Howdy from Ondessonk Stables!
By Catherine Limkeman, Equestrian Director
This has been a year of transition at the Ondessonk Stables. Meagan Walters handed the reins over to me, Catherine Limkeman. I now serve as Camp’s Equestrian Director. Meagan was a huge blessing to Ondessonk and helped thousands of people safely enjoy time in the saddle throughout her time here. Heepwah, Meagan.
I am excited to be at Camp with my husband Andy, and our daughter Mary. We have enjoyed getting to know the horses and people of Camp Ondessonk. It has been a winter of getting oriented to our Equine programs and the beauty of Camp.
The herd is currently going strong at 70 healthy horses! We have welcomed about 15 new horses into our herd since last February and gave some of our well-deserving older horses a happy retirement with families who will be their loving forever home.
There is never a dull day! The horses are rested up from all the activity of Camp last summer and are trying to find ways to apply their energy. They are entertaining themselves in some funny ways. For instance, Scout, one of our staff horses, has started picking up sticks and chasing some of the other horses with them. Doc, one of our more mature horses, thinks Scout is ridiculous and tries to stop him from trying to take the stick out of Scout’s mouth. I’ve seen them playing tug-o-war with a stick out in the hay pen several times now.
As we prepare for the summer, we have been working on some fun training initiatives to get the horses ready for the campers! We have even taught a few of our horses how to carry flags for parades and other upcoming special events! (We can’t give away all our secrets *wink”) We are also working on teaching our horses soccer! A generous donor supported Camp by gifting an Equine Soccer Ball. If you want to see what that is, look it up on YouTube! So far our horses run away from the soccer ball instead of toward it, but hopefully, in the next few summers, they will catch on, and Equine Soccer can be added as a horse camp activity. A video will be posted on our Facebook page soon showing our equine-soccer progress. We are also working on some fun new games, obstacles, and learning lessons for our camper programs.
We are SO excited to have people start riding more often as the weather gets nice! The horses are ready for some adventures away from the barn, and the staff is ready to help other people meet their saddle-time quota! Please come visit us out at the barn! We’ve got 70 four-legged and a couple of two-legged friends waiting for you there. Until then, happy trails!