Archive for the ‘From the Horse’s Mouth’ Category

Cindy Lou- Blue Eyed Girl

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Cindy Lou with her thick winter coat

Cindy Lou

Color: Bay

Gender: Mare

Breed: Quarter Horse Cross

Cindy Lou is a very popular horse around these parts. She is ridden by just about everyone at camp- from Silver Spruce campers up to JCs, riding counselors, wranglers, and those of us that work with the horses all year. We love her!

Besides being able to get around camp’s extensive acreage with ease, Cindy Lou has gone on just about every Horse Long Trip that Sanborn has to offer. She’s been to the Puma Hills, around 39 Mile Mountain, Sledgehammer, Black Mountain, the Corduroys, and to Split Tank.

Cindy Lou with a camper friend on the 39 Mile Mountain Long Trip

Cindy also has amazing skills at being a “ranch horse.” From knowing how to work cows, to being an expert at moving horses from one of our big pastures to another, she loves to have a job. She also enjoys running around High Tor and Quicks’ pastures on the search for some of our sneaky herd who like to play hide and seek on warm summer mornings.

Cindy Lou has a unique blue eye that she likes to assess situations with.  She always wants to know what she’s getting herself into before making the next move!

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Jackie- The World’s Favorite Mule

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012


Color: Chestnut

Gender: Molly

Breed: Mule

Jackie is our one and only mule at Sanborn Western Camps.  She is affectionately known around camp as “The World’s Favorite Mule.”

Jackie can be used as a traditional mule and be packed with food, supplies, and sleeping bags to go out on trips.  She also loves to be ridden by campers on trail rides and in the arena.

When Jackie calls for her friends in pasture,  it is a combination of sounds.  She starts with a whinny and ends in a hee-haw!  It is her own original calling card that cannot be mistaken for anyone else.  Jackie’s closest friends are Corona, Credence, and Peanuts.  They know her bray very well!

Since mules don’t have withers, and their backs are much flatter than horses’ backs, Jackie’s saddle has a few special parts to help keep it in place.  Campers get very skilled in learning how to put Jackie’s saddle on all by themselves.

Jackie takes a little rest-- with a full pack on!

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Crystal Blue- Half Horse Half Giraffe

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Crystal Blue

Color: Skewbald Paint

Gender: Gelding

Breed: Quarter Horse Cross

Crystal Blue is an awesome horse that was born right here at Sanborn.

His extremely unique marking is the white giraffe on the side of his body! Can you spot it in these pictures?

Crystal Blue’s name comes from his mother who was named Crystal Bar plus he has two clear blue eyes.

Crystal Blue is also a talented horse to ride. He is very responsive to cues, is great at rounding up other horses in the morning, loves to be the leader on trail rides, and knows how to handle himself around cows.  His long legs make it easy for him to cruise around and have fun being a horse!

Long lost cousin?

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Ace in the (key)Hole

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012


Color: Sorrel

Gender: Gelding

Breed: Mustang Cross

Ace is a spunky little fellow with a big personality.  He has lots of energy and loves to keep on going day in and day out!

Ace is a very versatile horse.  Not only is he a great pack horse that will carry your rip-n-tear to your campsite without squishing it, but he is also an All-Star in gymkhana events.  He runs barrels like a professional and is right on target in the Keyhole event!

Ace is frequently requested by both campers and staff alike for half days, all days, long trips, and everything in between.

He is a guy who can really do it all!

Ace cruises around the barrels in the gymkhana

Jaunts With Jasper

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012


Color: Chestnut

Gender: Gelding

Breed: Mustang Cross

Jasper is a very talented horse in more than one way.

All his friends call him Houdini for his amazing skills of escaping from any locked gate or corral.  He can also quickly untie a knot no matter how tightly it’s been tied.  Jasper not only frees himself, but he encourages his friends to join him for a little rendezvous.

Jasper also has uncanny swimming skills.  His favorite day in the summer is the Super Wrangler All Day because he gets to pretend to be a very large fish and take campers for a dip in the Witcher Fish Pond.  Lost Lake is another favorite stomping ground of Jasper’s.  He will jump in with campers on his back again and again!

