Tuesday, May 3, 2022
My Young People Are Not Like Other Young People
This is a better example of what makes our program so special. Tam noticed a ramshackle half-barrel on the tack shed porch. She offered to fix it. I assumed that she meant that she would carry it home, get together the right tools and shape up a stave to replace the missing one.
That is not what she meant. Her plan was to take whatever was at hand, shape up a stave and re-assemble the half barrel. She used an old fence board, a hand saw, a hammer, and a machete to split the fence board into half of its thickness before her skilled hands shaped it to fit in perfectly.
Or Audrey, at age 15, swimming in the February James River (42 degrees) with me after spending four days in professional training about teaching the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Or Mandy trimming hooves, or Chris training horses, or Ella helping the new riders with tack and catching horses, or Olivia, watching the older kids and learning to be like them, or Kate doing a great training demo and handling questions from the audience flawlessly.
And it has been like this for years. Fifteen years ago visitors were amazed at the quality of work and maturity that the kids demonstrated. Veterinarians have always been impressed at the way the young people in our program handle the horses.
A few months ago I was escorting some guests through the pastures when Chris, Audrey, and Ella moved on out in front of us, caught and held a ewe as Ella caught the lamb. In the blink of an eye Audrey had banded the lamb's tail and set him down to reunite with his mother.
One of our guests said, "Your kids are just so....competent."
That they are. And it is contagious. On a recent ride I listened as I heard Rory expertly explaining to a newer rider how to manage the horses as we slipped through a deeply mudded forest. By the time that some of these kids get too old to order off of the children's menu they will be showing the same kind of maturity, reliability and sense of responsibility
Posted by Steve Edwards