This week I’ll be participating in Family Camp at Kamp Kessa called “Horses & Homesteading". Its focus is a hands-on family farm experience to explore various aspects of the homesteading experience as it relates to horses. Each day, we will join together to learn about beneficial plants, cultivating them in our Kentucky region and understand practices to support and promote a sustainable existence-- farm or home!
After Day 1 of camp, I’ve already learned so much that I’d like to share. Dr. Thecla’s first day initiative was for everyone to learn the Six P’s to a Successful Life.
Next, we shared what each individual brings to the circle of unity – both adults and children shared their first name and what they can offer, I heard: Creativity, friendship, kindness, happiness, leadership, sustainable agriculture and horsemanship.
Each youth and adult were paired with a horse fitting their own personality and/or skills the student is looking to advance. There are youth mentors, Amy, Serena and Eveline who have been attending various camps and classes at Kamp Kessa for years. With the equine knowledge these young ladies have picked up while working with Dr. Thecla has prepared them to become youth mentors to those attending the Family Camps.
While preparing for the trail ride we discussed the basics of safety, equipment and preparedness, as in the right shoes and insect repellent. On the trail, we learned how to maneuver together as a unit, and what horses would prefer to go their own way and how to work with the horse to go where you want him/her to go. The horses can sense our energy and know when we aren’t paying attention to the here and now. This is why I have been drawn to the book Zen Mind, Zen Horse by Dr. Allan Hamilton which Dr. Thecla bases her equine camps and classes around.
Learning how the horse's brain is wired differently from humans, I am able to appreciate and understand why horses have been connected to humans for so long. It is truly a special relationship, and one I’m grateful to share with you. As with the Bluebirds, horses need us to pay attention to sustainable agriculture and habitat. Nature has taught me the valuable lesson of keeping our sustainable practices in check. Giving as much as we receive from the land helps encourage sustainability. The balance sustainability creates is healing, rewarding and worth the effort, I promise!
Looking forward to sharing the rest of my week’s experiences!