Today is the start of my child's first summer break living with me. Usually he stays with his dad for the summer but now that he is getting divorced there is no one to stay with C. Kiddo is happy that its raining this morning though as he is getting to spend his first official day off from school camped out watching cartoons and recovering from a weekend long Boy Scout camping trip instead of working for mom in the barns. I figured why hire in a teenage girl to muck stalls for the summer and have to give him spending money when i could just hire him and he could make his own! Sounds like he's going to cost me a pretty penny though between stalls and the ponies he works that are too small for me to do... He also might be picking up a couple days a week of milking goats for the parent of one of our students who has 30 some dairy goats and when our veggie gardens come in might do a roadside stand with any extras we don't need PLUS he already helps put up hay for a local farmer and sometimes picks blueberries at a "U-pick" field for a neighbor of his grandmothers who likes to have some already picked for sale too. He is such a hard worker for being 11!!! Helps that he's 5'1" and 110 lbs of solid muscle already too :) On top of all this he volunteers in out therapy classes helping students, helps with chores, the gardens, fencing, loves to cook and clean in small doses... so I expect I'll have some yummy lunches when I come in for my afternoon breaks this summer as well as dishes staying done and floors being vacuumed (two of his favorite chores and my most hated!!!) I'm lucky to have such a great kid!
Anyway... having C around might get interesting but I'm sure I'll go on a lot more bike rides, hikes and trail rides than most summers as he LOVES being active but gets tired of being in the barns after a while even though his (current) dream career is to take over the farm, breed, raise and train horses and dogs and give lessons. He's even scheduled himself some lessons to give to friends this summer to practice his teaching skills!!! So proud of my little man!
This is a photo of him riding his old man Lucky last week. They warmed up in the arena for a bit then took a trip down the road to put Lucky on his weekend pasture. As a lesson horse he and a few others are pastured Friday to Monday but come back to the barns to work classes during the week. Lucky is a 25+ year old Belgian x Welsh gelding I actually started working with back when he was 3 years old! At only 13 hands but very stout he was always a great size for the tween-age kids to ride and show and I'm lucky he has lasted long enough for C to work with the last couple years. Lucky has done everything! He has been shown through 3rd level Dressage, Events, Jumps 3'6" in his hey day! goes western like a dream, trails, shows like he's riding a home etc and has worked as a lesson and therapy horse here since he was 9 years old.
In the back ground of the photo you can see the pinto pony who is my son's. He got him when they were both 5 years old and the pony was very green and between then and when Christian out grew him he showed and trail rode him, taught him laterals from leg yields, turn on the haunch and forehand, side-pass etc... and is going to train him to drive this summer so he can keep him forever :)
Anyway I already have C's next horse after Lucky who he plans to start riding soon as I get the old man's teeth done... TGIF is a 23 year old 16 hand grey Irish Thoroughbred from the barn I took my lessons at. He was 5x USDF Regional Champion up through 3rd level in Dressage, schooled through Grand Prix, Jumps 4' courses with ease (though we limit him due to age now) also goes western or anything else we may want... Love that I got him for a song just to give him a good home when in his hey day he was for sale for $35,000! He will be such a great learning tool for C!!!
Anyway, C may get the day off due to rain by my other workers will be her in a little bit to scrub water tanks, move horses on and off the pastures for the week and help get up some more fence for a couple of our rescue ponies who need to get onto some richer pasture...