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.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


It is very warm here today! The highest temperature reading we saw was 92 degrees, and the heat index approached 100. We rode with our lesson groups in the morning and tried to stay in the shade in the afternoon by going on trail rides. When they weren't riding, the campers cooled off with some water games, and we also opened up Trading Post for extra water and Gatorade. We're off to the Mazomanie pool this evening - everyone needs a break from the high heat and humidity. We're keeping our eye on weather for tomorrow; the current forecasts are calling for it to be quite hot again, so we'll be planning our activities around keeping people and horses safe and healthy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cabin Fun Night!

Apologies for the posting hiatus - things have been very busy around here! We're back to posting regularly; thank you for your patience!

We welcomed new campers on Sunday night, and our two week cabins presented skits welcoming them to Hoofbeat. Everyone started their morning skill classes this morning, and in the afternoon got to choose some riding activities to do with their riding class. In the evening, each cabin chose a theme. They dressed in their theme for dinner and then planned a skit, song, or cheer to show the rest of camp. We also played some teambuilding/icebreaker games - see below for pictures! To see a larger view of any picture, just click on it!

Wrapping up the "M&Ms" skit with a kick line.

Hoofroof 2 attempts to look like convicts.

Shelby and Sophie get busted by a security guard.

Power Rangers - ready to spring into action!

Zordon would be so proud.

Power Rangers had to work together to save Hoofbeat!

Hoofroof 3/4 in the midst of a funny skit.

Hoofroof 3/4's skit was about a wacky slumber party.

Hoofroof 1 had a very dramatic skit...

...until Harry Potter appeared!

Enjoying other cabins' skits.

Relaxing in the grass.

Untangling a human knot.

Penguins (Longbranch 1) are triumphant after untangling their human knot.

Successfully accomplishing the "chair sit".

We just can't get enough of kick lines.

A human pyramid!