Some of you may have seen my earlier post requesting inspiration for horse care sessions. If you haven’t yet, the following will make a lot more sense if you read the original – you can find it here.
Now that you’re back, it’s time for an update. Firstly and most importantly, thank you to those who contributed previously. Your ideas were incredibly helpful, and I now want to try and add to them and finalise them.
Here are the ideas I’ve received so far:
- Racing to put together a bridle from unassembled parts, courtesy of my sister. She reminded me that we used to have to do this when we were younger – this is a great game, and can be played in teams or as individuals, plus it can be made more complicated by using different types of nosebands and bits. Top tip: if you’re using bridles which are actually in use on working horses, rather than pieces that you have lying around redundant, you may wish to mark them discreetly or take a note of the holes you have them adjusted to, in case it’s unclear when you try to put them back together for real how they should be sized!
- Another commenter suggested a points of the horse game, using a diagram of the horse for kids to name body parts. I’ve sort of done this before (last year, we stuck post-it notes on the horses!), and it could well be one I use again.
- Lafiaba suggested a “bring me something…” game. This is great, because it can be simple or complex, again can be team or individual and hopefully the kids will teach each other things. Adaptability is key for the tools I choose to use, I think. Scavenger/treasure hunts like this may be a great addition to my repertoire
- Susan very kindly asked her students at school what they’d like to do in this situation, and I would like her to thank them on behalf for coming up with an idea which really should’ve been obvious to me – especially given that I work at a theatre-focused camp. They suggested that the kids work on “how to” videos. We have a big video department at camp, but even if they aren’t involved, staff (and kids) have smartphones which it’s very easy to film on. I need to create a list of topics which are simple – so far I’m thought of: picking out hooves; leading a horse correctly; typing a horse up; grooming; bathing; plaiting/braiding (depending on where you’re from!); cleaning and putting together tack; tacking up. Any other suggestions?
- I’ve managed to procure some exercise bandages (cotton/elastic ones, not fleecy) and two tail bandages since my last post (“traditional” ones, which aren’t heavily elasticated and have tapes which you tie rather than Velcro – I’m really happy about this, as I want the kids to learn the old school way initially). It’s easy for me to get other kit together still at this stage if necessary, but remember that I can’t take tons of stuff with me – I need to have enough clothes to last all summer!
This week, it’s 100 days until I return to camp! I’m excited, partly to see my friends and the horses again, partly to get away from the appalling weather we’re having in the UK (aren’t we all?!) and partly because this summer could be quite different. Last year it was all new and a bit of a mixture of surprise and matched expectations. This year, I know far more about what to expect and have bigger aspirations on a personal level regarding certain things. Plus it potentially marks the end of an era before I settle down and take a more long-term job… or it may not, who knows?!
I look forward to hearing the ideas you come up with next – feel free to comment here or via Twitter, and if you get inspired at a later date, please come back and let me know.