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Twelve Tips For Choosing A Horse Camp

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Exactly what is a summer horsemanship camp?
A summer horse camp is a summer camp with a focus on horses and riding. The camp sessions may run from one day to eight weeks long, depending upon the facility and the program selected. Many offer day camps that teach young children and novices the basics of riding. Most offer longer sessions where they teach horsemanship techniques to a variety of skill levels.

Some of the camps are coeducational. Many accept only female campers. Even the camps that are coeducational seem to attract a significantly higher percentage of girls than boys. Most of the camps, particularly those found in the eastern part of the U.S., teach English riding. These camps teach dressage, eventing and show jumping. Camps that teach English riding may also schedule fun rides and trail rides where Western riding styles are permitted.

Many of these camps are operated on full-time, year around horse farms. The summer camp program is just a small part of what the farm does. The farm may also raise horses. It may board or train horses for other people. It will likely have programs all year long, weather and climate permitting, where people of all ages can ride or learn to ride. Horses and horsemanship is a full-time business for these people. Examples of this type facility include Zion Farms near Rome, Georgia, and Stone Mountain Adventures in central Pennsylvania.

Others are held at facilities that are not horse farms, but keep all year at least part of the horses they use. Examples include camp Catherine Capers. This 90-acre summer camp facility set in rural Vermont, keeps at least 60 percent of the horses it uses each year on the property. The rest of the horses are purchased or leased for the summer camping season.

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