Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Camp Day 3- Thursday

This past day has been a lot of fun at Hoofbeat.

We woke up this morning to enjoy a delicious breakfast of french toast and sausage! After breakfast we had morning rotations which included a riding rotation, horse science, a scavenger hunt, and horse movies. The girls had another riding lesson in the indoor arena, and were able to help choose which horse they would like to ride. The horse science rotation was grooming and many of the groups enjoyed bringing our ponies Minnie Mouse and Diego into the warm barn lounge to groom. It was really entertaining to look into the barn lounge and see ponies inside. The scavenger hunt was a lot of fun and sent the campers around camp to find various items on their list.

After enjoying a warm lunch we were off to the Kalahari indoor water park in the Wisconsin Dells. The girls enjoyed the large variety of things to do at the water park- favorites included the lazy river, wave pool, and the large variety of water slides. The girls received five dollars of spending money to spend at the water park, many girls purchased ice cream and other snacks.

After a long day of riding horses and waterslides we headed back to camp for some needed rest! What a wonderful day!

Here are some photos from our trip to the Kalahari!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Camp- Tuesday and Wednesday

We've been having a lot of fun here at Hoofbeat with fuzzy horses and snow!

The girls arrived full of energy Tuesday evening. We started out with some ice breakers in their cabin groups so that the girls could get to know each other. We then all met up in the indoor arena to play some group games with the entire camp. We played numbers, blob tag, sharks and minnows, people to people, and many other games. After playing in the cold for a while we had a campfire in lower longbranch, the girls enjoyed camp songs and popcorn.

Wednesday morning we woke up bright and early for some delicious pancakes. The girls were split into four groups for riding and other activities. In the morning the girls had a riding lesson, a horse science lesson on safety/saddling/grooming, made snowflakes in arts and crafts, and made snowmen.
After morning rotations we enjoyed a delicious warm lunch.

We then got into cabin groups and took pictures, and even took and entire camp picture with the snowmen on the lower athletic field. In the afternoon the girls were split back into the four groups. We rotated through trail rides, horse pictures, and sledding! During the trail rides we enjoyed our snow covered trails, it looked like a winter wonderland. The girls each got individual pictures taken with some of our horses in the snow.

In the evening we had an elf hunt! We went for a search on our trails, following a path of candy canes. We heard bells and saw some lights, but unfortunately the elf was too elusive for us to catch. The girls were very happy for the candy cane presents that the elf left us. After being in the cold we warmed up in lower longbranch with hot chocolate and a game of charades.

Walking up the snowy hill

Group photo

Longbranch 1 cabin photo

Hoofroof 1/2 Cabin photo

Longbranch 2 Cabin photo

Hoofroof 3/4 cabin photo

Snowflake arts and crafts!

Making snowflakes!

Riding lesson in the indoor with Lightning

Chloe and Isabella having some fun in the morning riding lesson

Horse photos with Bucky!

Cheyenne and Winston

Happy Staff

Heading out on snowy trails

Sprinkles almost blends in with the snowy trails!

Remember to check the blog often for continued updates on the fun we're having at Christmas Camp!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Invitational Weekend Nov 12-13 and Other Off Season Fun!

On November 12-14 we had our Invitational weekend here at Hoofbeat Ridge. The weekend was a lot of fun for all of the girls and the horses!

The weekend started out on Friday evening, the girls arrived and were excited to be at camp again. After settling into our bunks and playing a few ice breakers, the girls headed to the barn for some late night bareback riding. While they weren't riding they played celebrity horse and other horse related games. We ended the evening with some hot chocoalate in lower longbranch in front of the warm fire.

Saturday morning the girls helped feed the horses and then headed to breakfast. During the morning the girls were split into three riding groups, and had a riding lesson with some of our riding staff. The girls had a chance to choose the horse that they wanted to ride. When they weren't riding the girls were learning about safety, how to tie safety release knots, and about bits and how to bridle a horse.

Throughout the day we had steady rain, and cold weather and the trail conditions weren't safe for horses, campers, and staff. So, we decided to modify the schedule and play some mounted games in our riding groups. The girls also had a chance to do a choice activity. A few of the groups chose to bring Minnie Mouse and Diego, two of our smaller ponies, into the barn lounge and groom them! It was very entertaining to look into the barn lounge and see ponies inside! The girls also had a chance to work with some of our younger horses at hoofbeat. The groups worked with Echo, Prince, and Tango.

