Friday, August 1, 2008

Penelope at Horse Camp!

Penelope went to horse camp for the first time this year! She took our Quarab, Mid Summer Night's Dream, or as we call him, "Summer".
I was worried about her going. I thought she might not be ready for such bold steps of independence. She had to sleep in a bunk house, and have the entire care of her horse all to herself. But I should not have been concerned. She rose beautifully to the challenge!

She already knew how to tack up a horse, but this was her first time to master it completely alone.
She put him in and out of his stall, and managed any of his stubborn traits with lots and lots of patience!
Getting the saddle out of his tack box.
Breakfast time for Summer!
I stayed at the camp the whole time, sleeping in Mom's motorhome. We had a wonderful time playing Trivia Pursuit, going for mochas every day, eating lots of watermelon, catching up on family gossip (yes, that means you) and watching all the riders.

We could see the arena from our window, so I knew when Penelope was out there riding, and could head out there. We could hide from the rain too! There was quite a bit of it, but Penelope didn't mind. Staying in the RV was the greatest!

Looks like Summer would like to move in too.....

Silly boy! Mom fed him crackers out the window. He grew quickly fond of wonder!

Penelope played games on horseback, like tag, relays, obstacle courses, and many more. She loved that. She had Summer really enjoying it too.

She practiced turning him quickly around barrels.

She had such a blast! I could not keep up with all of her activities. I would bring her a favored steamer each morning, and find her in a sea of giggling girls at breakfast. She was so cute, excited to see me, but eager to get back to her own little world. They did crafts like painting and decorating stall plaques, making beaded bookmarks, tiny purses with horses on them, (of course) and collages of their favorite horse breeds. She chose Gypsy Vanners, because that is Chena's favorite, and she made it for her. They even got to make mop stick horses! It was a neat idea, because after they made them they ran a whole rodeo, inside the building, riding on them. Everyone was required to ride their "horse" in order to qualify, so even the way-too-cool boys got into the fun.

At the end of the camp they had a horse show, to show off their new skills and confidence.

Penelope did Showmanship:
That is where they just lead their horse, and do what the judges say. The horses must keep the pace, be respectful of the rider's commands, turn in place, and stand quietly while being handled. Its a tough job for a young rider, and this class is usually a struggle for beginners.
She won a blue ribbon! (Look.. even Summer is quite interested in the prize.)
And she did many other classes too. I was so proud of her focused riding! She applied everything she has learned. She even had our frisky Summer Boy acting quiet and cooperative. They were an awesome team!

Doing a difficult trail class, in the show.

Penelope won blue ribbons in every event she entered! I was so excited for her. And she was pretty darn excited too. Her eyes sparkled as she said "I did it, Mama!" and held up her blue ribbon.
That little wrinkled, rain-spattered shiny blue piece of fabric says it stopping this girl now!!!



Lesa said...

Looks like she had a great time!!!!!

Loquacious said...

what wonderful pictures! Thanks so much for your comments. I like your place- a LOT.

Lori said...

Penelope looks so confident and happy! What a wonderful life you are giving her!

Awesome job, Penelope! You are so precious!

Anonymous said...

How fun for her! Congrats to her on her ribbons! That's awesome!

My friend's daughter is doing horses through 4-H and horse camp at Girl Scouts. What more could a girl want! I always dreamed of having a horse when I was growing up! Of course, what girl didn't- even if they lived in an apartment in the city? ;)