We all love summer: warmer weather, sunshine, (no school, if you are a student;), and time to spend with friends. For me, as a child, summer vacation meant time for camp…something I looked forward to from the moment my mom registered me. I would count down the days that I would get to spend 2 weeks with my friends, learning how to improve my riding skills and to just be around horses. I know my parents wanted me to have a great summer experience, but I wonder, if they truly realized all of the benefits of summer horseback riding camp?
Horses are BIG animals and being at riding camp, gives children the opportunity to learn how to control a 1,000-pound animal. From leading their horses from the paddock into the barn, to grooming them and finally, getting on for a ride, children learn in a safe environment how to take the lead and can overcome any fears as they do.
Campers at horseback riding camp are responsible for caring for their horse or pony every day at camp. This involves grooming, cleaning and caring for their tack as well as making sure their area in the barn is kept clean and tidy.
Increasing ATHLETIC SKILLS
Horseback riding is a full body workout requiring the rider to use core muscles. As riders progress in the saddle, so does their strength. As riders increase their time in the saddle, their stamina, flexibility, endurance and muscle memory also increase.
In addition to building self-esteem, confidence, and responsibility, horseback riding teaches children wonderful character traits. As riders get to know their horses, they begin to feel empathy and love towards them. Riders must also learn patience with not only the horses but with themselves as they learn to ride. Horseback riding gives children the chance to experience joy and teaches the importance of balance and happiness in everyday life.
Making new FRIENDS
Riders typically end up forming strong friendships as they work together to take care of horses at the barn, as they learn, and as they enjoy riding together. The bond over horses often creates lifelong friendships.
Appreciating the outdoors and UNPLUGGING
Growing up, I only had television to keep me indoors. There were no cell phones, iPads or lures of social media. My parents kept me active in sending me to summer riding camp, where I loved being outside, meeting new friends and most importantly, riding and lbeing with horses!
As we start our open registration this week for summer camp at Foxwood, I am excited for the new and the returning campers who will be coming to Foxwood summer riding camp this summer! New memories and friendships to be made and a lifetime of lessons and new skills!
Until next time