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Black beautiesJune has come to Road’s End Farm, bringing sunny skies, a pleasant breeze, and a new supply of lush grass for the horses. The herd was moved toWheelocks yesterday, and the horses cantered across the road in excitement as the replenished fields came into view. Back at the barn, brushes, buckets, and bridles are being organized and dusted off in preparation for the arrival of campers. Other buildings like the recreation room and the arts and crafts center are being swept out and spruced up in order to provide optimal activity options to the girls who are coming for the summer of 2017. As far as personnel, the counselors are slowly arriving, preparing to learn about each horse along with the ins and outs of life here on the farm.

Jack has been wandering around up by the barn, itching himself on every available tree and munching on the grass around the house. As one of the elder members of the herd, Jack stayed behind during crossover, and though he misses some of the excitement, he enjoys a lot of scratches and love from anybody who walks through the yard. As horses begin to get older, they receive extra love from campers and staff and enjoy deluxe
benefits. Jack has been befriending an Icelandic horse, Prímus, who will be here for the summer.

As the weather warms up, activity increases and people flock to the premises to contribute to the farm and enjoy the herd. The upcoming three months are what we look forward to as a summer horseback-riding camp. We can’t wait to welcome campers new and old this summer, and share the farm with them again!

The horses were finally released into the grassy pasture on May 20 and they could not have been happier to get back out onto the fresh grass! There was lots of galloping and then after the mad dash, the horses continued frolicking around the top of the hill across from Wheelocks. We posted about the big release on Facebook and had about 40-50 people show up to watch. It was wonderful to be able to share the beauty of the herd of horses with others. As soon as the fields dried out and were safe enough for the horses to run without slipping or creating holes, we scheduled the event! This was the first year we have ‘advertised’ this event, which Tom named ‘The Great Escape,’ and we hope that everyone who came had a wonderful time! Enjoy watching a video of the running below! 🙂

 Have you heard the term “horse-crazy girl”? At Road’s End Farm, we are filled with girls each summer that think of themselves as “horse-crazy”. Girls are immediately immersed in farm life with a herd of 69 horses, 3 cats, one dog, and 360 acres of wilderness surrounding them. Horse-loving girls get much more than just horseback riding. With a summer staff that love horses dearly, the campers are surrounded with kind mentors and teachers to learn about horses, farm life, and the pride of a job well done. A main part of our horsemanship component revolves around taking care of our horses.

Each morning, many girls have already lined up at the gate ready to feed the herd. At 7 AM sharp, the classic sound of the Road’s End Farm bell rings loud and clear, drawing out the rest of the campers from their dormitories. Feeding begins when the first horse exits the paddock and ends when the last horse enters back into the paddock. Since we don’t have many stalls, our method of feeding is in hand. Campers take a horse from the gate, find a spot on the lawn which has good spacing away from other horses, and wait for a ‘bucket runner’ to bring their horse the proper amount of grain. The grain is doled out by the ‘grain master’ who is inside the barn. The bucket runners must know every horse, so that each horse is given the proper amount of food.Redheads

Besides feeding the horses the correct amount of food, one of the most important aspects of Road’s End Farm feeding is checking to make sure each horse does not have an injury, will eat their food (no stomach aches), and is acting normal. Horse health can be a tricky business and horses can get injured in the herd, develop a stomach ache from the temperature, stress, or from any environmental change. We are always monitoring our horses each feeding time because we want to make sure to catch all of these cases early. With our trustworthy campers and counselors, we have many hands to make the feeding process go smoothly during the summer. Many times, the campers wish to take their favorite horse! 🙂 Sometimes they’re successful if they get lucky in the line and have good timing. Thankfully, each horse is the favorite of at least one camper and gets loved every day.

Road’s End Farm feeding is certainly unique and an aspect of our camp program that campers absolutely love. We don’t plan on changing our ‘hands on’ philosophies and we believe that care taking of our horses is just as important, if not more important, than learning how to ride. Alicia will certainly agree that to be a complete horsewoman, you must learn how to care for and love horses, along with learning the language of horses.

 

Each morning, the full time staff members at Road’s End Farm wake up and love all of the animals that live at the end of Jackson Hill Road in New Hampshire. Daisy, our yellow lab, is the farm dog that the campers love year in and year out. We have created a short film, dedicated to Daisy Dolittle the Delinquent, and we find it to have a different tune than our horse movies. We are so delighted that each camper that comes can love horses, cats, and dogs and we believe that all of these animals create the full Farm experience. These animals contribute to our camp program and we have found the campers love our household pets as much as they love the herd of horses.

With the new year at Road’s End Farm brought us two new cats. Melvin and Momo have come and made themselves at home at Road’s End. Hopefully, we will make a video of the cats soon, but for now Daisy has the spotlight. Please enjoy this short, one minute film with pictures of our favorite pup!

Each year, we search far and wide for the best summer staff members for our summer camp program. Each aspect of our camp program is implemented by the residential counselors who live in the dorms with the girls. The youngest dorms have two counselors each, while the dorms with the oldest campers only have one. In the middle-ages, we usually have one counselor and one CIT. The complete staff will usually have a breakdown of half American and half International, with counselors traveling from overseas as well as traveling from different states. This year, we have staff members coming from all over the world to Road’s End Farm and we are very much looking forward to learning about different countries and cultures. So far, we have a one counselor from Austria, Australia, Finland, England, and two counselors from Wales. Each camper loves learning of the different cultures, not to mention accents, and the counselors enjoy sharing information about their home countries.

As our campers grow up, they each have the opportunity to become a CIT (Counselor In Training) and they will learn the responsibilities that the staff have each summer. This experience is valuable for each camper who wants to become a counselor. Some years we have more CIT’s than other years, and we welcome all of them for the learning experience. Some of our CIT’s are surprised at how much work it is to be a counselors, however, we have found that as our campers grow up they begin to want responsibility and love the ability to give younger campers the same experience that they had as a young camper.

Additionally, we believe that the experience of becoming a staff member as an individual who has never been a camper is also a powerful experience. Coming into the Farm and creating frindships with campers and counselors, an international counselor is able to give to the farm a unique and different set of viewpoints and skills that make our program more diverse. The campers in our riding and swimming program gain a great deal of valuable instruction and information from our international counselors. We value the different experiences of our campers, counselors, and full time staff because at the end of the day, Road’s End Farm operates as one big team and our members each give something unique and different to our program.

We are very much looking forward to our 2017 summer camp season with our horses, campers, counselors, cooks, and nurses. The team at Road’s End works as a big family which has many different people who come and contribute to maintaining the land and animals at the end of Jackson Hill Road. To all the individuals who make Road’s End Farm possible, from full time employees to families who send (or have sent) their daughters here, we would like to extend a huge thank you and hope to see you soon for a hug!

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