We just spent most of the past two weeks teaching kids about Agriculture and God’s creation at Ag Adventure Camp put on by the Apela Foundation. What a joy it is to watch the delight in the girls and boys faces when they ride for the first time, or hold a chick, or milk a goat or experience God’s handiwork and beauty.
One of our Grieb Ranch horses, “Mr T” has been a stalwart participant in giving kids the opportunity to ride for the past four Ag Adventure Camps. Most kids have never been on a horse prior to camp and most are excited. First-timers approach the horse a bit gingerly as the closer they get the more they realize the size and power of the creature. However, as they ride they discover the joy of helping this powerful yet timid-by-nature creature negotiate around the arena.
Sam Savitt horse story author and artist sums up the horse perfectly,
“He is in some ways, a paradox of nature. Because of his size it is difficult to realize that he is a timid creature, quick to fright and flight. Yet he can be taught to gallop into the thick of artillery fire, ford a flooded river, endure head-on collisions of the polo field, and face a maddened steer, or jump a course of the most formidable obstacles you’ve ever seen. He has a simple one-track mind, but he possesses a terrific memory.”
We help our Ag Adventure campers understand how a horse thinks and reacts and teach them to guide a horse using their eyes, sitting up straight and using a giving hand. In a given Ag Adventure Camp week Mr. T might have as many as 32 new riders. He keeps going along and doing his best to follow each rider’s instructions as the riders learn how to guide him around the arena and around the poles.
Mr. T came to the Grieb Ranch four years ago just before the second year of Ag Adventure camp. He was purchased from a ranch in Texas. Grieb Ranch uses him to round up the cattle in the hills and for regular riding around the ranch. He is a 10 year old, sorrel color, registered Quarter Horse. Mr T has a full registered name, CTR Peptos Surfine, which is a bit difficult to remember and because he has a brand near his left stifle which is a circle surrounding the letter T – Mr.T is the name we use.