We're back from five days in Tryon, N.C. at the Pony Club Carolina's Region summer camp. I love this photo, which I took on the cross-country course at FENCE. I don't know this girl but her horse was green and he jumped off of the bank jump like a happy five-year-old child who'd just discovered jumping off the side of the swimming pool. I love how he seems to be flying through the air with the mountains in the background.
Lily was also in this group of five girls and horses. It was mercilessly hot. Two of the five had to drop out due to the heat. I probably would have dropped out but moms aren't allowed to drop out. Here's a photo of Lily and Markus over the same jump. This was Lily's first time ever doing a drop bank.
Now here's one of the many, many cool things that happened at camp. See the woman whose back is to the camera? That's Sarah Hansel, who was one of the excellent instructors at camp and who has a personal connection to Markus, Lily's new horse. Sarah used to show him for the woman who had rehabbed him after his slab knee fracture at the track when he was four. She would have been an incredible instructor for Lily even if she didn't know the horse, but since she had a history with him, she was able to give extra insight -- and confidence -- to Lily.
Lily's lesson on the cross-country course with Sarah had Lily completely aglow. She said, "That's the best time I ever had in my life doing anything!"
I've never been so hot and tired as I've been over the last five days. But it was worth every drop of sweat and every pound of Tryon red clay that won't even wash out of our whites with bleach.
More to come.