Sixty area children from Marshall and Hardin counties completed the first day of a five-day horse camp Monday at the Wolfe Ranch Life Enrichment Center just outside Marshalltown.
The camp is designed to teach kids in fifth through eighth grades leadership through the horses along with horse safety.
Program Coordinator Jennifer Daniel said the kids are learning through the horses and she has noticed changes just in the short time they've been there.
T-R PHOTO BY LUKE STALZER
Katarina Hafner shows Jennifer Daniel how to safely get on and off of a horse at the Wolfe Ranch Life Enrichment Center’s Horse Camp. The camp is host to 60 students in grades fifth through eighth and they are learning everything from horse safety and how to become a leader through the horse. The program was funded by an $8,500 grant.
"We do exercises with the horses that build confidence," Daniel said. "Just seeing a little girl chase a one-year-old horse and getting it to mind this soon in the camp, that's building confidence."
An $8,500 grant from Marshall/Hardin county made the camp possible, said Beth Andrew, director of family services at Wolfe Ranch.
"We also received another grant from them and plan to use that for family sessions," Andrew said.
The camp not only focuses on horse safety, but also the importance of the 'pillars of character' and leadership aspects.
"We're learning a lot about leadership and horses teach us a lot," Daniel said. "They're incredible teachers."
Campers were able to be a part of three different stations Monday including grooming and groundwork, saddle safety and horse therapy.
Celeste Eddy, of Gilman, attended the camp and said it's been a great experience.
"It's very fun," Eddy said. "I've liked watching the horses and learning how to groom."
The camp will go through Friday, and campers will have the chance to take part in new lessons each day. Daniel said by the end of the program, she hopes kids will have a new outlook.
"Kids just need to slow down and take things step-by-step," Daniel said. "You can't live your life fast paced like you're at McDonald's all the time."