Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Horse Camp for Kids

I want a horse! Please, please please can I get a horse? How many parents have heard that one a million times? Kids can be very persistent. I begged and pleaded for several years unitl my father began to weaken. Finally, he agreed to buy me a horse, but wanted me to learn how to care for one first. So he sent me to a horse camp for kids in Oklahoma for 2 weeks. What a blast!

At camp, we slept in a bunkhouse, ate cafeteria-style in the mess hall, played games, swam in the pond, and were transported into town on a tractor drawn wagon where we were turned loose to buy candy! It was heaven. But the best part was that each of us was assigned a horse to take care of as our very own during our stay. Mine was a black and white Paint named Homer. I learned how to groom and saddle Homer. He was a sweet and handsome fellow. We went on long trail rides, camped out with our horses, and even participated in a cattle drive.

One day while we were enjoying some open riding in a big field, another rider passed close by and his horse kicked out at Homer. This particular horse was known to be a kicker and always had to be at the very end of the line when we went trail riding. Fortunately Homer was spared injury, but my shin wasn’t so lucky. Ouch! When I got back to the bunkhouse, I pulled off my cowboy boot expecting to find a bruise and was shocked to see blood. After a trip to the doctor and a long nap on the couch in the main ranch house, I was ok. I couldn’t ride for a couple of days, but I still got to care for Homer and brush him and fuss over him. A little blood and stitches aren’t enough to discourage a true horse lover.

Homer, you were a good teacher and I will never forget you.

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