Hartfield Horse Camp: Round 1
This year my husband and I decided to risk it all and host a five day, girls-only horse camp. Yes you read correctly… ALL GIRLS. Weeks leading up to the camp, I thought to myself, this is going to go really well or it is going to be a complete disaster.
If you are reading this and thinking, I would have loved for my daughter to go, why didn’t I hear about it?! Well…this was our test year. Several of our closest friends wanted their daughters to come to the ranch and ride. Every summer we have always had Preston’s nieces visit for a week… so we thought … what the heck, what's nine more!
In all honesty. This was one of the best weeks I have ever had.
The first night of camp we had introductions and asked the girls what they hoped to learn from camp. Most of them said ride. But I think by the end of the week, most had learned much more.
The first morning the girls were all VERY excited. Some of them could barely eat breakfast. They were ready to ride! However, as we made our way to the arena I could tell some of the girls, who had never been on a horse before, were getting a little bit nervous.
Every morning we started out by doing ground exercises first. Every cowgirl was partnered up. One was the horse and one was the rider. They had to practice “reining” their horse around cones. This was a great exercise. Especially in our very deep sanded arena!
We had four girls that had never ridden before and six girls that were more advanced riders. Even the advanced riders improved by leaps and bounds by the end of the week.
Our goal wasn’t to teach these young ladies to be the best equestrians in a week, but rather to teach them how to love horses, love life and inspire them to pursue their talents.
Each night we had a different guest speaker/musician/singer. Memphis and Pastor Steve were a huge hit on Tuesday night. Memphis is a beautiful young lady with a heart of gold and a voice as big as Texas! Pastor Steve spoke about how life can throw us some challenges, but how God can help guide us through.
Wednesday night, Ms. Allison Price spoke about the challenges she faced in trying to reach her goal of being an OSU cheerleader.
Dre Murray “rapped” his way into the girls’ hearts on Thursday night. Not only did he drop a sick beat ;) but he talked about investing in the talent God has given you!
Friday night, Juliette Newcomb graced us with her presence. She is one of the most caring, loving, giving and beautiful people I know. She has a voice that makes you not want to quit worshiping! By the end of the night, all the girls were clapping and singing along.
Saturday was one of the best days. Preston and I wanted to make sure that each cowgirl leaving our camp knew these things:
1. They are beautiful
2. They are special
3. They are LOVED
To help show this, we let the girls get "dolled up" and arranged a photo shoot showcasing each girl and their horse. What better way to remember all the fun they had at horse camp?!
Let me tell you… every girl rocked their photoshoot. It was so hard to pick a favorite because all the girls were stunning.
We rode, we ate, we sang, we swam, we painted, we roped and I hope that we inspired. All of these cowgirls were all talented in their own way. Each one touched my heart and I know they will all go on to do great things.
Shine your light. Follow your dreams. Find your talent. Never lose sight of Jesus Christ.
I can’t wait until next year.