A Girl and Her Horse

Athena’s time at horse camp is now ended, but before they sent her off they had all the girls at the camp put on a little show for their parents, so we could see what the girls learned in their week there. Here is Athena with her horse, named Storm, with whom she got along famously. Now Athena’s home and I suspect is sizing up Daisy to see if she can be fitted with a saddle. That might not end well for either of them.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

44 replies on “A Girl and Her Horse”

My daughter’s 7th birthday present was an intro to horses / riding lesson that I thought would get it out of her system. We bought a horse about 3 years late. I’m just saying…

Warren Ellis has established a precedent of purchasing a horse for an author’s daughter upon the release of a movie based upon the author’s work.

When is the OMW movie could be coming out? Maybe it will be many years and she’ll be away at college by then.

Luckily, you can explain to her “Athena, we live in a small apartment in a city, where there’s no room for a horse!”

Oh wait…you’re screwed. Better start planning where you want the barn. ;)

That looks like a perfect camp horse to me. Mellow to the point of sleepy. There’s nothing freaky about it’s eyes. They are just about closed from all the mellow. Horse irises are HUGE. The only time you see the whites are when the are totally panicked. That and when the pony is pink or purple with human eyes. Now that’s freaky.
Great story about my sisters first pony. Mom told them they were forbidden to set foot in the corral unless there was a parent there to watch. So my sisters who are twins would take turns luring the pony to the side of the corral with grass so the other one could get on from the fence and get a ride without setting foot in the corall.
Consider this a warning.

I’ve done the horsey thing off and on over the years too, and I have to say, Athena should check and see if there are any polo schools near the Scalzi homestead. Polo has a reputation for being kind of snooty, but in reality, it’s an amazing sport. Of all the horse-related activities I’ve tried, it was the best.

I’m definitely jealous of her time at camp. My parents sent me to Jesus camp as a kid :/

That’s awesome, John. Some of my best memories were of riding my grandfather’s horses in North Dakota. Camp isn’t something Athena will easily forget.

I’d call it more of a fleabitten gray than a roan…

Others have said it, and I agree: the thing to worry about is not if she is sizing up the dog, but if she is sizing you up for your horse-procuring abilities.

ah that takes me back…my little girl did a cowboy camp for 6 summers in a row, riding horses, sleeping in freezing barracks, sounded like hell on earth to me but she loved it.

I have that picture from my daughter’s first year at horse camp (with her horse named Rodeo), under those same e-free conditions, and ending performance. I just dropped her off for her sixth year, where she is now training to be a unit leader at the same camp.

Many happy summers to you and Athena.

What a lovely picture. I have many fond memories from summers at horse camp and as other commenters have already said, it was horse camp that first awoke what turned into a life-long passion…leading to lessons, showing, leasing, saving up my pennies until I could finally buy my first horse, and ultimately becoming a therapeutic riding instructor. So be warned, a horse crazy girl is a formidable force indeed.

Cute picture. My recommendation for children who express a desire for farm animals to take care of is to start with chickens. They are small and relatively easy to deal with. If a child can raise and eat a crop of buffalo wings without being a complete pain, said child is prepared for more serious farmerly duties. Most kids will, however, bail on the drudge work with unsympathetic, dirty, and moronic animals, or balk at the concept of personally killing and eating something they raised.

Issues with this plan:
1. A smart kid may realize it is bollocks – horses can be (expensive) pets, and all this “do it properly like a farmer” schtuff makes little more sense than “do it properly like a medieval knight.” (Admittedly, the latter would be *cool*, but also expensive as all get out.)
2. Kid might discover they *like* farming. On one hand, this will make their eventual horse habit much cheaper, and possibly a little self-financing. On the other, farming is generally unprofitable and grinding, even for those raised in it.
3. Chicken crap on lawn.
4. Chicken-pet interactions.

Someone should have written a song called “Horses are a Girl’s Best Friend”…Horse camp is heaven on earth for girls of a certain age. Some of us grow out of it, some of us remain there in our hearts, and some of us get to have horses forever. Wonder which path Athena will choose? Bravo to you for providing the opportunity for her to hang out with these animals! PS based on your photos, you have PLENTY of room for a barn…just saying.

Athena can run away and come live with me whenever she wants. I’ve got three horses at home who don’t get near enough attention because, well, I’m working full time with OTHER horses every day. Yeah, horses coming out of my ears over here in VA. Plenty of room for another gal who wants horse time :)

Dude. Serious strategic mistake. You now will be subjected to Horse Fever.

That said, this just means you need to come to Orycon and bring Athena with. Then she can come visit my horse and totally increase her addiction.

(Exposure to Miss Mocha tends to do that. But she is Teh Awesome of horse world).

I have an alternative suggestion: find out whether there’s a therapeutic riding or hippotherapy facility near you. The one I used to work at accepted 12-year-olds (with parental supervision) as horse-care volunteers. These facilities usually have several horses that need to be groomed, tacked, untacked, groomed (lather, rinse, repeat), fed and cleaned up after. Plus they are seriously cool places to be. Here’s a localish news story:

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