On August 17, my sister and I went to Doe Lake Girl Guides for horse camp. The camp was a week long and involved doing all sorts of horse stuff at a horse farm, called Back of Beyond Equine Centre.
All the horseback riders were stationed in Chalet, upstairs. Chalet was a fairly large building, about the size of the average house, with a small kitchen, common room, and several smaller rooms with two bunk beds each.
All the horses belonged to Back of Beyond Equine Centre. The ones we rode most included Apollo, Annie, Beau, Damascus, Dexter, Mia, Pashmina, and Pinball. There were some horses we were able to interact with but not ride, such as Muffin and Major. We played lots of group games with the horses, including Blind Man’s Adventure, Move Your Horse If, Extreme Coning, and Ride and Tie.
We did some grooming and stall cleaning. In grooming, we learned the names of the brushes and how to use them. There was a curry comb to bring dirt to the surface. The dandy brush flicked it off. The soft body brush brushed the hair the right way. Hairbrushes combed out the tail and mane, and you could braid the hair if you chose to. Stall cleaning involved raking out poo, sprinkling powder over pee spots, scrubbing walls, taking the water out, and putting in new bedding. Bed-making was enjoyable.
Of course, we did some actual riding. Mounting and dismounting is harder than most think. We had to be careful to not hurt the horse, and our balance was tested during the Ride and Tie game. Balancing on two-point was hard, even when not practicing. Two-point is standing up on the stirrups, with your backside not touching the saddle. It was meant to be done during trotting. Only one of the group could do “posting,” which is harder than two-point. Round Pen was enjoyed by those who chose to do it, which helps you understand the personality of each horse.
We did a wagon trail ride and a horse trail ride at the farm. On the wagon, we wrote down on a piece of paper some unique things we saw. The trail went through the forest and all throughout the farm. The horse ride, though, was a bit more interesting. We circled around the pastures. It was slightly drizzling, but then the rain suddenly thundered down at the last second, so the third group had to dismount quickly and get changed into spare clothes. We also did some camping activities such as kayaking and archery, but we preferred the barn activities to camp activities.
We enjoyed Doe Lake and Back of Beyond Equine Centre a lot. The week flew by fast! We hope to come back next year, and we recommend this program to all interested youth.