This sport is thrilling to watch and is very popular with riders who have a need for speed!

                                  Another area of focus for riders lies in the English world of horseback riding. Here there are speed events (show jumping), classes judged on the horse (hunter jumpers), and classes judged on the rider (equitation). Each of these events is a little different, but they all fall back on the same foundations of riding.

                                  Show jumping is similar to barrel racing, in that it’s a timed event, and there are penalties if the horse and rider make a mistake. Time faults, jumps knocked over, and horses refusing to jump are all penalties that cost the rider. In the end, it’s the fastest horse and rider combination with the least number of faults who win. This exhilarating event is fun to watch, especially as the jumps get higher and higher—sometimes the jumps are well over 5 feet!

                                  Hunter jumpers and equitation are the last two English disciplines I’ll talk about. In the hunter ring, the horse’s way of going is what the judge is watching. In equitation, it’s the rider’s overall form on top of his or her horse. For both classes, riders must maneuver their horse around a course of at least 8 obstacles and judges are looking for what horse and rider combo can lay down the most effortless ride. It’s not easy to lay down a flawless round, but that’s the goal for hunter jumpers and equitation riders.

                                  What’s Next?

                                  Now that you’ve learned a little more about horses, come check out what the Equestrian Center has to offer. We’d love to show you around, schedule a lesson, and answer any questions you might have!

                                      Socially Distant Sports – Creative Ways to Play This Summer

                                      June 12, 2020

                                      Written By Danielle Ledgerwood, Intramural Sports Coordinator

                                      Even as states wean off the strict guidelines and adhere to a more relaxed approach to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it may be a while before normal, recreational sports return to the full capacity. If you are in desperate need of some friendly competition (and some exercise), here are a few ideas you can do this summer:

                                      Disc Golf

                                      With relatively no contact nor use of shared equipment, disc golf would be a fun, yet challenging, group activity for you and your roommates to tackle on a Saturday afternoon. The only equipment you need are the discs which can be purchased online or from your local Play It Again Sports.

                                      Lynchburg is home to several disc golf courses—two of which are on Liberty’s campus. One is located at the end of East Campus, the other can be accessed via Camp Hydaway Road. Just look for the trailhead a few hundred yards before the Hydaway Outdoor Center. Peaks View Park also boasts a great course, just be wary of others also enjoying the shared space.


                                      As long as it falls within your local and state guidelines and restrictions, you and your roommate/spouse/coworker could play tennis and still be practicing social distance. A lot of cities have tennis courts in certain parks and public areas, but be sure to do some research first to see what is allowed. If you’re looking local, Riverside Park in downtown Lynchburg has several courts, as well as Peaks View and Jefferson.


                                      Did you miss out on Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity? It was just about the only live televised sporting event that happened over the past few months. With golf greats Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson paired up with football icons Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, the event reached 5.8 million viewers and brought in nearly $20 million for COVID-19 relief funds.

                                      Golf has proven to be the ideal quarantine sport: mainly because doesn’t require any shared equipment. Although some states closed their courses during the severe outbreak, a lot of them have opened back up as local governments roll out Phase I and II of their reopening strategies. Here in Lynchburg, a good majority of them stayed open, providing a respite for those who needed the fresh air, activity, and community.


                                      If all else fails, and you’re just looking for a way to be active and get outside, it might be a good time to take up running. You could start training early for the VA 10 Miler, or just take evening leisurely jogs around your neighborhood. Whatever your motivation, running is a great way to lower stress and boost your mood, plus it’s good for your health! If Lynchburg is your home for the summer, explore the Liberty Mountain Trail System right on campus or local spots like Blackwater Creek Trail and Riverwalk Trail.

                                        Enjoy your summer, stay active, and stay socially distant!