Because of the cold weather and rain we decided to stay warm and dry in the evening with some movies, popcorn, and hot chocoalate in lower longbranch. The girls also had a chance to visit our camp store.

During Sunday morning the girls got to ride twice! They were split into two groups and got to ride in another riding lesson, having a chance to trot and try to canter their horses! The groups also worked on twenty meter circles at the trot and general position. After riding in lessons the girls split into three groups and got to ride bareback. While they weren't riding they had a choice between grooming or playing games in the barn lounge.

The Invitational weekend was a lot of fun. We'd like to thank all of the campers that came and made this weekend such a success, we hope to see you all again soon!

Group photo in front of the fireplace!

Grooming Minnie Mouse in the barn lounge

Beautiful morning for riding!

Good morning horses!

The weather is getting a little bit more chilly and the horses are getting fluffy with their winter coats, they look very cute! We'd like to remind everyone about some programs we have in the near future- Chief's Christmas Party is on Saturday December 11. Christmas Camp is December 28-January 1! Both of these programs are going to be a lot of fun, and you can sign up through our website or give us a call at 608-767-2593.

Happy Thanksgiving from Hoofbeat Staff and horses!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Riding Demonstrations

We ARE planning on holding riding demonstrations tomorrow. We have fewer riding classes during the Adopt-a-Horse week and, as such, will be able to accommodate doing all the demonstrations in our indoor arena. We will have to adapt the schedule; however, no campers will be riding EARLIER than the posted schedule, and we should still finish between 10:45 and 11:00. To accomplish this, each class's demonstration time will be shortened slightly.

The heavy rains are forecast to pass through by the time demonstrations start; if we are still experiencing significant lightning and thunder, the indoor may become unsuitable for use. Right now we are planning on holding demonstrations but our first priority is always the safety of riders and horses - please be understanding of the slight possibility that severe weather could still alter our plans.

Severe Weather - Update

Storms have continued to move through our area. We have not seen any dangerously high winds. We are using our indoor arena to do some bareback riding with the riding groups. We are expecting this weather to continue through the evening. We'll keep posting here as conditions change.

Riding Demonstration Schedule

Here is the schedule for tomorrow's riding demonstrations. Please keep in mind that these demonstrations are weather permitting. As of right now, we have not made a decision either way on demonstrations but if we continue to get heavy rain, the footing will be unsuitable for use in our arenas.

Ring II

9:15 Anne’s  1st Hour English
Lizzie Dulmage
Hannah Whiting
Hadley Shapland
Eleanor Duren
Emily Knoll
Gwen Davis
Eden Manual

9:45 Mary’s 2nd Hour English
Teagan Misiak
Sienna Partipilo
Emma Huisman
Halley Walsh
Violet Bethke
Kelsey Bro
Nicole Tinkoff

10:15 Lauren’s 3rd Hour English
Shelby Brendler
Violeta Calderon
Angela Riederer
Olivia Schuerman
Claire Stockard


      9:15 Christina’s 1st Hour English
      Casey Russell
      Immi Foster
      Morgan Centanni
      Melissa Losby
      Olivia Fulton
      Maggie Mae Reilly
      Anna Prestine

      9:45 Sam’s 2nd Hour English
      Morgan Maksen
      Reese McCormick
      Christina Ishaq
      Elle Schoonveld
      Carson Murff
      Abby Wogahn

    Ring III

9:15 Ted’s 1st Hour Western
Allison Douglas
Melina Houtman
Rosie Gilday
Caleigh Bezold

10:15 Jess’s 3rd Hour Western
Sydney Fleming
Bridget Behrens
Megan Gould
Nicole Fox
Hannah Mays

Severe Weather

Today we are facing new weather concerns: the temperature has dropped but we are having some severe weather in the area. We had rain showers this morning and ran morning skills on a rain schedule, so each camper got to ride her adopted horse with her lesson group in our indoor arena for a slightly shortened time. We also made horse treats in Horse Fun and had Horse Science as usual.

The weather has worsened since lunchtime. There are some tornado and flash flood warnings in our area, but so far we have had heavy rain without strong winds. With the camp located on high ground, we do not typically have issues with flooding. We currently have all the campers in their cabins and are closely watching the weather radar and staying tuned into our NOAA weather radios. We'll post updates here as the weather progresses - we are expecting additional severe weather this evening.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday, August 12

With today the hottest day so far this summer, we made a few modifications to our program which we felt were in the best interest of campers, staff and horses. Our area had heat and livestock warnings, with heat index estimates over 100 degrees. We had our usual skill classes in the morning, so every camper got to ride her adopted horse in their usual lesson groups. Everyone was encouraged to drink lots of extra water, and we opened up Trading Post during Horse Fun so everyone could get some Gatorade or Propel water. We also mixed powdered Gatorade in the water coolers to help with rehydration.

