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February, 2013:

Free!

I spent some time with some girls yesterday, helping them earn patches.

One group of girls was messing around and hadn’t completed their task when time was up.

Me: Let’s go ladies! Get crackin’ or you won’t earn your patch – they’re not free.
Girl: Yes they are. This is a free country.
Me: You are free to make the choices you want and then deal with the consequences. The patches are not free. You  have to earn them.
Girl: Blank stare.

Sigh…

Summer Camp

A rant to you from me.

Last year, Princess attended Y Summer camp and loved loved loved it! She did the Horsemasters Jr. camp which is for 9-11 year olds. They do horse stuff in the morning, then spend the afternoon with the other campers doing regular camp activities. She enjoyed being by the horses, but was bored with the “level” of horse involvement. It’s for riders with little or no horse experience. They learn basic horse safety, how to groom a horse, and go on a tiny trail ride each day. She’s no professional rider, but she was far past what they were doing, so they ended up using her as a helper and let her do all of her own saddling and helping the other girls.

She turned 10 in December. So this year, I called to see if she could join the 11-14 year olds for the Horsemasters program. In addition to the grooming, they do their own stable chores, take lunch rides up the canyon, etc.

They said No. There is a strict age policy. I mentioned that she did Horsemasters Jr. last year and what happened and that she jumps horses in shows (OK, baby jumps and one show, but still!) and she’s way past learning how to brush a horse and hold the reigns the right way.

Still no. No discussion allowed.

I said “OK. Thanks for your time. I guess we’ll find a different camp for her this summer.”

The lady was polite on the phone, but not at all even willing to discuss it, UNTIL I told her we’d be taking our daughter and our money elsewhere. She still wouldn’t actually discuss it, but asked me to reconsider. They’d allow her to do the more advanced stuff on her own in the Jr. program, so isn’t that enough?

Not unless she gets to go on trail rides up the canyon for lunch and clean her own stalls instead of riding around the lake in a tiny loop on a rocky/dirt trail.

Anyhoo – I’m annoyed. A week of camp is expensive. If she’s not going to get her money’s worth, then I’ll find something else.

Like the Girl Scout camp she loved last year that she could go to again this year and do the horseback riding program at.

Snowshoes Rock!

I mentioned that dude and Hubby went on a fun winter outing with the Boy Scout troop a couple weekends ago. Dude wrote a post on his blog about it, but he didn’t post any photos and he didn’t tell you everything he told me. I think a list of what Dude said is in order:

  1. It was the awesomest bestest day ever!
  2. My snowshoes were smaller than everyone else’s. (but they worked great)
  3. Snowboarding in powder is awesome!
  4. Hiking in powder is hard.
  5. Snowboarding down the trail along the road while everyone else drove down was awesome!
  6. I can’t wait to do it again!
  7. We need to take the whole family up there to do this sometime.

And on and on and on.

Here are some photos of the fun (that Princess and I missed out on because the little guy wanted a guy’s day with the big guy!).

Princess and I can’t wait until we can all go up as a family to enjoy the semi-back country!

Snowshoeing

Dan and Jason got to go snowshoeing and snowboarding . . . I’m working on a post with more photos . . . but here’s a teaser to hold you over.

Horses

It is no secret that my Princess LOVES horses! She’s actually looking for property for us to buy so she can get her very own horse. She asks daily when our friends are moving to their new house a mere 1 mile away with their horses so she can be closer to them and help with them and maybe even get to ride them sometimes.

I think Princess is trying to prove to me and Hubby that she really does love horses and would be more than willing to do all the stuff that goes along with owning a horse.

Princess and I were watching TV the other day (a cooking show, but it takes place on a ranch). The kids were riding their horses all over the ranch. Princess was just mesmerized. She said kind of under her breath (I don’t think she even knew she said it out loud) “I wish I lived there. I just love horses so much!”

MY HEART BREAKS!

We’re still not getting a horse.

Then a couple days later she and I are just chatting and she says “I really miss Sunny and Shadow. When can I go back for another horseback riding lesson? I really need to see them!” I told her that the horses were taking January off from lessons and that hopefully we could get back out there in February. She was soooooo happy!

Then my wonderful friend MS mentioned that she would love if Princess came along to help do horse chores at her Mom’s house and her house.

So I mentioned it to Princess. She was so EXCITED!

So she fed horses on Saturday – happy as a clam!

Then Sunday, she was invited to go help with all the other chores. Hubby said “That doesn’t sound like much fun! Scooping horse poop?! Is that really what you want to do with your Sunday afternoon?”

Without skipping a beat, Princess said “Dad, that’s all part of owning a horse. If you want a horse, you have to be willing to do all the work that goes with it. And besides, it doesn’t take THAT long, and while you’re doing it, you get to be by the horses. So it’s not work at all!”

Well then!

So she went out Sunday for 3 hours and fed horses, and scooped horse poop, and cleaned stalls, and drove the little tractor with the trailer full of horse poop around, and spread it on the grass for fertilizer – and helped them take in a stray cat and name it Dusty (cats and horses all at once – she was in Princess Heaven!).

I went to pick her up after dinner. On the way home, I asked her what the worst chore was.

She said none.

“Not even scooping horse poop?”

No! I got to play with the horses while I did it!

What was the best part?

Just being with horses all afternoon.

We’re still not buying a horse . . . but I’m much much closer to closing some kind of deal where she helps with horse chores in exchange for riding time.

How can you say no to the cutest cowgirl and her cutest little cowboy buddy after an afternoon doing chores?