I woke at 5:00 am. Man I hate getting up that early but I jumped in the shower, jumped back out and started gathering the last minute groceries I had to pack for Hailey's trip to cowboy camp. Sounds like a great camp doesn't it! Cowboy's, horses, friends, cattle, buffalo and lot's of fresh air! Sounds good to me, but Hailey was fortunate enough last year to spend a week, and upon return, she said she was NEVER , NEVER, NEVER EVER going back! The meer mention of it had her quaking in her cowboy boots! You see, it's not just go and spend an hour in the saddle, then do crafts and swim for the rest of the day. No, the word Bootcamp literally is the new name for cowboy camp or as Hailey likes to call it, HELL! You see, this camp is run by a world class horse trainer by the name of Troy, and Troy knows his stuff, and he wants to teach kids to ride and train their horses, but he demands perfection and he doesn't candy coat it one iowda. He once asked her last summer why she was so shy, she rides beautifully so she has no reason to be shy. Did yawr Momma beat ya with a stick? He'd shout out with his big Texan accent. You ain't never gonna get a job at McDonald's being that shy! The kids start their day early, 7:00 am to be exact, grab what you can to eat for breakfast and make sure you grab something to hang on the fence post cuz Troy never thinks about stopping for lunch unless he's hungry himself, then he sends someone to the house to make a sandwhich for him and carries on with the day. The girls are in the saddle from morning till night, and inbetween that their cleaning the barn, throwing down hay, pulling weeds from Troy's pastures and basically being worked till their knuckles bleed. Then Lori, Troys absolutly wonderful wife, feeds them supper. On hot days they take a trip down to Lake Erie and have a swim, and even get to go on trail rides so it's not all Hellish and Hailey says once off a horse, Troy steps down from being all business and can be a lot of fun. And let me tell you about the change in horse and rider! Wow! My girl is one tough cowgirl now and Hunter, our horse is a working machine! They have a bond now, and work together beautifully. But does Hailey see this? No, and she said she ain't never going back!
So how is it that Hailey is now back at Troy's for another week of verbal and physical abuse? Well we bought her a new unbroke horse last winter and promptly sent this mare down to Troys for a few months of training. The deal was when we bought the mare is that Hailey would take her down to cowboy camp for a week of working with her. And so the time has come. We met up with our friends the Robert's, loaded up three horses and 3 half sick, but excited girls and struck out to Brantford. My son Randy came along and so did Kelly's boyfriend Des, so we stuck all the kids in one truck and the adults in another. This was good because at least Hailey was smiling and having fun with all the other kids. After almost 4 hours in the truck we arrived at Troy's. Horses got unloaded, luggage and food got unloaded and we were greeted by Troy on horseback. After everyone had thrown their luggage in the bunkie Troy told the girls they had 10 minutes to saddle up and be ready to go. Off to the back ring we went to be spectaters. The girls immediatley began loping their horses for atleast 20 minutes just for a warm up and then Troy began a show of cutting buffalo from the buffalo heard. After that he then got the campers running barrels. To my horror, Nicki, our mare, stumbled and went down with Hailey on her back! Thank God for a deep sand ring to cushion the fall! A few more gray hairs have taken up residence on my head! Hailey brushed herself off and climbed back on. Tough girl I thought to myself as a lump of pride swelled in my throat! Troy then promptly give her shit for not tucking her head and rolling. His exact words were, "Your gonna break your God Damn neck if ya keep falling on your head!" But Hailey is happy with that because she knows what Troy can be like if he goes on one of his tangents. It ain't pretty! Hailey is also happy because her friend Kelly went with her this year, and Troy will be focusing on Kelly quite a bit. Fresh meat I think she was referred to! It was time to leave, time to see if tears were gonna flow. But Hailey did good! She only told me once that she still loved me, but she didn't like me much right at the moment! This to me is a good thing! Have fun Hailey!