Children’s summer camps and wilderness programs for boys and girls in the United…

July 28, 2015

Core Principles of Great Horseback Riding Summer Camps

horseback-riding-summer-campsHorses are special — it’s no wonder children feel drawn to them. But riding is certainly is a costly sport as well. Horseback riding summer camp is a great way to introduce your kids to a relationship with horses, the different styles of riding, and the care and maintenance involved, without the investment costs of competition.

Horseback Riding Camps teach kids to become good listeners and caretakers

With the privilege of riding comes a higher responsibility. Many programs include animal husbandry, introducing campers to duties of feeding, brushing, and general care. Campers can grasp the magnitude of caring for another creature. But then they also get to experience the delight of wandering through the woods on horseback, sharpening their senses to their horse’s energy or delicate shifts in their environment. They feel the horse’s power beneath them, watch its ears for changes in mood or attention, and acknowledge how it responds to its surroundings. There is nothing like the relationship of caring for and becoming one with a horse, and campers get to feel this unique experience at horseback riding camp.

Horseback Riding Camps Teach Girls and Boys to be Leaders

Leadership often gets classified by those who stand in front of the classroom or speak up first in a group. But the fabulous thing about horseback riding camp is that kids can learn a softer definition of leadership that builds the same strength of character. They can take charge of certain tasks, lead by example, and most importantly, take the reins. They become one with the horse but are in control, and it is this sort of relationship that develops strong and compassionate leadership skills.

Choosing a Camp

So now you’re hooked, huh? Horseback riding seems like the best summer camp idea ever. But how do you choose which camp? With a big responsibility and liability affiliated with horseback programs, you want to be sure to choose the right program. Here are two guiding principles to help you with your research:

Qualified Staff: Camp staff should be well trained and have extensive experience. They should hold a license from the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) or a similar institution. Counselors are qualified to teach a wide range of riders, beginner to advanced, and tailor the instruction to campers’ abilities.

Safety Protocol: Safety should be the primary concern. The institution should have an excellent safety record and policies in place to protect your child during the program. Camps should use the latest safety certified equipment and keep it maintained and sized appropriately. You might ask the camp about counselor-camper ratios for riding sessions and supervision policies for other times spent with the horses. is an online directory of summer camps in the United States and Canada. Check it out for top horseback riding summer camps and other programs, too!