“Mr. T” a Stalwart Teacher of Kids at Ag Adventure Camp

3 boys and a horse (960x825)

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.

Mr T waits to be groomedOne 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.”

Mr T teaches ridingWe 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.Mr T's brand

We enjoy Mr T and are thankful that he continues to give the Ag Adventure kids memories of riding that they will treasure for a life-time.Kids with Mr. T saddled

All In A Day’s Activities

3 boys and a horse (960x825)The list of things to do never ceases to end at the ranch. We are gearing up for Ag Adventure Camp next week where several of us introduce agriculture to kids who don’t get to experience what we do everyday. Several of our Grieb Ranch horses provide the kids with riding experiences to treasure. Many of these kids have never had the opportunity to ride. We bring in baby chicks which amuse the campers. We enjoy the delight on these kid’s faces as they hold the delicate, little, fuzzy creatures. The goats give hands-on experience in milking. The kids learn to rope a steer . . . a dummy steer, shoot a bow and arrow, play horseshoes, shoot BB gun and just simply take in the great outdoors and experience so much of God’s creation working together.

We have sent some calves to market as the grass goes to seed. It is this time of the year that we process/butcher a nice grass-fed steer for our meat for the year which makes for some nice tender steaks. We have also hatched out some new chicks.

All in a day's work

All in a day’s work

And in the midst of all this we had a unique happening at the ranch. As if we do not have anything else going on at the ranch . . . A young cow got her head stuck through the fence. This was a first for us. We had to get a jack to spread the bars to get her out… we then used rope to help turn her head.

On top of all of this Ethan is getting a heifer ready to show at the fair. He recently participated in a 4H Presentation Day that was held at UC Davis. He gave his presentation, “Pre-Show Heifer Fitting Guide”, where he received a Gold at County Level, Regional Level and then State Level. Ethan Certificate (936x1024)Congratulations to Ethan!

All in a day’s activities!

Whoa! Hold your Horses

Leah on Tex

Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”

How does 70lbs of little person control a 1400 lb horse? Each summer Grieb Ranch lends its labor and horses to help put on an Ag Adventure Day Camp. One of the highlights for the all the campers is to learn how to ride a horse. The bridle is one tool used to control the huge animal. The rider’s position and seat and legs are another tool. When all are used together with the right balance of aids, harmony and peace are witnessed in the horse and rider.

Scripture tells us to bridle our tongues. When we are gossiping or speaking in anger, we are not submitting to God’s control. Our tongues, writing pens, ipads should more often fall silent and then be filled with thanks for the restraint God can help us with. All too often we speak our own mind and not the mind of Christ.

When we want to show others what a difference Christ makes, we may need to look no further than the restraining of our tongue. Those around us and affected by us won’t help but notice when we honor God and choose to bridle our tongue and not say something.

Connie’s prayer: “Help me, Lord, to use my words not to tear down others or build up my own reputation, but to seek the good of others first, and in so doing to serve You and Your Kingdom.”