Today was the first day of the Summer Equestrian Program (or “horse camp,” as we call it in our household) at the stables E trains at every week. She did a similar program in March and is very excited to see her friends again. (This is hunter-jumper riding, not western.)
E has been around horses since she was born. We moved to Florida from Lexington, Kentucky (“Thoroughbred Capital of the World”) and for over a decade lived in Woodford County, where the most expensive and talented horses in racing and eventing are bred.
Everyone who lived around us had something to do with the equine industry. The farm that bordered our property had two Kentucky Derby winners. Another neighbor was an equine veterinarian. Another was a farrier. We went to see horse races at Churchill Downs and Keeneland all the time. We went to polo matches every Sunday during the season. We were members of the Thoroughbred Club of America, where we could hang out with owners, trainers, and jockeys. These experiences have been a tremendous asset when it comes to riding. Her riding instructor said she’s never seen a child that is so fearless when it comes to horses.
Horse camp is wonderful for the children on so many levels. They spend their mornings doing farm chores, which teaches them about the value of hard work and teamwork.
In the afternoons, they practice riding. On her normal riding days, E rides Welsh ponies. At horse camp, the kids get to try out all different kinds of horses, from draft horses to thoroughbreds to quarter horses. They get to do fun things like ride on trails instead of in the ring and riding bareback. Her stable even lets to the kids do games, like that egg-spoon race we did growing up… but on horseback.
This fall, E’s stable is supposed to have an equine 4-H program, and we are all very much looking forward to that.