Spirited Fun for Kids at Horseback Riding Camp

 By: Jill Smi
There's no reason for a child to spend their summers home, alone and bored. With the number of different specialty camps available in most communities and nearby, the options are almost unlimited. Equine lovers, for example, tend to delight in the type of fun horseback riding camps deliver.

These camps can be found in just about any community where horses are also at home. The options for horseback riding camps range from overnight venues or even daytime programs for those who live nearby. The extent of offerings at these camps will vary from location to locations, but some generalizations can be made.

Whether a child is flown out to a camp in the Wild West to enjoy intense riding training or they visit a ranch at home, the following activities are generally included in horseback riding camps:

* Basic horse handling. To ride a horse, a child needs to understand the standard tack, how it works and the proper techniques for handling and working with the gentle giants. By the end of most camp sessions, youth fully understand how to prepare a horse for riding and how to take care of the equipment involved.

* Basic riding lessons. Beginners often flourish in these hands-on camps that offer lots of basic instruction through direct riding. Youth typically learn the basic commands, riding postures and more. This is generally done in a fun, but controlled and disciplined, environment.

* Novice, advanced lessons. Youth who know their way around horses can still benefit from these camps. Many offer different levels of training so the more advanced riders don't feel too far ahead of the pack. These lessons might include more complex riding maneuvers, such as jumping, racing and more.

* Basic horse care. Part of taking care of a horse involves work. Kids will not escape this aspect, as it is important for ensuring a steed is well cared for and remains healthy. Lessons here might include such things as grooming, basic animal behavior, basic first aid and even stall cleaning. Make sure the kids understand a few "chores" likely will go along with the deal.

* Teamwork. To truly ride a horse and do it correctly, children will learn the importance of working together with each other and the horses they are assigned to perform tasks and learn the tricks of the trade as far as riding is concerned.

* Other camp fun. While horses are the main attraction, these camps often offer much more than just riding and cleaning out stalls. Other activities often include sports, swimming, arts and crafts, hiking and more. There's no reason to think the entire trip will be spent on the back of a horse or in the barns. Yes, this will be a big part of it, but that's not all, especially at overnight camps where a whole host of fun programs tend to take place after the sun goes down.

Horseback riding camps are ideal locations for children who have a passion for these animals. Teaching them more about proper handling, riding technique and care, these camps can be found from coast to coast.
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