Last Wednesday was the Head Start end of year picnic in Frederick. As promised, we arrived with two trailer-fulls of fun. In the first, our horses, Vinur, Snuder, Geysir and Fandi, vied to be first down the trailer ramp, first to take a mouthful of Staley Park’s lush green grass. In the second trailer, the goats poked their snouts out the windows to greet passers-by. Having finished setting up quite early, a few of us passed time on the swing set and slide. Soon enough, our Head Start friends formed a helmeted line to ride our freshly bathed mounts. For two and a half hours, we escorted Head Start students, their brothers, sisters, and neighbors around the park. Walking to the towering oak trees at the park’s far edge and back with each rider, we did our best to enliven each child’s ride with our banter.
Since this was a family event, our ‘friends’ had the chance to show siblings and parents their horse (and goat) pals. Now students’ stories about riding Snuder or about two goats visiting their classroom were illustrated by the real life protagonists. In addition to showing our animals to their families, the students also got to share them. Perhaps the most fun examples of this sharing came each time two siblings rode at the same time. Whenever this happened, we would veer the two horses off course to pass one another close enough for the two riders to share a high five. In this way, our presence at this celebration not only entertained, but bridged the students’ school, home, and farm experiences. We were ever so pleased to do this, and be a part in celebrating a year of school successfully finished.