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Silverdoc 03-16-2013 12:54 PM

Help! I'm a camp barn boss
 
This year I was asked to be barn boss at our churches camp. I have no idea as to why they picked me since I "wrangled " one week last year and my horse knowledge is limited at best. Anyhow, I'm boss. I will have a heard of about 18 horses. Most of them in the geriatric group. I have a 11 & 9 yearold geldings. I'm not sure if these oldies but goodies need special care or not. Then there's the delema of how to keep kids that have never seen a horse safe while keeping kids that know the tail from the nose interested. Is there any ideas or info out there for this particular delema. I do have an AHT degree, so I'm not worried about basic health things, but I'm still learning how to ride properly myself. I know the kids come up to the barn and the horses are already saddled and waiting. How much info should they get before getting on and what do I do with them before they go on the trail? I'll have ages grouped as ' senior high', 'junior high' and ' pre-teen'. Thankfully I'm not doing the primary camp this year. Any help would be much appreciated. Oh, I've had my horse a whole 5/6 years.

Palomine 03-16-2013 01:56 PM

Herd, not heard.

And not sure if you are calling 9/11 year olds geriatric or not? But those are not even close to being old. And are they yours or the camp horses.

If you are comfortable telling us you don't have the experience for this, you really need to do the camp a favor and tell them that too. From what you are writing I don't think you are ready for this, nor have the background to keep this kids safe.

Please reconsider doing this if you are going to be the ones working directly with the kids.

If all you are going to be doing as barn boss, is saddling and feeding and such, that is one thing, but if you are going to be trying to teach kids, and keep them safe that is another.

Shropshirerosie 03-16-2013 02:49 PM

Yes, I echo Palomine's thoughts. But to help you a bit, a few more questions -

- who do these horses belong to, and what input is the owner giving to their care & welfare?

- what are your responsibilities supposed to be and who will you be working with?

- who sets out the 'programme' or objectives for the kids? You or someone else?

- is the horse-riding just one part of a multi-activity camp?

Give us some more info, and we'll give you more advice :-)

Silverdoc 03-16-2013 02:51 PM

Sorry, I should have clarified. My horses are 9&11. The camps horses are geriatrics. They generally are loaners. I have reminded them over and over again that I don't think I'm really that qualified, But they seem to think I'd be great at it. They don't actually 'teach' the kids to ride, but use the horses as an activity for the kids to do. I think they should go away with some sort of knowledge about riding and horses instead of just being plopped on a horse. I'm just not sure how to go about doing it. The gentleman that had been barn boss for the past six or more years is the one that insists I can be barn boss. I'm assuming he sees something in me that I don't.

Silverdoc 03-16-2013 03:04 PM

The camp horses are dropped off a week or so before camp starts and I know that one has to be fed separate because of his teeth, but otherwise I'll be expected to make sure they are in good health and their needs are met. I will have a staff of wranglers that range in age from 15yr to possibly college age. This changes year to year, so I won't know who I'm working with till the week before camp. They are suppose to have a horse background. I do have a girl that keeps her horses at my place that has her level 4. She said I can pick her brain too, but I don't know what kind of program to run and the camp director seems to be leaving it up to me and the ex barn boss did it for so long I think he believes it just comes natural to people.

Joe4d 03-16-2013 03:12 PM

If you dont have the gumption to say NO, you dont have any business leading anyone anywhere.

countrylove 03-16-2013 03:35 PM

She said No, more than once, which she already stated...

OP: I had a college instructor and she was also my boss since I worked on the college farm. She constantly made me do things out of my comfort zone because she saw my potential. That sounds like the case here. No matter how many times I said no it didn't matter, she pushed me to do anyways. Guess what... I succeeded every time. It's good to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Since your not giving full on lessons then dive in and have fun with it. Play some games, throw out random horse trivia, whoever gets the answer gets a piece of candy (even teenagers love candy). Youll want to keep things at a walk so be careful of the games you pick. A couple good ones are an egg and spoon race or fill a cup completely full of water and have a relay race (goal is not to spill the water), if they are good horses you can do a potatoe sack race where they have to lead the horse while hopping to the finish line. If there is a mostly light or white colored horse you could let the kids paint it. Make it fun for them :)
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Silverdoc 03-16-2013 03:48 PM

I'm not really worried about the handling of the actual barn duties. I'm confidant that I can fix/maintain the facilities fine. I've been the main maintenance person on our 10 acre place for the past 20 years. I can handle horse health fairly confidently and what I don't know I can read up on or ask one of the vets. I'm not worried about handling the wranglers either. I just need some guidance in what I should be doing for the kids. This is an area I have never dealt with. I never had a lesson as a kid. Just given a horse and told to ride. When I bought my own it had been 25 years since I had really ridden, so I've been 'unlearning' and learning since then and taking in clinics as an adult is much different than what these kids will be experiencing. And any ' heads up' info I can get from people that have done this sort of thing would be great. I wouldn't mind some ' what to look out for' with the old guys too.

Silverdoc 03-16-2013 03:57 PM

Thanks, countrylove. I've never done a game on a horse before. Lol. Should the games be a precursor to taking them on a trail ride? It's expect to go on one at some point. I'm guessing they should have some sort of riding in before we do that. I should have them coming out for either a morning or afternoon. It's an activity that runs Monday , Tuesday , Thursday , Friday. I don't know for how long, but I think it's about two hours from start to finish.

Joe4d 03-16-2013 03:58 PM

if she said no and meant it, this wouldnt even be a thread.
Stand up for yourself and say thanks but no thanks.


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