Monday, May 14, 2012

First Horse Camp 2012!

Ah fun times were had here at LogDog Acres this past weekend.  Our chicken coop is almost done, we have to get another 10ft of wire mesh and finish securing two more ends of wire.  A night of work should finish it right up!  It is good, too, because these birds are only 5 weeks old and are getting really big.  They have about outgrown my 40 gallon aquarium already.

They make my aquarium look tiny.  It is 36" long if it helps give perspective
This past weekend was the first Horse Camp of LogDog Acres and this camp was for my oldest student.  She is 14 and has a strong case of anxiety.  She makes me think it must be how Denali's Mom must be but I can't relate so I struggle with her sometimes.  She will freak out over the smallest things and does things like drop the reins and leans way forward when she gets scared.  I have worked hard to get her comfortable and she can now trot on a lunge (success) both without reins (success) or stirrups (for short periods, success).  She is also able to jump off at a walk (she is terrified she will fall off and get stepped on) and do the balancing exercises I give her, most days anyway.  Her favorite word is Terrified, and she is terrified of everything.  Though after this weekend I am getting her to use the word Nerve-wracking when she isn't truly Terrified.  This weekend was to get her to have fun, spend time with horses and hopefully build a bridge over some anxiety.  

Saturday we learned the anatomy of the horse, learned how to wrap horses legs and played Pile-O-Leather which is perhaps my favorite torture game.  She learned how to take apart and put together a bride and then was given a pile of two disassembled bridles of a different color and had to put them back together.  She got it done and we had fun.  We then played some games on horseback and it went great until the end where her anxiety caused the App to "take off"", though that term is used very mildly.  Though she was riding off of the lunge she dropped the reins and leaned forward, trying to fall off I guess, despite my telling her what to do.  The App went about a quarter of the way around the arena at canter before I stepped in and told him to stop and he did.  I then made her walk around and didn't let her get off until she calmed down and then made her do a new turning exercise before calling it a day.

Sunday we learned the parts of a western and english saddle, learned how to clip a horse's face and had a Mud War.  Typically it involves multiple kids but since there was only one she just got to mud up my horse and then learn how to bathe him until he sparkled.

If you are going to mud a horse, at least make it the hardest one to get clean right?
He didn't care about any of it as long as he got to eat grass.
He cleaned up nicely though :)
After the bath we went on a 'trail ride' which was the ride around the block.  I ponied the TWH in case she freaked, which she did, and I made her switch horses so she could at least freak on the App who doesn't care (because the TWH really cares).  At one point we walked through some water and the TWH realized he didn't know how to walk through water (???) so the App pushed by him, rubbing against a tree which pulled the student's leg back and she literally slid over his but and landed on her feet before sitting down.  It was her first "fall" and she said it was completely emotionless, she wasn't scared at all which was great!  She was a little nervous about getting back on but relaxed nicely after that.  We only had one other instance where she got too nervous because I made her trot and she thought the TWH was going to go fast and that would make the App go fast so she let go of the reins, leaned forward and tried to fall off.  Ugh. I corrected her, told her the TWH won't go any faster than I tell him to and made her do it again two more times and we didn't have any other issues.

She said she had a really good time and learned a lot.  I am very excited about how well Horse Camp went, I have another one for my younger students this upcoming weekend which should be just as fun.  I also enjoyed my first ride in almost 2 weeks though I found I still can't do lot.  I rode without stirrups most of the ride and have to get on from the right side.  Not sure if I will ride tonight or work on the chicken coop but I will ride tomorrow.  Great times!

1 comment:

  1. Why does she lean forward and try to fall off? Was she taught an emergency dismount at some point? I bet that's frustrating and scary to deal with. It sounds like she did great though!! I'm glad you're patient lol. :D I can't wait to hear about your next camp!