A lively troop of Girl Scouts joined the El Camino Ranch Family this past weekend upon visiting, with one thing in mind, badges. The Horsemanship Merit Badge to be exact. The fun started early Saturday morning when the group arrived eager to get on the horses and giddy up (unfortunately there were no Carmel deLites or Thin Mints in sight). Lead horse trainer at El Camino Ranch, Marie, took on the bunch and briefed them of the horsemanship basics upon arrival.
Out on the trails. Conveniently enough, El Camino Ranch is located next to The Crafton Hills Conservancy where ideal trails wind up and down the hilly landscape. For many of the scouts, this was their first encounter with horses and now they were challenged with the task of riding and controlling the gentle giants. It was clear that this group was ready for the challenge. They saddled up and after receiving instruction from both Marie and trainer Bryce, then hit the hills.
Horses have a tendency to run up and down hills, something that can be frightening for a beginner rider. The trail that the group went on led to a steep incline in which they had to climb without letting their horses run up, this can be done by tightening up on the reigns and leaning forward when climbing the hill and backward when descending. Out of the whole troop who participated in the trail ride, not a single scout did less than perfect when taking on this task. Although this particular Saturday was a tad on the hot side, the energy of the group remained high and in good spirits. Back at The Ranch awaited the Troop Moms, proud of their daughters ambition and willingness to try new things. Upon return from the trail ride, the scouts were awarded with their much deserved badges from The El Camino Ranch trainers.
No Girl Scout gathering would be complete without arts and crafts. Horse shoes decorated with glitter and pearls was a common sight on this particular Saturday, as well as the occasional ribbon and animal sticker. The Scouts were fantastic guests and impressed the staff of El Camino Ranch with their finely tuned manners, curiosity and the ease by which they handled challenging tasks. We are looking forward to the next time this group of young citizens visits The Ranch.