Annabeth earned her Horse Fan badge last year after her troop went to Trout Lodge for the weekend and spent part of the time riding horseback -- we figured out what parts of the badge had already been covered in that adventure, she added in some research and reading, and she was done with the badge.
A new year brought new horse-loving girls into the troop, though, AND a mom who has owned horses all of her life and currently has 3 on her farm. So we did Horse Fan as a group. And, honestly, I think Annabeth would be fine working on this badge every single year, she enjoys it so much.
At the first meeting the mom brought in her saddle, crop, hay, bedding, etc., and talked to the girls. For the 2nd meeting on the badge, she arranged for us to come out to the farm when her farrier came to replace a couple of horse shoes.
I gotta tell you, this guy was fantastic. He showed how he cleaned and prepped the hooves, how he measured them, and then, yes, actually made the horse shoes while we watched.
He mentioned that you could get preformed shoes, but it's not nearly as cool to watch.
Fitting them on the hoof while they're still hot --simply watching on youtube would never do this justice, as you'd miss the smell:
He kept quizzing the girls on the parts of the foot and the horse in a genial manner, making sure they were actually learning about the horses and the process.
Definitely one of those events that leave you thinking, "Yeah, THIS is why we're in Scouts!"