January 15, 2021

Summer Camps Sizzle with fun and learning!

Mini Campers marked Andrea to learn Parts of the Horse

The month of July is summer camp time at Stonehouse Stables.  Campers arrive at 8 AM and get ready to ride, grooming and tacking their assigned mounts for the day.  Then it is right into the saddle to start their morning riding sessions.  Our mini-camp riders (beginners) had great fun between riding, swimming, crafts and “ground school” where they learned about such things as colors and markings, parts of the horse (see picture) and ;earning to give their favorite horse or pony a bubble bath!  As part of their mounted lessons they took a trail ride around the lake and through the woods for a fun a cool riding experience.  They even measured each other in horse hands.  Did you know that camper assistant and Stonehouse riding student Hannah Schwartz is actually 15.3 hands from head to foot?

Regular horse camp, for those riders with more experience, follows a similar schedule but includes more advanced riding and learning.  For instance, while studying horse nutrition, riders got a chance to see what hay and grain tastes like .  To no one’s surprise they all opted to stick to human food!  They learned about riding side saddle (see picture insert), learned saddle and tack parts, and watched the farrier as well as learned different types of horse shoes and their use.  Campers in this session also learned about bathing, clipping and showing preparations. 

Ella and Carmen learn about riding sidesaddle.

Horse camp this year also included a mounted lesson on hunting, complete with a mini or mock hunt where the “fox” was already stuffed.  Riders had to follow a trail of fruit loops to various clues and “events”, stopping to learn and discuss hunting terms and procedures.  Finding the fox was part of the fun and gaining experience in the open, rather than just the ring, was part of the goal.  All this occurred around the farm and trails, capably led by experienced foxhunter and instructor Allison Harcourt.

In the midst of the heat wave this July, campers eat lunch and then cool off in the pool.   Fun, learning, and making new friends, both horse and human, adds up to a great experience for our summer campers.  Under the expert guidance of instructors Stephanie McCallister and Allison Harcourt, and assisted by Hannah Schwartz, summer camp really is sizzling!

Mock Hunt in Progress!

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