Prior to this camp, Eliza Grace's equestrian experience amounted to a couple of trainer led pony rides, so my expectations for camp were simple ones. We hoped that she would become comfortable around ponies/horses, learn the basics about caring for/feeding/grooming the animals and a little bit about the equipment and how to use it.
We were more than very pleasantly surprised that Eliza Grace learned all the above and much more. To say she is comfortable in a barn and around horses is an understatement. The first couple of days she got to ride English saddle, side saddle and bare back. She watched the farrier shoe a horse and the large animal vet treat a horse with a sore in his mouth. She listened and learned well and when I went to watch her ride at the end of the third day, I was very impressed.
She was very comfortable with the small pony, could get her pony to walk and trot, she could steer him (and weave in and out of poles), and was learning to post. Of course, she had a wonderful teacher and the sweetest of animals on which to learn, so I know that helped immensely!
After she finished riding, she led the pony back to his stall, helped to remove his saddle, etc., brushed him down a bit, fed him a couple of carrots for being such a good boy and then led him out to the paddock like it was something she had been doing for years.
It was like she was born to do this. Which is really cool...and has our bank account shivering :)
Major kudos to Ms. Chelly, a most excellent teacher and to Rumor, the gentlest of ponies.
We have committed to letting her attend a week-long camp this summer and will discuss actual lessons at some point in the near future.
Here is a little bit of Eliza Grace (and Rumor and Ms. Chelly) live in action: