My daughter is doing a horse riding summer camp this week. She has been subjected to plenty of “Well I never got to ride horses when I was a kid, I had to sit in a cardboard box with some yarn stapled to the lid all summer” flibbity floo sorts of things from me, enough so that she hopefully realizes we are by no means embarking down the slippery, expensive slope of riding on a regular basis. One week this summer and that is it.
The camp she is going to seems to be doing a good job of giving them a “real” experience as opposed to a “put on some jodhpurs and look like an equestrienne” one, which is good. My kid is coming home looking like a chinchilla after a dust bath, cheeks streaked with dirt, hair all messy, tales of grooming multiple animals. She’s working her keister off, and that is great because she’s for once in her life pooped by bedtime.
Another thing that makes it fun is that she is doing it with two of her friends. We had them over for a little bit on Monday and Wednesday, and being dusty and exhausted, they were in dire need of snacks. On Monday, I gave them cupcakes and sent them upstairs to do whatever it is little girls do (which in this case turned out to be choreographing a Katy Perry dance.)
After a little bit, I went up and picked up the empty plates.
“Don’t take my cupcake!” said one of the girls.
I looked in my hand. It was just an empty plate.
Now, all these girls have big dogs at home (though both of her friends’ dogs are way mellower than Brody.) They employed proper due diligence and placed their plates up on a dresser. Still licked clean, though.
Two days later, I sent the girls upstairs with fruit and banana bread and the reminder to beware of the snack snatcher. An hour later, the same poor soul announced she was starving, because “someone licked my plate all clean. And it wasn’t me.”
Ten years from now when my daughter is in therapy because no one would come over to play and she doesn’t know why, I will have to tell her the tale of the strange hairy, ghostly apparition who materializes from under beds, behind curtains and through doors to spirit away the snacks of her friends.
Sneaky Golden Beast strikes again . . . . and again!
LOL! Brody knows when to seize the opportunity! And I want to attend a horse riding summer camp!!! How can I never got to do that when I was a kid?!?!
Lol at the Golden Ghost!! 😀 If y’all ever head up the Sacramento direction, Z can ride Moose–he’s awesome with beginners!!
Also, I know you said that this was it, but if down the road the horse thing becomes more persistent, there are a lot of people out there right now (at least in my neck of the woods–wouldn’t be surprised if it was similar in yours) who are looking to lease or half-lease a horse. Half-leases generally mean you get riding privileges 3-4 days a week, and you pay half of the horse’s board (I’m going to guess that would be somewhere around $150-$250 per month for half board where you guys are–I know the half-leases at my barn are $150/month) and half of the horse’s shoeing cost (half of a farrier bill would usually run you between $20 and $70 every 6-8 weeks, depending on if the horse gets shoes or just a trim.)
So, no, it’s not cheap overall, but it’s still a lot cheaper than owning your own horse, since the owner remains responsible for stuff like vet care. Something to think about in the very, very long-term if she wants to keep riding and is insistent about it. 😉
Also look into 4-H programs in the area. I joined 4-H as a middle schooler and once I’d proved I was reliable and a hard worker I reached a point where I could trade barn work for riding time and lessons. It’s not a guarantee, but the clubs often have families and leader who need help with the chores and whose horses need more exercise, so once you’re part of the community there are lots of opportunities for a motivated kid to cut or eliminate the cost of a horse habit.
Susan Montgomery says
Ok, I have to comment on the horse riding thing…
It’s only expensive if you let it be (used jodhpurs and paddock boots are fine)
It’s an activity that teaches kids responsibility, compassion, confidence, and is good exercise
Most importantly, girls into horses are not into boys or trouble….when a teenage girl can control the actions of a 1200 pound animal, a 150 pound teenage boy is nothing.
I would re-think the no riding policy, if she shows a real interest.
I agree with Susan Montgomery.
Ha! Loved this post a lot. Perhaps you need a ghostly apparition who wears a bell around it’s neck? Of course, it’s kind of hard to do that to a ghost, but worth a try.
I should mention that I have my very own ghostly apparition. Despite putting a dog client’s food up high – away from the other dogs, it still seems to disappear. I may have to be the first one to try this bell on a ghost thing. I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂
Brody must come in on little cat feet. How can they miss a 60 lb. (more?) golden hairy beast?
Dr. V says
He’s loud and obnoxious except for that one second he’s about to steal food. Then he is in stealth mode.
I just discovered this site last night (after finding the Frosty Paws recipe) and feel compelled to comment on the no-horse thing as well. My family was by no means rich growing up, but my mom let each of us kids pick one extra-curricular activity and at 8 years old I picked weekly riding lessons. That blossomed into a passion, and by age 14 (after 5 more years of lessons followed by leases and half-leases) my parents bought me a horse. To say middle school and high school were difficult for me was the understatement of the century. I was a wreck. But I basically grew up at the barn, working with my horse. That, and my other high school passion, band/orchestra, kept me busy, fulfilled, and out of so much trouble. I’m 26 now. At 18 I moved halfway across the country for college and brought my horse with me. She’s still fabulous, happy, healthy, and yes, expensive, but of course I’d never trade her for anything. On top of that, horses have become a sizable chunk of my animal-centered career, and that horse experience/knowledge is absolutely crucial.
If your daughter’s into it, do her a favor and stick with it 🙂 There are books out there for the parents of horse-loving children, as well as books on how to ride horses affordably, or to ride without owning. Just make sure she’s safe, supervised, and always wears a helmet.
wow i think thatz just the dog doing it