Horse-related summer jobs funded what I wanted to do more than anything: ride more horses. I’ve worked as a helper at a horse day camp, a counselor at a sleep-away horse camp and as a camp wrangler. I loved every single second of my horsey summer jobs, and I will never forget the memories.
- Waking up at 4:30 a.m. to push the horses back in to the paddock. So early, but so worth it.
- Watching the sunrise since I was up at 4:30 a.m.
- Living above the barn. Dream come true.
- Helping a little camper sit in the saddle for the first time, take hold of the reins, take a deep breath and smile.
- Reminding campers to not run around the horses – contain the excitement! Safety first when in the barn yard.
- Consoling a crying (but thankfully not injured) camper because the horse tossed her off
- Consoling a crying (but still not injured) camper because her horse looked at her funny
- Cheering students on while they played games on horseback.
- Singing songs like “Wheels on the Bus” while leading campers on a trail ride
- Listening to the campers talk about what the horses “think” of their riders. (And giggling because I do the exact same thing, even though I’m an “adult”)
- Sporting an absolutely fantastic tan … on my arms only.
- Recognizing other horsey counselors at counselor training day because they too had very tan arms … and very not tan legs.
- Receiving a James Avery stirrup charm from one of my campers as a gift. I still wear it – it means so much to me.
- Watching campers proudly teach each other new things – like how to properly tie a quick-release knot
- Pushing horses back out into pasture for the night. Pure elegance and beauty.
- Knowing I’d never have another summer like the one I was having – every summer, every camper, every horse and every memory was special.
What about you? What summer jobs and horsey experiences bring a smile to your face when you think back on them?