Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Horse Camp Week

So excited and all ready to ride!

Horse camp is a summer camp the horse loving all of the local girls dearly look forward to all year long. It's a time to get to the barn daily, every day for five days in a row. All of the camper participants are thrust deeply and completely into their horse environment to the point of being gloriously delightful and most delicious for them all.

The day begins with a horse roundup. The girls had to enter the field through the big gates where their selected horse of the day was corralled, and then bring it up to the barn area for grooming. Once fully groomed and their horse passed a bit of an inspection, it was time to gather the tack appropriate for their horse of the day, and prepare for the first group lesson.

Eleven campers were attending with our daughter, ranging in age from 5-12 years. The instructor broke up the lessons into two groups according to age and riding ability. Our daughter was assigned to the older group and learned so much at this camp this year. I was amazed at the difference between this camp and one other she attended two years ago. She sure has come a long way in her horse riding but more than anything her confidence level has been boosted to heights previously unknown.

While the younger group were in their lesson, the older girls were in charge of cleaning stalls and/or learned horse theory. They learned about the horse body parts, and all general knowledge for horse care, nutrition, breed differences, maintenance and so forth.

  • Two point
  • Walk
  • Trot
  • Canter;
...just a few of the terms used during her two horse riding lessons each day

And just when she thought she had a hold of all the terms, the instructor threw this one in - Le'ts practice a .... Walk trot canter two point

One arm out to practice balance riding

Two Point Riding

Align Center
short video of the lesson
Our older daughter offered assistance to the campers every hour of every day in session when she wasn't working at her other summer job. She was assigned to some of the younger riders along with three friends who in turn all took their duties seriously.

Big sister was on hand working most of the week

A bag lunch was the meal of the day and plenty of liquids to keep hydrated. There were two resident barn dogs who loved this time of day and usually a girl or two began the fast paced chase when one of them stole something from their lunch bags.

After lunch the girls assigned horses required tacking up again (they were untacked after the morning lessons), groomed beforehand and off they went for a trail ride amongst the 100 acres of trail riding systems.

Catching a photo at the end of one of the groups' trail rides

If time permitted the two groups took turns to lunge without reins, ride bareback, and become familiar with their balance while atop of the horse. They learned how to turn around in the saddle, how to dismount in case of an emergency, footing releases, and several other techniques worth knowing and remembering.

Favorite things during the horse camp for our daughter were learning to canter, trotting over the poles while crouching down into a two point position, but the very favorite was the special grooming the girls took part in for a small show on the last day.

Horse Hairdressing

They braided their horse's manes and tails and the horse's hair gleaned brightly from all the brushing. Likened to playing hairdresser imaginary play, the horse's weren't imagenary at all. The girls were thrilled with the results of their very hard work! :-)

Just ask my girls - ANY TIME is riding time