Thursday, June 28, 2007

horse camp

My daughter is at horse camp this week and we are both loving it. She rides and grooms and sweeps and cleans tack and does lots of other horsey things. The kids also swim, use paddle boats, drive golf carts, fish, and make crafts. One rainy day they listened to a tribal story told by a young man of Native American heritage who works at the stable.

My daughter's assigned horse is a sleek chestnut quarter horse who is 16.3 hands high. Very high. I'm used to butty little quarter horses, not tall lovelies like this one. He seems to be a good sort, gentle and with reasonably good brakes and moderate acceleration.

The staff is amused at my constant picture-taking ("She's still taking pictures of the horses!") but very tolerant. And there is so much to photograph: barn swallows in their nests, baby bunnies, miniature horses, shetland ponies, ducks, chickens, hatching eggs, a llama, and of course horses.

Here's a tiny little pony:
And some chickens:
How about some baby bunnies?
And another gratuitous horse picture:
I have been told that my daughter is a natural rider and should have private lessons. While I am impressed with her early skills, I view this more as a sales tactic, soon to be followed by "your daughter really needs a horse -- I have the perfect one for her." Yup, right. Not gonna happen.

One of my husband's co-workers urged him to buy a horse: she has horses she got for free (rescues and retirees) and claims she spends only $600 per year on each one for food, boarding, shoeing, and routine shots. My husband still remembers the $15 bird I bought that racked up $700 in vet bills (bird intensive care is expensive) and isn't buying her argument, or a horse. I must have become an adult when I wasn't paying attention, because against every fiber of my being, I agree with him. (Sob.)

I found the llama very amusing. I can see why a llama played the starring role in The Emperor's New Groove: this animal has attitude to spare. Check it out:

This is the first picture I took during camp, and it is my favorite: the counselors bringing the horses in from the field for the campers' first lessons.
N.B. Camp was last week -- I couldn't figure out how to upload a video until just now. And how could I deprive you of a grainy video of a llama chewing? C'mon now. That's art.

N.B.B. Next post: art camp.


Anonymous said...

A delightful story which should be preserved and etched in stone. One day the daughter will be grown up and still telling her mother how cruel her parents were and how little they cared for her as they did not buy her a horse. (anonymous)

normanack said...

Gee, I don't know of any little girl who would think that. Certainly not me . . .

Anonymous said...


Heather said...

Horse camp sounds like great fun and the horses are really beautiful. I went through a phase when I was about 10 where I wanted a horse, but I never got to ride one (still haven't!) and so that phase passed, along with my devotion to the Monkees and David Cassidy.

walknrun541 said...

Horse Camp!!!How exciting for the girl--and the Mom!!! Looking forward to blog/pix from Art Camp. When I was a young'un the only horse riding experience to be found was at a farm in Black River. The farmer would take us out on some trails through the woods with nary a word on what to do once aboard the trusty (?) farm horses. However, my summer girl friend and I loved every minute of the hour long ride!

Paintings of Horses said...

Great event! That was truly enjoyable. I've never experienced riding on a horse.