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Cowboy Take Me Away

Monday, January 16th, 2012


Color: Bay

Gender: Gelding

Breed: Quarter Horse Cross

Cowboy is a gentle, wise soul who has been at Sanborn for over fifteen years.  He used to be a wrangler horse who loved to pull shenanigans and was always looking for adventures.  Now he is enjoying being more mature and has the experience to get you anywhere around camp – from Top of the World, to Lost Lake, to Fish Creek, to the Big Spring Barn or the High Trails Stables.  Cowboy has his own special saddle with his name right on it because of high withers on his back.  He also has quite the forelock which gives him a Justin Bieber-esk quality.  He could definitely pull off some great karaoke if the situation arose! He and Rafter are best friends and have been for a long long time.


Cowboy sports the Bieb's hairdo

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Four-Legged Friend: Mini Cooper

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Mini Cooper is a Registered Miniature Horse who lives in the barnyard at High Trails for half the year and lives at a farm in Kentucky for the other half.

Cooper was born in 1998 (making him 13 years old), and he is as tall as he will ever get!  He was rescued from a starvation and neglect situation in Iowa, so he came to camp in need of a lot of extra TLC, which he has certainly received from campers!

When he arrived at camp, he was very shy and timid.  He didn’t know any of the other horses or humans yet, and he was nervous–kind of like how some of the kids who first arrive at camp feel.  Fortunately for Cooper, he got lots of loving care from campers, who fed him carrots and treated him with kindness.  When he was feeling nervous, campers would quietly sit in his pen and wait until Cooper was ready to walk to them.  He gradually learned that he could trust humans again.  Once he approached campers, they fed him hay and carrots and brushed him gently.  He has come such a long way because of all the kids who have spent time with him at camp.  Now Cooper is a confident, curious and chubby little guy!

Because of his background, Cooper is a great listener, especially to campers who might be feeling a bit homesick.  He LOVES carrots, and would nibble on treats until he was the size of a hot air balloon if he could!

Cooper knows how to pull a jog cart and is too small for anyone to ride.  If campers have a counselor nearby, they can take him for a walk using his halter and lead rope.  He’s kind of like a big puppy dog!

A lot of kids like to visit Cooper on their way to the Four Story Treehouse or Tipi Village.  Do you have any favorite memories with Mini Cooper?

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Four-Legged Friend: Fiona

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Fiona, or Sweet Fee, as some campers refer to her, is truly one of the sweetest horses you’ll meet at camp.

Fiona is a little bit timid.  She needs a reassuring, calm, soothing rider she can trust, especially at the hitching post and when being saddled, because she gets a little nervous around fast movements.  She loves when campers scrub her with a curry comb–it’s like getting a massage and helps her to relax.  Watch for her to twitch her nose when being groomed!

Once you are on Fiona’ back, she is an incredibly smooth ride.  The slower she jogs, the smoother it is, and with just a kissing sound, she transitions gracefully into a nice, even lope.  She can pick up the speed, too, and is one of our favorite Gymkhana horses.

On the trail, Fiona has been known to dodge away from branches to protect her riders from getting scratched by pine needles or twigs.  She is very aware of her rider at all times, and very willing to please, especially if her rider is sure to praise her by telling her “Good girl,” or scratching her withers (the top of her shoulders).

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Remembering Camper Stories

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Camp has sadly come to an end for the summer of 2011. Things are very quiet at Big Spring and High Trails! While we are already looking forward to next summer, we want to share a few more stories from this summer…

Today we went horseback riding. We all put on our jeans and boots and walked to the barn. First we talked to our wrangler about how to saddle our horses before our ride. The sun was blazing hot, but luckily we all finished saddling quickly. My horse was named Popcorn. She is dark brown and pretty tall. We walked through all the pretty trees and mountains. At about noon we stopped for lunch. YUM! We tied our horses to trees and enjoyed a delicious meal. Turkey sandwiches and fruit. After we ate, we got back on our horses and started to head back to camp. On the way back we took a different trail and saw colorful flowers and lots of trees. After an all-day ride, we got back to the barn and untacked our horses. This was probably the best horseback riding trip ever all because of SANBORN!!
Abby G.

One day early in the morning we got up and dressed to go on our all-day horse ride. It was really fun! When we got to the barn I looked on the sheet and I got Rafter. Rafter was a tall horse. He was really sweet and listened to everything I told him to do, and he loved to trot fast. I loved him so much. When we got back, we put the horses in the pen. Rafter dropped on the ground and started to roll in the dirt. I said “Rafter I just brushed you” and he just looked up at me, stood up, and came up to the fence and licked my hands.
Alexandra D.

