At the beginning of the week when I picked up the girls I would ask them to tell me about their day, starting from right when they got there. The first few days they would tell me everything, but by the time we got to Wednesday they started holding back what they did during their lessons because it was part of the show and they wanted it to be a surprise.
Of course the show was Friday at 1:00pm, smack in the middle of the day. My parents drove over from the lake to attend as well. They started off just warming up their horses by walking and trotting around the arena. Then they all got in line. The first girl was the youngest and she had someone lead her around the arena. The next little boy trotted and even did one of the jumps! (I should mention, this camp is very much English riding, hunter/jumper. I did not think they would learn to jump but I was so very wrong.) Next girl walked her horse through two of the jumps, and the girl after her did as well.
Then it was Caden’s turn. I thought maybe she would trot through a few jumps? She immediately kicked her horse into a trot, got into her two point stance and then proceeded to do two rounds through the jumps! (There are three jumps, you can see it better in Delaney’s video.) She and Ziggy just kept on going! We couldn’t believe it. She was so confident on her horse, guiding him where he needed to go. And they just kept jumping! I got a little of it on video, but stopped recording at some point because I wanted to just watch. Apologies for the poorly lit riding arena and for cutting it so short. Next time I’ll elbow the other parents out of the way and do a better job.
A few girls later it was Delaney’s turn. She’s on Sassy, who wasn’t super cooperative. She had the same game plan as Caden – to trot through the jumps – but as you can see at the end of the video, Sassy just would not do the bumblebee jump. Delaney turned her around and tried again, but she wouldn’t do it. Still, Delaney did a fabulous job! So confident, solid form, very poised up on her horse.
On Thursday as I walked into the barns I saw Delaney finishing up with her horse. She was quietly focused on getting her hooves clean. It has been such a surprise to see them interact with their horses. They asked to do another week of camp, but before I committed to that I asked their teacher how they were doing. Of course she said they were doing well, but she also said they were very helpful around the barn which was good to hear. We talked through the schedule for the rest of the camps to try to find a week that didn’t have many kids signed up so they could get more attention.
Right now we’re targeting middle of July, but I will not do it how I did it last week. While it’s a gorgeous drive, it absolutely wrecked my week to drop off at 9am and pick up at 3pm. They do before/after care which I will definitely sign up for. I’ve also asked my dad if he’ll stay with us a few nights that week and pick them up on his way.
Having seen how well they did at the show, the next question is what do we do after this second week of camp? We’re already signed up for ballet lessons. I thought about backing out of that, but they are likely significantly cheaper than riding lessons so for now, we’ll stick with ballet. It’s honestly a tough choice because if I look at how impressive their horse show was versus their ballet recital, horses win. But, I’ve only paid for half a year of ballet, so if they whine and moan about lessons, we’ll stop at the end of the year. Bonus is that ballet lessons should help their riding form. Maybe we can do some riding lessons this winter, but I’m not going to stress about it.