Tonight I am exhausted! Its been a long day. But my heart is humming with the memories from the day spent here at Moose River Farm with 14 fifth graders and a handful of dedicated adult helpers who cooked, served and led horses endlessly through two enthusiastic rounds of pony rides.
After a challenging year that has included timing memorized math facts, expanding vocabulary, becoming acquainted with our founding fathers, and dissecting owl pellets, I was excited to introduce the students to my other life. They have heard a variety of tales and anecdotes over the last ten months. How Rosemary, (an iguana), uses the dog door, but Huxley, (a Dachshund), can't seem to figure it out. How Fiona, (a pig), cleans up under the bird feeder while a slate colored junko perches among her bristles to eat the seeds that have fallen from the feeder onto her back. How Hayden, (a long haired Dachshund), takes a daily dip in the pond hoping to catch the enormous frog who has laid hundreds of eggs there. The students have heard accounts of bad goats who nibble on tree trunks and good goats who accompany Rod, the dogs and me on hikes in the woods.
So with great anticipation we boarded a small yellow school bus at 9:30 in the morning and headed out for a truly magical day. By the time the little bus arrived to take us back to school the students had engaged in many of my favorite MRF activities including horseback riding and hiking with Rosemary, the goats and dogs. Two mothers prepared our lunch of grilled hot dogs, tossed and macaroni salad that we savored while lounging around the backyard. In the afternoon my teacher's aide, Biz and I sat on lawn chairs marveling at the cooperative way in which the students organized themselves into a game of kickball that they played in the Indoor arena. The game lasted for almost an hour with no heated confrontations once they decided among themselves not to keep score.
Back in our classroom the next morning, the students happily accepted a writing and illustrating task that required them to reflect on our wonderful day. I hope you enjoy the images below that now serve as memories from one of my best professional experiences; mixing business with pleasure.
Photos by: Michele deCamp and Rod Phinney
“This was the best field trip ever!” Abby
“When I got to the barn, and was about to ride Tango, I had a mixture of feelings, like excited, happy and nervous.” Aaron
“Horses and animals are amazing creatures.” Blake
“It was cool because we got to see a river and a lean-to.” Bradley
“It was the best day ever!” Brooke
“Learning about Mrs. Phinney’s childhood growing up with horses helped me learn two things from Mrs. Phinney: 1. She has the most beautiful and sweetest horses ever. 2. Live life to the fullest and never give up.” Caitlin
“I also liked the hike because we saw lots of cool things and we even saw some lean-tos.” Charlie
I enjoyed riding Ben and I had a great time.” Chloe
“Riding Tango made me feel like Little Joe Cartwright.” David
“I played with Lilly the goat and had fun.” Kevin
“I have to say my favorite part was riding those strong, majestic, beautiful horses.” Nick
“We rode horses and I rode an awesome horse named, Spirit.” Paul
“I liked when we went on the hike and I also liked Rosemary.” Thailer