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Kids Zone Camp: Just horsin' around
kisses
Fletcher Park barn manager Morgan Underhilll, right, calms 30-year-old Ben with kisses as Cameron Jackson, 10, center, and Braylon Dopson, 7, take the reins for the first time during this week's Kids Zone Camp.

Local kids combined their love of art with their love of horses at this week's Statesboro-Bulloch Parks and Recreation Horse Camp. The week-long Kids Zone camp balances art and an introduction to horses and equestrian sport.

Participants learned about groundwork and basic interaction with horses at Fletcher Park on Wednesday. As part of the series of Kids Zone summer camps, second through sixth graders learned to interact with a horse using a halter and a lead line through an obstacle course during the groundwork session.

"It's really cool to see how the horse opens the kids up. They get to learn everything about horses. They are definitely therapeutic," said Fletcher Park barn manager Morgan Underhill.

Underhill coached 10-year-old Cameron Jackson, who was learning to ride for the first time.

"Sit straight up. You're not on a motorcycle!" said Underhill. Jackson said his dad gave him his first horse ride, but he was too young to remember. 

Campers also spent time learning the basics of grooming and horse care. They were broken up into three separate groups that rotated over the three days spent at Fletcher Park. Work centered around the barn was one of the lessons. For most of the campers, this is their first experience interacting with horses.

On Tuesday and Thursday, campers spent time creating horse-centered art at Free Spirit Pottery & Glass Studio. Owner Sarah Gearhart created a basic template on canvas, then let the campers put their own stylistic stamp on them in acrylic paint.

horse art
Raed Ahad, bottom, and Donovan Dobson, both 9, compare progress on their masterpieces at Free Spirit Pottery & Glass Studio during one of the art-centric days of Horse Camp.
Sugar
Isabella Conley, 8, cleans the hooves of "Sugar" while learning the basics of grooming and horse care.