There are lots of fun things to do at Sanborn. The fun thing I just did was the Artsy Overnight. It is a hike to Tie Cabin and we make art. It took us about twenty minutes to get ready with our backpacks full of food and tents. And then we were ready to go. It took about two hours to get there and set up our tents. Then we started to draw, make key chains, rock necklaces, and so much more. The day went by so fast. It was time to go to bed. I was sad to leave the fun things that we were doing, but I knew that a bunch more fun things await me and my campmates!
Addie T.

We just got back from our very fun overnight, the Artsy Overnight. When we got back, we went to outcamp to wash dishes and put away the food. We had a delicious lunch of hamburgers, french fries, and root beer floats. We met at the lodge for our afternoon activities – I chose blogging. I know we are going to be very sad to leave our new friends we made at Sanborn. But most of us are coming back for another summer of fun!
Taylor L.

Yee-Haw Namaste, Part I

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Written by Jessie Tierney, Certified Yoga Instructor and Summer 2011 Wrangler.

By far the most gratifying part of my third summer at Sanborn has been the opportunity I’ve been offered to teach girls yoga on (and off) horses.

On our four-day pack trip, seven ladies and two counselors joined me in a quest to find a deeper connection to Horse and Self through yogic principles.

Many people associate yoga with postures and flexibility (the asanas), which, while an important part of this practice (and especially photogenic), is not the entire picture. Through four days of waking up early to let the horses out to graze, practicing breathing, long rides on and off-trail, technical riding practice and games in the arena, discussing qualities of exceptional humans and horses, practicing patience and persistence, we began to explore some of the more subtle aspects of Yoga and how Yoga can apply to our lives on and off the horses.

I was inspired by this group of ladies–they were eager to learn more about their mounts and had a deep commitment to strengthening their bond with their horse over a short four days. They all succeeded. One of the horses who was often skiddish and would often pull back on the lead rope, shying away when approached by a human, seemed to settle into his skin, so to speak, and actually watched for his rider, following her with calmer eyes than I had seen on him since I met him. Another horse who is known for prancing on the trail and rarely flat-walking seemed to melt under his rider as she practiced slow, long breaths. The sweet mule on our trip who did have a mule-like stubbron tendency when she was away from her buddy in the herd seemed to replace that horse-partner with her human-partner, nickering when her rider walked near. These were subtle differences that might not be noticed if we weren’t watching for them, but the nature of this long trip allowed for us the extra time and space for observation and reflection.

Not only the horses benefited from this trip. Each girl in turn seemed to more willingly take on the responsibility for her horse than I have seen in the my years of leading horse trips. Her investment in the welfare of her horse was great, and I heard not one single “are we done yet?” while we let the horses graze for four hours (instead of three) each morning and each evening, under steady watch of their riders. Girls willingly volunteered to contribute to our small community’s well being–”Should I take down these tents?” “Do you want me to collect the dishes?” “Can I let my horse graze some more?” “Do you need to borrow my headlamp?” The counselors and I honored these qualities in the girls by awarding them aspen leaves, a GROW STRONG tradition at Sanborn, naming qualities like Leadership, Helpfulness, Optimism, Great Attitude in each girl and writing the instance down on a leaf. The ladies cheered for one another in our evening circles, and we discussed ideas like Community, Leadership, and Integration.

The entire feeling of this long trip was serene. I don’t remember ever feeling over-tired or stressed (common sentiments on any typical long trip). Yet it was not any small feat; this four-day trip that took the ladies and their mounts off-campus. I think what made the difference between this trip and others I have led was our strong, unified Intention that we took the time to set at the beginning of our journey. I think it helped that we practiced yoga in various forms throughout the trip: Meditation, an active Asana Practice, Partner Yoga, “Hawking Yoga” (in the field next to a grazing horse), Bareback Yoga. We had an excellent discussion on GRATITUDE, and how the simple act of waking up in the morning and listing off five things we are grateful for can totally set the stage for the day or pull us out of any funk. We spoke about how attitude is a choice and that we can choose, literally, to be joyful. One of the girls started out the trip rolling her eyes at a lot of these ideas, but after our Attitude discussion, she was all smiles and seemed to get a lot out of the activities she’d previously felt were juvenile.

I am so proud of these girls. They trusted one another, they slowed down and allowed themselves time for reflection, they became vulnerable to one another and shared their inner and outer observations. These are all things that our culture rarely allows time for. Even camp, which is meant to provide for these opportunities, can feel cramped for time and space when we have so many objectives and goals in mind. I am so grateful to the folks “in charge” at Sanborn for allowing such a trip to happen, for their encouragement!, and for trusting that it is truly not the destination but the journey that matters.


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