Summer Horse Camps: Types of Summer Camps

The types of summer horse riding camps are as diverse as the facilities that host them.
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Horse camps can vary in length, focus, discipline and by age restriction.

Editor's note: With winter coming on it is a great time to plan for your next year's business. If you have ever considered having a summer horse camp, we will be running a series of articles this month to help you decide if they are right for you and give you tips on planning and management.

The types of summer horse riding camps are as diverse as the facilities that host them. Horseback riding camps can be discipline specific or offer an introduction to basic horsemanship and trail riding.

For example, Emory & Henry College in Virginia offers a collegiate bound riding camp. The emphasis is on correct schooling and showing techniques for hunt seat, dressage and show jumping riders. Participants must be at least intermediate level riders.

“The camp is for serious riders interested in pursuing riding in a competitive environment in college and those interested in becoming professionals in the horse industry,” explained Lisa Moosmueller-Terry, the college’s equestrian center director and Intercollegiate Dressage Association coach.

Other camps, such as Mountain Top Inn & Resort in Chittenden, Vermont, are designed for beginning up to experienced riders. New riders can learn the fundamentals of good horsemanship. Intermediate campers can advance their riding skills through lessons with the camp’s instructors.

Camps can range from one day, a weekend, week-long or full summer experiences. Riders that attend Emory & Henry College’s summer camp stay in the college’s dorms for a week at a time, whereas Mountain Top Inn & Resort specializes in day camp experiences. Other summer camps offer traditional, rustic, bunk-style housing and a wide variety of activities to compliment horseback riding.

“Campers are dropped off in the morning and have two opportunities to ride each day,” said Louise Bienieki the Equestrian Center Manager at Mountain Top Inn & Resort i. “We include lunch and lots of time in the barn.”

Camps can also be age specific. At Mountain Top Inn & Resort, the camp accepts children between the ages of six and 13. Emory & Henry College limits participation to riders ages 14-18.

Camp duration, the ages of riders accepted and the focus of the camp are what make each summer camp unique.