Summer Horse Camp Information

Beginner (Level 1 – Discovering Natural Horsemanship) White
Intermediate (Level 2a –  Taking the reins) Green
Advanced (Level 2b – Natural Rider) Blue
Junior Staff – Barn Crew  – (Level 3 – Shine for the Son) Yellow

Level 1 & 2

Level 1 Discovering Natural Horsemanship (Beginner Camps – All Ages) – White

This is the beginning of your relationship with horses.  These skills will not all be perfected in one week of camp.

Specific Skills include but not limited to: 

  • Approach, lead and work with a horse Naturally and safely – learning the horseman’s handshake approach and How horses communicate and play with each other
  • Practice moving a horse naturally on the ground before mounting
  • Know what behaviors to look for before you mount a horse (horse and rider safety checks)
  • Mount with control, without disturbing the horse.  Horse may be held by an assistant. ALL  Riders will mount from a block.
  • Dismount safely with control and prepare your horse to lead.  Reins removed from horse’s neck and English stirrups “run up”
  • Ride at a walk with good natural balance and control (passenger lessons).
  • Ride at a trot with good natural balance and control
  • Stop from the walk/trot with relaxed control (using 1 rein for control)
  • Ride turns and reverses in walk and trot
  • Give 5 safety rules learned and reasons why each is important
  • Demonstrate 3 simple grooming steps
  • Show 5 point pre-ride safety check of equipment
  • Explain how to know if a horse is acting safe and “ride-able” as demonstrated by willingness to work in partnership on the ground prior (forward, backward, side to side, up and down) pre-ride safety check for the horse
  • Know the basic parts of English and Western tack
  • Learn the four natural aids (voice,hands,seat,legs) used in riding your horse

Level 2a

Level 2 a Taking the Reins – Intermediate camps all ages (Green) 

Having developed a strong foundation, you are refining your communication skills and beginning to control your energy with a horse.

This group of skills will take multiple weeks of camp (previous or continued riding lessons) to master.

Specific Skills include but not limited to:

  •  Establish a solid foundation in the next 4 games horses play
  • Perform independent Safety checks, mounting correctly, correct your stirrup length, adjusting stirrups for a natural balanced seat
  • Dismount and prepare to lead
  • Tack check on both sides, maintain properly tightened girths – in multiple steps as needed
  • Ride with balance at a walk/trot: sitting trot, half seat/standing, posting
  • Demonstrate good level 2 control and partnership: you will work toward riding at least twice around the arena at a trot without breaking gait, stop naturally- without roughness to the horse, maintaining the proper distance when riding in a group, Riding at a trot without breaking gait in simple reverses, circles, dressage or western patterns
  • Ask your horse to  lope or canter and working toward riding at least once around the arena with good level 2 balance and control
  • Post on the correct diagonal both directions of the arena(english and western)
  • Show how to cool a hot horse, proper tie and quick release knot, understand how to clean a stall, stable and do stable chores
  • Verbalize parts, colors and markings of the horse
  • Trail riding requirements: 5 safety rules for trail riding, Recognizing and navigating hazards, Safe distances on trails, Simple obstacles, Safety Up and down hills
  • Jumping (Is NOT required for any level.  However riders may begin simple jumping exercises over low poles at this level, 2 point, ground poles)