Thursday, June 30, 2011

EARNING THE HORSE RIDER BADGE

What a fun day we had!  We were very, very lucky to have Athena (Brittnee's mom's friend) invite us over for the day so the girls could earn their Horse Riding badge.

Athena, not only owns 6 horses but she also teaching riding.  She was joined by her mom and the two of them spent all days working with the girls and making sure they met all their requirements for the badge.

The girls were given a quick lesson in safety and how to act around the horses. 

The girls broke up into teams.  Some got to have hands on lessons first and some learned things like what the different parts of the animal is called, how they are marked and how to tie knots so the horse doesn't run away.

Here, Tuppence is learning how to attach the reins on the horse.

They learned how to check the hoofs and make sure there is nothing that needs to be removed or that the horse has any injuries before going to ride.

Learning the proper way to brush a horse was taught also. 

The girls just adored the horses.  Each had her favorite but all agreed that every horse they saw was just darling.
The girls even enjoyed reading about the horses and then looking at the real horses to see what they learned in person.

Of course, the best part of the day was getting to actually get on the horse and ride around.

Some were a little scared at first.  After all, a horse is very big.  But, before the day was over, all fears were gone.

I loved watching the girls when they didn't think anyone was looking.  They were really enjoying spending time with the horses.  They were all so gentle with them.

I have really noticed how much "my" girls are growing this year.  It seems like when I don't see them for a few days they have shot up another inch or so. 

Yet, as I saw them next to the horses, they seemed so much smaller.  It reminded me they were still young girls.  So, seeing how well they were acting around the horses made me realize once again, how blessed I am to have such a good troop.

We could not have asked for prettier day.  The weather was warm but not so hot we couldn't stand it.  There were several trees around for us to sit under.  The sky was blue and clear.

The location was so pretty.

The horses were so sweet and easy going with the girls.  You could tell they have been very well taken care of and loved a lot.


There were so many smiles!
The girls only wished they could have ridden longer...though I am not sure if any amount of time would have been long enough.

In order to thank the horses for such a great time, we brought carrots and apples. 

I'm not sure enjoyed them more, the horses or the girls.  They loved feeding the horses and having them take the carrots and apples right out of their hands.

The girls found out that horses use their lips to get the food and as long as they kept their hand flat, their fingers did not get bit.

They all tried feeding the horses.   Even though it was a little scary at first.  I'm sure those mouths and teeth look super big to little girls.

Just as we thought our fun was over and it was time to go home, we were invited to go with Athena to her stables and see all the other horses and her goat.

She was having some of the horses get shoed and thought the girls would like to see how that is done.

Of course the girls jumped at the opportunity!

It was nice being able to visit with the other horses.  The girls got to learn a lot while there. 

They learned how several of the horses were rescued.  They were either abused, retired race horses or young.

They learned about different ailments and injuries the horses could get and how to take care of them.

Don't you just love the little white heart on this horse?  She is so pretty and well behaved.  She had cancer but is now doing well. 

The girls got to see where the horses sleep, what they eat and about the cost of owning a horse.  They also heard about all the hard work a horse is.  Cleaning up after them, making sure they get feed twice a day, have fresh water at all times.  How to keep flies from their eyes and lots of other information.

They liked watching how the shoes were taken off so new ones could be put on.  They also each got to take a horse shoe home and learned how many think a horse shoe hung up can bring you luck.

I was very impressed with how much the girls learned in one day. 

They learned how to take care of the horse before you saddle up by brushing them from top to bottom and how to check their hoofs.  They learned how to put a saddle on and take it off by themselves.  How to hitch a horse and the different kinds of saddles as well as all the different tack.

They learned how to mount and dismount a horse, turn a horse, make it walk forward and turn around and lead it around the arena.


On the way home, I quizzed the girls about the horse anatomy and tack.  They really must have been listening because they were able to answer all the questions correctly.


We are all very grateful to Athena and her mother for such a wonderful day and great memories!

5 comments:

  1. What an exciting badge to work towards! The girls look like they had so much fun learning about and riding the horses. They are such big animals that it can be a bit intimidating, but those girls look completely confident! Way to go!

    Tori
    Girl Scouts of Orange County

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