Friday, June 24, 2016

Mane-ly Horses

With boots on their feet and the sun shining overhead, 17 local Girl Scouts traipsed through the grass toward the barn at Grubb Grove Horse Farm each morning during the week of June 20. The girls were taking part in a new day camp experience, offered by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast in partnership with the farm.

After grabbing a helmet from the barn and clasping the strap under their chin, the girls waited outside for the horses to be brought out for grooming. The girls helped brush the three horses—Fancy, Lucy and Lilly—and comb their manes and tails. They also helped with other grooming tasks, including cleaning out the horses’ hooves that had filled with mud after an evening romping through the fields. The girls then saddled up the horses and led them into the ring for riding lessons.

For most of the Girl Scouts at the camp, who range in age from seven to 12, this was their first experience with horseback riding.

“The first day we learned how to walk, stop and turn the horse,” Girl Scout Junior Abigael said on the third day of camp. “Yesterday we tried to going faster and let the horse jog. We’re still working on that because we’re new at riding and still getting the feel for it.”

After morning riding lessons and a lunch break, the girls reconvened in the riding ring for friendly competition each afternoon. The girls, who are worked with the same horse and team of fellow riders for the week, were challenged to earn points through the competition, vying for a prize at the end of the week. The competition included leading the horses to walk and weave in between poles and test some of the skills they learned during the morning sessions.

“This is the first summer that we have partnered with an organization to run a camp just for them, and it’s going really well so far with the Girl Scouts,” Grubb Grove Horse Farm Camp Director Shaolin Mosley said.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast will be hosting an additional four weeks of day camp in Chesapeake this summer in August at Camp Outback.