By Kristen Selby :: Photography by Kelsey Grudle
Saddles, tee pees, princesses, trail rides, obstacle courses, walk-trot, glitter, dirt, trophies and boots. The Equestrian Center offers a wide variety of exciting Horse Camps throughout the year.
Each camp has its own goal and theme. From cowboys and Indians to ponies and princesses and horsemanship to showmanship; the campers not only ride horses, but they also learn the fundamentals of how to ride a horse.
It is a tradition at Horse Camp to begin each morning by sitting in a circle on the barn floor. The kids begin by telling the group how many times they have ridden a horse and what they are most excited about learning at camp. Nine times out of ten, the campers have ridden horses several times at various horse camps and they are most excited about riding again! What sets these camps apart from most other horse camps is that on day one the kids will be given the tools and instruction to ride on their own. Within the first few hours of camp, each cowboy and cowgirl will know how to safely approach and mount a horse, how to ask the horse to walk-on, stop, turn each direction, slow down and navigate through a pre-set obstacle course.
Kid-friendly themes frame each camp and are enjoyed through crafts, games and instruction. By the end of the week, the campers’ hard work and new knowledge of horses will have prepared them for the grand finale. With reins in hands and saddles cinched tight, each rider takes their horse out of the arena and into the woods for a trail ride. The animals clear the trail when they hear the giggles approaching!
The camp ends with the circle of friends. After the horses are brushed and put away, everyone gathers one last time. When asked, “What was everyone’s favorite part about Horse Camp?” They all reply, “Riding horses and the TRAIL RIDE!”
Spring Break, three months of summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas: no two camps will ever be the same. Many campers have participated in three or more camps throughout the year and each camp offers new experiences, games, friendships and great memories. Clear a shelf for the many crafts, ribbons and trophies that are made and earned at Horse Camp.
In addition to Horse Camps, we teach English and Western riding lessons, offer full and pasture boarding and trail rides for our members and their guests. A new horse trail in our front pasture was recently completed. At a mile long, it has quickly become a favorite destination for our regular trail riders. We also offer training services for our members’ horses and will assist members in finding the right horse for their family should they ever consider buying or leasing their own horse.
Come visit the Equestrian Center at Cordillera Ranch. The drive out to the barn just got a lot nicer as we have recently completed a chip seal of the dirt road that leads from Horseshoe Bend to the barn. Now your clean vehicle will stay clean after your visit!
Kristen Selby is the Equestrian Center Manager. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 210.249.8116.