Horseback riding camp is a great idea for kids who love or are interested in horses and as an alternative to a regular summer camp. Riding camps are available for boy and girls between the ages of 5 through 15 but vary depending on the type of riding they prefer. Horseback riding camps are not only a way for them to get experience as a rider, but also as a means of learning about the proper care and treatment of animals, as well as a way to build their confidence.
There are overnight camps available for only girls, both girls and boys and also religious-related groups. You can choose from show camps where your child can bring their own horse, weekend camps or extended stay. The kids are taught and advised by ‘riding counselors’ and almost every horseback riding camp offers different levels of riding options based on experience.
Starting with the least experienced or beginner level, these camps can teach kids a lot about getting comfortable with the horses themselves in addition to riding them. Once they’ve got the basics down, and if they so choose, they can eventually advance their skills to higher levels of this sport, like jumping, for example.
Campers commonly receive riding instruction most days out of the week which can include ring lessons, trail rides, stable management and swimming the horses in the river! In stable management, kids get the opportunity to learn about saddling, grooming and the general care of the horses.
By following the expert instruction of the riding counselors, your child will discover how to walk, trot and canter the horses properly and with confidence. Then, when they’ve demonstrated enough skill and self-confidence, they can take part in supervised trail rides and more advanced riders can learn various show fundamentals.
For more advanced riders, there are show and competition camps and clinics available that provide an opportunity to learn games they can play on horseback which can assist in furthering their balance, coordination and control skills. Additionally, these types of activities allow the rider to appreciate how to bond with the animal as they become part of a ‘team’ with their horse. There are obstacle courses which will also help to enhance their speed and accuracy abilities.
Horseback riding camp settings are also a great way for your children to get in touch with nature as they are usually set in the most beautiful of wide open surroundings. Many offer lots of other activities in addition to riding and lessons. Some of these include swimming, canoeing, fishing and hiking. It’s a well-rounded, natural and safe way for your kids to get a summer camp experience that will last them a lifetime.