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Twelve Tips For Choosing A Horse Camp


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7. Is the camp program focused almost entirely on equestrian skills or are the horses simply one of several activities offered at the camp?
Most horsemanship camps are specialty camps focused almost exclusively on horses and horse-related activities. Other camps are summer camps with horses and horsemanship skills as one of several optional programs open to camper participation. Each has their merits, depending upon the objectives of the camper and the camperís family. Assess your reasons for choosing a horsemanship camp. This will help you choose accordingly.

8. What riding disciplines are taught at the camp?
Most camps, especially those in the eastern part of the U.S., teach English riding. This includes dressage, the various eventing activities and show jumping. Western riding techniques are typically taught in camps in western and southwestern states.

9. How much time will the camper spend in the saddle?
Many horsemanship skills are best learned in the saddle. A camper will typically spend one and a half to three hours in the saddle each day.

10. What is the campís counselor-to-camper ratio?
Learning horsemanship, especially performance work such as eventing activities, requires a great deal of one-to-one supervision. Most camps have a five or six student-to-counselor ratio for much of the day with a three to four student-to-counselor ratio when the camper and horse are in the ring or arena.

11. Can you bring your own horse?
Some camps will permit campers to bring their own horse if it is well-trained and capable of handling the required work and environment. This experience can be beneficial to both the camper and the horse. Other camps prefer the camper use one of their horses; an animal they know is capable of handling the work associated with the camp. This can also be beneficial to the campers because it will give them experience on a strange horse. Your choice in this regard will depend upon individual preferences and objectives.

12. Will the camp provide you with a list of previous campers as references?
Almost every reputable camp will provide you with a list of references. Talking with people who have previously enrolled in the camp will give you an objective opinion about the facilities, the quality of the horses, the caliber of the counselors and the overall satisfaction with the camping experience.
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