By lunchtime, it was clear it would be unsafe to continue riding activities in the afternoon. We turned the horses out to their pastures and loaded up the bus for the Mazo pool. It was a much needed cool down and we returned to camp feeling refreshed. We had hoped to resume activities after dinner, but the heat advisory extended through 9 PM and we anticipated temperatures staying warm throughout the evening. (As of right now, 8:55 PM) the thermometer is reading 86 degrees. We chose to instead stay cool and rehydrate by watching The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit in the lodge. We also enjoyed some root beer floats.

Tomorrow is forecast to also be quite warm - we'll be keeping an eye on the weather.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Beginning of Adopt-a-Horse Week!

We've had an exciting few days of camp! Although the heat indices have been in the mid/upper 90s for the past few days, we've still had a good time and tried to keep people and horses as cool as possible.

On Monday afternoon, we had a gymkhana where campers could sign up for mounted games of their choice, such as a magazine relay, obstacle course, and trail class, as well as a few unmounted activities like the knowledge bowl. We were all quite warm by the end of the day, so we cooled off by going down to the Mazomanie pool in the evening.

It was quite warm again on Tuesday, so we chose to forgo saddles and instead ride bareback - much more comfortable for the horses. When they weren't riding, the campers helped cool down the horses by giving them baths - the horses were grateful for the cooling water. We also had some water relay races set up on the athletic field, though the relay races quickly dissolved into water fights - they felt great in the hot afternoon! In the evenings, each camper groomed and spent some time with her "adopted" horse, and then posed for an individual picture with her horse. These pictures will be sent home with the campers on Saturday.

We went on our "mystery trip" Wednesday afternoon. Our first stop was Wingait Farm, a breeding and training facility specializing in Morgan horses. They gave us a tour and introduced us to their horses, including some very impressive stallions! We departed from Wingait and continued on to Peck's Farm Market in Spring Green. At Peck's, we got to meet some very different horses - a pair of draft horses who took us on a horse-drawn wagon ride. Everyone also had a great time exploring the petting zoo - Peck's has lots of deer, goats, rabbits, chickens, and pheasants, as well as some larger animals such as bison, donkeys, a pot-bellied big, and a calf. Everyone was especially enthralled by the goats. In the fall, Peck's has a corn maze and pumpkins!

It was good to get out of camp during the hottest part of the day, and when we returned to Hoofbeat, we had rest hour, ate dinner and then went up to the barn for some evening rides. The campers had some choice time with their riding classes - some classes rode their horses out on the airstrip to watch the sun go down while others stayed in the arena to play mounted games or have choice time.

Here are some pictures from the past few days. To see a larger view of any picture, just click on it. Tomorrow is forecast to be one of the hottest days this summer, with a heat index at or over 100, so we're working on a schedule which will be safe for both people and horses.

Counselors are ready to begin water relays.

In the midst of the water relay.

Plotting a water fight.

Playing a team water balloon toss.

Leading Pepper to the ring for bareback.

Waiting patiently for bareback horses.

Due to the high heat, we modified our "pants and boots at the barn" rule to allow shorts and boots - Hoofroof 3/4 shows off this stylish look.

Teagan and Tigger are ready for bareback.

Leading Skye to Ring III.

Sienna and Scout enjoying the shade.

Hannah demonstrates good position while riding Winston.

By late afternoon, everyone wanted a head dunking in the water supply.

Well water is COLD!

Preparing horses for the adopted horse photo-shoot.

From the "blooper reel".

Two year old Morgan stallion impresses us with his presence. 

The horses were very sweet and welcoming. The barn dog, Jake, was also excited about getting lots of attention.

Hadley petting a mare while others look in the stall.

Watching a saddleseat riding demonstration on one of the horses by farm staff.

This facility donated Tucker, the newly named Morgan, to Hoofbeat Ridge. We got a chance to meet Tucker's mother (not pictured) who is a sweet school horse at Wingait.

Greeting the draft horses at Peck's.

On the train ride.

Feeding deer.

Very beautiful, impressive horses.

Going for an evening walk on the airstrip.

Nicole enjoys quality time with her adopted horse Meech.

A quiet moment for Eden and Tango.