Equestrian Program

Overview

Equestrian Program

This program is currently on hold during COVID-19. All of the horses are off-site with their owners. We look forward to restarting the program at Camp when it is safe to do so.

The Equestrian Program fosters self-esteem and confidence in campers and builds an emotional connection between them and the horses. Having a serious medical condition makes many children withdrawn and afraid to trust. Horses have an uncanny way of drawing many of these children out and helping them to feel safe and less fearful. Most riding sessions conclude with hugs and kisses for the horses.

Campers are taught riding skills through fun games and activities. “Red Light, Green Light” teaches them how to stop, turn and move a horse forward. “Simon Says” and the “Mailboxes” teach dexterity, balance, and coordination, and strengthen muscle tone. Trained instructors mount and dismount campers and sidewalk all riders. We have two wheelchair mounting ramps and an array of adaptive saddles and supports to provide all children with a safe and memorable experience.

At the Barn, campers have the opportunity for closer, more personal interaction with the horses by bathing, brushing, feeding, and even painting them! Through these activities, campers who are so used to being care-receivers get to be caregivers – a very empowering role-reversal.

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Equestrian Staff and Volunteers

Equestrian volunteer with boy enjoying horseback riding.

Horse Lovers are Stable People!

Many dedicated staff and volunteers are at the heart of our equestrian program. Our wranglers have many years of experience in handling, riding and training horses. They are experts at leading horses and are instrumental in giving our campers a safe ride. A group of amazing volunteers rounds out the program. They help our campers sit tall in the saddles, assist with grooming and tacking, lesson set-up, and barn maintenance. Our volunteers also lead our campers in crafts and educational activities as they wait for their turn to ride.