                                            Facility Series: Hydaway Outdoor Center

                                            June 5, 2020

                                            Written By Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

                                            Pack your bags, all you outdoor-adventure lovers out there! Grab your bug-spray, granola bars, and sense of adventure and head down to Liberty’s very own outdoor recreation facility: Hydaway Outdoor Center. There are so many fun, outdoor opportunities at Hydaway, less than 5 miles from campus. If you don’t have a car, you can request an On-Demand Ride through Liberty’s transit system. There really is no excuse—adventure is calling!


                                            One of the activities Hydaway offers is camping for Liberty students, faculty, and staff. You can reserve a campsite for Friday and Saturday nights during the school year, complete with a fire pit, plenty of tent space, and bear boxes for food storage. Each site is only $5 per night, and with your Flames Pass you can rent camping equipment, including tents and sleeping bags, free of charge.

                                            If you’re looking to go on an off-campus camping adventure, Hydaway can rent out all the camping equipment you need, including a hiking backpack, a camp cook set, and even a flashlight. Check out the website for a complete list of available items at a low cost.

                                            Hydaway Lake

                                            Another feature of Hydaway Outdoor Center is the beautiful Hydaway Lake. During the school year you can take part in a variety of lake-fun activities, including…

                                            • swimming
                                            • lounging on the beach
                                            • going down the waterslide
                                            • jumping off the floating dock (no diving!)
                                            • kayaking
                                            • canoeing
                                            • paddleboarding
                                            • fishing

                                            Full time students, faculty, and staff with a valid Flames Pass can check out boats and fishing equipment from The Outfitter to be used on the premises at no cost. The equipment can also be rented to take off campus at a low cost.


                                            The Liberty community and general public can spend a relaxing day at Hydaway Lake fishing an array of fish species, including largemouth bass, pickerel, sunfish (like bluegill and crappie), and, in season, rainbow trout. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can check out poles and tackle boxes from the Outfitter.

                                            For information about fishing rules and regulations, please visit the website.


                                            For all you thrill-seekers, take a ride on the Hydaway zipline! You’ll start by climbing up to the launching platform and securing your harness. From there, you’ll have two options: attach the line to your back and soar like a bird to the other side. Or, attach the line to your front so you’re in a sitting position as you zoom through the air. The line ends safely on grass, not in the water.


                                            Students can go on a variety of trips throughout the school year as a part of Hydaway’s Outdoor Adventure program. Past trips have included white-water rafting, caving, spring break camping, and river tubing. Check out the website and stay tuned on social media for trip announcements and a calendar.


                                            The Liberty Mountain Trail Series is also a part of Hydaway’s programming. The facility hosts several different types of themed races in both fall and spring, including 5Ks, 2-milers, and half marathons. Participants get specially designed t-shirts for race day and a chance to compete for prizes.

                                            Challenge Course

                                            Hydaway’s very own challenge course is a great way to test your limits and practice critical thinking skills. Trained staff will guide you and your team through different activities, encouraging you to think outside the box and work together in order to complete your challenge.


                                            Activities will train balance, teamwork, self-trust, courage, and physical strength.


                                            Groups of 8–12 people are ideal for our sessions. The challenge course staff will work with you to customize your experience and make sure that you get the most out of your time. Ideal sessions last around 2–4 hours. Visit the website to learn more about the different experience packages your team can choose.


                                            Hydaway also hosts a variety of outdoor events throughout the school year, including…

                                            • Bonfire Nights
                                            • Zipline Saturdays
                                            • Wellness in the Wilderness

                                            Stay updated on Facebook and Instagram for event announcements.

                                            Facility Reservations

                                            If you’re looking for a place to host an event, Hydaway has great outdoor and indoor spaces available to reserve.

                                            • Hydaway Pavilion
                                            • Multi-purpose room and Kitchen
                                            • Bonfire Area
                                            • Woods Pavilion

                                            Visit the website for more information on seating capacity, available amenities for each facility, and how to reserve.

                                            As you now know, Hydaway Outdoor Center has a lot to offer! If you’re craving time in the great outdoors, be sure to visit when school starts again to make the most of this blessing!