Horseback riding at Saginaw was a special offering, that is to say your parents had to pay extra for you to partake in this activity. For most us this was not even on our radar screen unless we happened to be on the way out of camp and got a hint of the stable aroma waffing about near the front gate.
As you can read in the recollections of Lynn Gendason, for those campers who snuck off to do some riding a couple of times a week, it was great fun and a source of some outstanding memories.
“I had two favorite activities at camp. One was canoeing on the Big Elk and the other was horseback riding.
During the summer of 1968 my favorite horse was named Sunday Best. He was brown with black trim and a white stripe running down his majestic face. We learned to trot and canter in the ring but best of all, sometimes we would actually leave camp and ride to the general store at Hickory Hill. Can you imagine, there was no traffic and no homes surrounding the camp (except maybe Sanford’s).
In 1968 we had a wonderful riding instructor from England named Val.
I had a slight problem sometimes in that occasionally I fell off the horse. My mom recounted to me that one summer on visitors day, she told my dad, “if she falls off, don’t run out there”. Of course I fell and my Dad came running into the ring. I never was seriously hurt, except for my pride of course.
Years later, I came up for a reunion and was sorry to see that the horse ring had been replaced with a go cart tract. I guess time “trots” on.
But I have great memories. I still have my riding hat from my Saginaw riding days. Sports played a large part of Saginaw and I loved leagues and color war, but horseback riding has a special place in my Saginaw memories.”
For many other campers horseback riding was something to look forward to. If we only knew about this “out of camp” trail riding opportunity to augment your canteen rations maybe more of us would have pushed our parents to pony-up for this.
Like all activities at camp there were standards that had to be met to reach the next level.
In the early 1960’s those who rode had to have denim jeans in their summer wardrobe well before having denim jeans in your wardrobe was the thing.
At the end of the year it all came to a climax at the Annual Horse Show where you got a chance to show your stuff and collect some ribbons if you were the best in show.
And then there was this for the truly devoted riders.
Like so many of the things experienced at Saginaw, Horseback Riding gave those campers a stable full of memories to carry away.