Saturday was a big day for our horsey household. The long awaited Davis Rodeo Clinic, (Mini Mite Division) was finally here. Annabelle had been waiting and waiting for this day. She was excited to ride with a bunch of kids her age for the first time ever.
I was excited too. Katie and Bobby Davis had been among the first to welcome me to the Idaho horse community. Katie taught me how to ride barrel horses and I spent a lot of time at their ranch in my early days back in Idaho. Once I started riding reiners and cow horses I didn’t seem them much anymore, and I had missed them.
The Day Gets Off to a Challenging Start
Our day didn’t start out very smoothly. I had been up much of the night, (my second consecutive night, actually) with Zachary, who was in great pain from a recurring double ear infection. He had gotten a new, stronger antibiotic the day before but it had not started to help him yet.
I awoke at 6:30, groggy and a little out of sorts.
Zach woke up at about the same time, and he was uncomfortable and very, very crabby from lack of sleep. I gave him some Motrin and numbing ear drops, but that didn’t help. I thought about writing the drug company and suggesting they make numbing drops for the parents’ ears.
My little boy did not want me to leave. He prostrated himself on the floor of the bathroom, spread eagled exactly where I needed to stand to put my makeup on. He wailed. He screamed. I was about ready to wail and scream too.
He hung on my legs and dragged behind me as I walked down the hallway to leave, like a miniature logging protestor chaining himself to a tree.
Finally I made it out the door. Poor little Zachary stood at the door to the garage, peering through the diamond shaped panes and crying loudly enough that I could hear him in the car with the door closed.
Desperate Hubby remained in his recliner, focused on his laptop and calmly listening to guitar licks he wanted to practice for band. He knew that Batman would stop crying pretty much immediately as soon as I was gone.
I was not happy with my husband. I was very close to tears myself.
I backed out of the garage, feeling a guilty sense of relief that I got to leave.
And I saw this.
Horsecrazy Annabelle had gone out about fifteen minutes earlier to catch the horses. Reno the Little Black Pony had escaped her hold. He was running merrily all around the property.
Our wonderful neighbor Vernon came out to help. He was laughing very hard. He brought a rope, but couldn’t get close enough to throw it.
He got a bucket of grain. He is a genius.
Annabelle made the capture. I took the pony and put him back in the pen. I did not want to deal with him anymore that day.
We finally loaded up Grumpy and got on the road to the Davis Ranch.
The Day Improves
The first people we saw were some old friends, Mark and Shelley, that I had met through the Davis’ when I first moved to Idaho. I had seen them more recently when we used the same child care facility. Annabelle was happy to see her old friend from pre-school, and the day took a remarkable turn for the better.
We started with a meeting about The Rules of the Camp.
The basic rules were about safety and listening to your team leader. The number one rule was to have fun!
Annabelle’s team leader was Quincy. Quincy helped get her horse ready and helped her get mounted. Annabelle was instantly in love with her.
Once all the kids were mounted up, we headed on over to the arena, like a modern day wagon train. Except with no wagons.
Annabelle didn’t want to walk with me. She wanted to walk with Quincy.
Then the games began. We didn’t know what to expect from Grumpy. He is a wonderfully trained old gentleman, but I was quite certain he had never seen a barrel before.
You couldn’t tell by watching him.
He did the poles like an old veteran.
I honestly believe that Grumpy was having as much fun as my little girl was.
At about mid-morning, as I sat in the sunshine in my lawn chair with tear-filled eyes over how much fun my horsecrazy daughter was having, I felt a pang of guilt about the situation at home. I texted hubby to check in.
He sent back this picture.
I felt much better.
The kids played all sorts of games in addition to their riding drills.
Annabelle’s six inch spurs proved quite an impediment during the three-legged race.
The kids visited different stations to learn various rodeo skills. Annabelle was delighted by the goat flanking, where you throw a small goat to the ground and kneel on it as if you were going to tie the legs.
She loved the roping segment, where she showed that she has quite an arm on her.
After a fun-filled morning we broke for lunch. Horsecrazy enjoyed a little basketball while the hotdogs were cooking.
And then sat down with her friends to eat. Both boys. Huh.
After lunch we had more fun and games. The boot race was a big favorite. All the kids had to take their boots off and put them in a big pile.
Then they had to line up at the end of the arena, trot down to the boots and find their assigned helper, who helped them off their horses. They had to run and get their boots on as fast as possible.
Their helpers then put them back on their horses and they had to rush to the finish line.
The first time they did the event Annabelle didn’t realize it was a race.
She carefully put her boots on, taking care to insure they were on the right feet. Then she pulled her jeans down over the top and ran back to her horse.
All the kids had so much fun that they did the race a second time.
Annabelle was a little more prepared this time. When she got back to the finish line her left boot fell right off on the ground. As I bent to retrieve it I said “What happened?” and she told me “Mom, it was a race! I wanted to win. It’s a lot faster if you just put the boots part way on!”
She’s going to be a competitor, that girl.
When the camp was over we were both tired but oh so happy.
Katie and Bobby and all the helpers did a fantastic job. Here is Annabelle with the beautiful Miss Katie.
We can’t wait to go back and ride with them again.
Anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows that my little girl and I do a lot of fun things with our horses.
I have to say though, that this day was the most fun we have ever had. And I didn’t even get to ride.
Another thing was reinforced in my mind that wonderful day.
My daughter loves to go fast.