Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Success Story

Most of you know that yesterday’s post was not about "should I-or shouldn’t I" let GBN1 potty by herself. I’m pretty okay with most of my decisions concerning GBN1, but I do try to meet her parent’s requirements. GBN1 and I are thick as thieves – we have a pretty good understanding of each other. I think my DIL’s fears of letting GBN1 go into a stall by herself had more to do with cleanliness.

Yesterday’s post was more about the decisions we make and why we make them. The potty thing was just the thought provoker. Then there were some other happenings with Jesse that pushed those thoughts a little further. I’m good with Jesse and her raising too. She is an exceptional young lady. But there are those who freak out that she owns a motorcycle, sky dives, scuba dives, travels, etc. You should see her ride a horse across a pasture chasing wild cattle. It is true that her softball talents are lacking, but she tries and has a good attitude. The desires of her heart are good and right, and she will make an excellent wife and mother someday.

Horse Camp:
When my kids were in 4H in NM, they would attend Horse School at the NM State Fair Grounds in Alb in early June to prepare them for the summer horse shows. We would arrive on Monday morning with kids and horses and stay until Friday. It was one tough week of riding your horse all daylong with a couple of hundred kids. On Monday they each rode their horse for the teachers and were put in classes according to their ability. When the kids were not on their horses, they were in workshops learning about their horses. We slept in dorm rooms at the 4H building on the fair grounds. Each dorm room had about 30 bunk beds. "Lights out" was difficult the first night because the kids were wired. But the rest of the week was no problem - the kids fell into bed dead tired. They had to be saddled and ready to ride at 8 AM. On Thursday afternoon, the kids were taught some dance steps for the dance on Thursday night. The boys were encouraged to ask the girls to dance (the girls out-numbered the boys about 3-1) so the girls would not be "pouty." On Friday, the kids were all involved in a horse show competition within their classes. Ribbons were given out for the top riders. Then we loaded kids and horses and headed for home. It was a great time.

I usually hauled both Bo and Jesse along with a couple of other kids and horses (we had a four-horse trailer and a crew-cab pickup truck). Once at the horse school, I would assume the responsibility of other kids from our 4H club whose parents could not be there. Will was 10 years old the year he went to camp. His dad sent a horse that had been on winter pasture and not ridden in about a year. With all of the kids and horses at camp, Will’s horse was being a knuckle head the first day when the kids were suppose to ride before the teachers. Will was scared to death of his horse. He was crying and did not want to ride at all. I made him get on his horse, and then I walked him in front of the teachers. He was put in a beginner’s class, which was great, but I still worried about him. As camp went on, Will gained confidence, his horse settled down, and all was good. Will had a great personality and made friends easily. He was quite a tease – making me laugh at his silliness. I fell in love with Will that summer. On the last day, at the horse show competition, I was busy saddling horses, getting kids ready, and running from one class to the other to see the kids perform. I did watch Will’s competition and thought he did great. Then I moved on to catch Jesse and Bo in their classes. As I was walking from the stables, I saw Will running toward me. He was waving a blue ribbon in his hand and smiling from ear to ear. He threw himself into my arms and I swung him around with a big hug. Will had won first place in his class. I was so proud of him. How cool was that!

I love teaching young people. I love all of their differences. I love seeing them succeed.


Anonymous said...

... teaching children is indeed rewarding... on lots of levels....


Inquiries said...

You are a great teacher Lou.

Becky said...

What a sweet story. You do have a way with the young ones, Lou.

Buck said...

Wow... the whole horse camp thing just amazes and mystifies me! And spending a week sleeping in what I would call an open-bay barracks with 30 kids is just the beginning! Most of it is my lack of context; I'm more familiar with moon landings than I am with horses, or anything that might have something to do with horses, however remote. Thus: amazement!

I DO relate to your Will story, though. It's just a Great Good Thing to see a child beat his fears and enjoy himself... and to be part of it. The Blue Ribbon is icing on the cake.

Knit and fall back in it said...

I think I've been on a horse maybe once in my life, so I understand the boy's fear. It's a great story that he overcame that fear and won his blue ribbon.

Bag Blog said...

Buck, Sleeping in open barrack dorms was not so bad. Sharing showers and bathrooms and trying to get dressed every morning with 30 young ladies was the pits.