Is your child or teen horse crazy? Many children and teens are fascinated with horses and horseback riding. Attending a horseback riding camp will give them a basic knowledge of horses and riding as well as an interesting summer camp destination.
While the focus of horseback riding camps is, obviously, riding horses, these camps also teach other important factors of horse ownership and care. During their camp time, campers will learn about the different types of tack used to ride or drive a horse. Camp attendees will also learn how to clean and care for tack. Also offered at horse riding camps are sessions on proper horse care. During these sessions, campers will be taught how to feed, water and groom a horse. Some camps ever offer classes in equine anatomy, perfect for children who think they may want to become a veterinarian.
When choosing a horseback riding camp, you must first decide which style of riding your child wants to learn. The main riding styles are western and English. Western riding is generally associated with cowboys, ranches, and rodeos. Popular western riding activities include trail riding and barrel racing. Western saddles were designed with the comfort and security of the rider in mind, so it has a higher seat back (cantle) and front (pommel) so riders feel secure while on the horse. English riding, on the other hand, generally focuses on jumping, racing and horsemanship. This style of riding requires the horse and rider both to have more freedom of movement, so these saddles don’t provide as much support and security as does a Western style saddle. If your child is a first time rider, they might want to consider a Western riding camp.
Horseback riding camps generally offer lessons for experienced riders as well as those who have never been on a horse before. Experienced riders will generally be placed in a class they will find challenging while beginning riders will begin by learning the basics of how to properly mount and sit on a horse. Riders with little riding experience are paired with an older, gentler animal while those with more experience ride the younger more spirited animals.
In addition to riding lessons, some horseback riding camps also offer classes in driving miniature horses. In these classes students learn to control the horse as they ride in a small cart pulled by the animal. Another popular horseback activity is vaulting. Simply put, vaulting is gymnastics on horseback. For this sport, horses with large, flat backs are lunged, or driven, in a circle while students perform gymnastic tricks on their backs. Although this sport may sound dangerous and difficult, students generally find it is easier than it sounds.
For horse lovers, horseback riding camp can be a great way to spend at least part of the summer. In the course of these camps, campers can learn the basics of riding or improve their riding skills. They will also learn important horse care issues such as horse health and anatomy. These riding camps can be a great source of fun and experience with horses.