Horseback Riding Camp
Send your kids to horse riding camp this summer
Horseback riding camp is a fun, educational activity where your child can learn new skills while enjoying the summer sunshine. There is a wide range of activities your child can participate in at horse riding summer camps; for example, virtually all horse riding camps teach children and teenagers about horse care and grooming. This helps them become more responsible and build relationships with the animals. However, the majority of activities at horse riding summer camps focus on trail riding, show jumping and friendly competitions.
Choosing the Right Horseback Riding Summer Camp
There are some issues you may want to ask the facility's directors about when deciding which horse camp is best for your child. First of all, ask how old the horses are, and how long they've been working with children. Young horses can be unpredictable; like cats and dogs, horses may be impatient with young children who don't know how to handle them properly. It's important that the horses are used to the amateurish handling and invasive prodding of children.
Also, find out if your child will be assigned a single horse the whole time they'll be at the camp, or if they will have the chance to ride several different horses. While some young riders enjoy variety, forming a bond with an individual horse can help your child enjoy horseback riding summer camp even more.
Horseback Riding Camp Safety
It's also important to assess how the horseback riding camp addresses the various safety concerns that are an inherent part of horseback riding. Rather than asking questions directly, it's often better to go to the camp one day and watch how things unfold as you take a tour. Watch for the following:
- What is the ratio of instructors/counselors to children? Ideally, it should be no more than four children per counselor or instructor.
- Make sure that all children who mount horses are wearing helmets. It's vital that instructors and counselors enforce safety rules, and it's even better if they double-check to make sure that the kids' helmets are securely fastened before the child rides the horse.
- Check out the activities the children participate in when they're not riding horses. Are these engaging enough to ensure that the kids won't be tempted to sneak out and ride horses on their own?
- How securely are the horses stabled? It should be impossible for a child to get a horse without an instructor or counselor's permission.
In terms of costs, you should expect to pay between about $200 to $1,500 a week for overnight horseback riding camps; they tend to be more expensive than regular sports camp because of the costs involved with maintaining horses. However, you should expect significant variance in these costs, depending on the reputation of the camp, the facilities it offers and its location.