Heat and a Horse Camp

I haven’t ridden at all this week. In fact, I’ve barely managed to drag myself out to the barn to feed the horses, let alone actually saddle one up and ride it. The reason for this is twofold: one, it’s been 100+ degrees every day this week, and two, I’ve been busy managing a horse camp at work.

The heat isn’t going anywhere, so it’s finally time to really, truly dedicate myself to getting up at 5 AM and riding before work. This time of year is also perfect for taking Moe swimming in the pond in the front pasture.

Horse camp is finally over, which is a huge relief. I was tasked with planning and organizing it, something I was initially very excited about! I attended several horse camps over the years- everything from a two-week sleep-away Girl Scout camp where we spent every minute practicing a drill team routine to my Pony Club’s two annual summer camps (Rally Training Camp, the hardcore week-long prep camp for the Midsouth Regional Pony Club Rally, and All Kids Camp, a less intense, more fun week of games and water bucket fights). I was really excited for the chance to teach some non-special needs kids about horses and riding.

In the years since I have attended camp, I forgot something very, very important: children do not care about heat; they only care about the horses. While I was sweating bullets every day and working on my now-awesome sunglasses tan, the seven campers were riding their horses under the blazing noon sun, mucking stalls in a stuffy barn in mid-afternoon, and begging to ride again during the hottest part of the day. We kept them well-hydrated between water and snocones, and cool with frozen bandannas and trips to the pool. I am honestly surprised the elderly therapy horses we used didn’t keel over in the torturous heat. In the end, everyone ended up happy, gained some horsemanship skills, and zealous promised to come back and attend next year. One kid’s mom even asked if he could take lessons from me on the weekends (yes)!

I plan on riding tomorrow morning, or at least going to visit my darlings and hose them off. After all, how could I say ‘no’ to this face?

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

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