SUMMER DAY CAMP
Imagine: Make new forever horse friends! Spend time with your favorite pony or horse! Endless hours at the barn grooming, tacking up, horseback riding on safe, beginner friendly horses, learning new skills like jumping, western or bareback riding or maybe an adventure trail ride with lunch at the Lamprey River’s edge. Then, lunch and free time in the hay loft, a pretend horse show in the ring, 4-H workbook topics such as colors, breeds, nutrition, veterinary care, careers with horses, along with group and social interaction, water activities, arts & crafts. Imagine horses all day, all week long at North Road Farm.
Campers: Welcoming beginner to experienced riding students, 4-H club members, children 5+ years old, teens to adult. Limit is less than 10 campers per session. Supervised sessions with skilled professionals ensure plenty of attention, learning and safety. No experience or horse ownership necessary. Just a love of horses and a desire to understand and befriend these gentle giants.
Program: Since 2004, the summer horse riding camp continues to grow and expand. We’ll engage you in the barn, out in the arena, in the fields and on the trails with a hands-on head-over-heels having fun in the summer with horses days. Jan taps resources in the 4-H program, her years teaching horseback riding, her training in youth development and therapeutic riding to present an entertaining, educational and secure day for every camper and family.
Every season, Jan invites experienced 4-H members to be our popular junior and senior camp counselors. Jan also fills the staff with children-loving adults who also can handle horses and ponies to act as camper assistants, lead and side walkers.
What about riding? Full day campers ride twice, once in morning and a second time in the afternoon. Half day campers ride once in morning or afternoon. You can come for either the morning or afternoon session. You can choose to ride english, western, bareback or try then all. Typically one ride is in the ring to build skills and confidence. The second ride is off the farm, out on trails. Lead walkers are available for beginners. Jan personally handles and trains her stable of trustworthy schoolmaster lesson horses to provide as reliable and predictable a ride as possible.
Can I bring my own pony or horse? Yes! What more fun is that to bring your horse or pony to summer camp? The rate is $25 per night for a box stall, turnout, hay and water. You provide your horse or pony’s grain and tack. Reserve your horse or pony stall on the Reservation page
What to bring? To start the day shorts or jeans and a jacket if cool temperatures, tee-shirt (no spaghetti strap or revealing tops, please) and study shoe or lightweight boot will get you through the morning feeding & barn routine. Then for riding, jeans, long pants, a hair tie and riding or bicycle helmet. If you do not have a helmet, don’t worry, we have lots here you can use. Bug spray and sun screen is advised to keep you happy and comfortable. A backup change of clothing is good to have if there is a change in weather. Bathing suit & towel if forecast is hot. Bring your own snack & lunch. Bottled water is provided.
What will my day be like? We have a meet and greet at 8 am to make sure everyone knows each other’s name and can become new friends. You are matched with other campers and a senior leader to complete the morning barn tasks before we ride. All campers like the morning routine to burn that youthful energy as we care for the horses and prep the barn for the day. To start, we to feed the horses and ponies. You will enjoy watching horse behaviors and communication anticipating breakfast of grain and hay. You will measure grain into each horse’s pail. We will have a talk about what horse grain is made of and what nutrition means. We talk about human nutrition too. We will fill water stock tanks and talk about why water is important to horses’ health – and your health too. You will climb up into the hay loft to drop hay to the grain room. Of course, play in the hay loft is always fun while you’re there! Then get your manure pitch fork and we make the environment clean and healthy for the horses and ponies. We talk about keeping the horse’s stall clean just like keeping your bedroom at home tidy. We will have a talk about how manure composts back into organic matter and how that makes grass grow green and vegetables tasty. Plus, you get to run around and just have fun!
Around 9:30 am we have mid-morning snack and break. This time is always appreciated and anticipated as you talk about what you’ve learned with your new friends and what the next riding session will bring. After break, we get started with horseback riding. You will be paired with an suitable horse or pony. Or, if you have brought your own horse or pony. You may work with this horse for the your entire time at camp, or you may want to switch it up and try another horse or pony the next ride. If needed, you will be assigned a personal assistant. This older teenager or adult is important especially for new or beginning riders or youngsters not quite independent, to make sure you are confident and safe. More fun continues when you halter, lead, groom and tack-up (put on your horse or pony’s riding equipment) for riding.
You will learn to:
Work your horse or pony in-hand (from the ground) and under saddle
Practice age appropriate skills and exercises to help you become a good and safe horse handler and rider
Jan will have the riding session planned out for the group for that day such as showmanship, equine conformation (horse and pony anatomy), equitation (how to ride), obstacle course, guided trail, cross-country course, bareback riding, jumping, gymkhana games, concepts of natural horsemanship, dressage, western reining (neck reining) and lunging, long-line or driving. Each riding session lasts about 2 hours. After riding, you will untack, groom, bathe, clean-up and put away your horse or pony and equipment and clean up yourself. If it is hot and horses and ponies and you are sweaty, bathing is always fun. We spend extra time with the water and hose because everyone (horses, ponies and campers) enjoys it!
Education materials and 4-H workbooks are used.
Topics include: teamwork; horse behavior & safety & communication, horse breeds, markings and colors, uses of horses and ponies; responsibilities of owning a horse; stable, fencing and pasture; horseback riding and driving disciplines; braiding mane & tail & horse show skills; health & diet, veterinary & first aid; careers with horses; yoga on horseback, fitness & and strength exercises; special projects.
When can I go to summer horse camp?
Choose am or pm half day from 8-noon or noon to 4 pm, or full day from 8 am to 4 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Partial day or week OK. Reservation and deposit required. To sign up, click here
What does summer horse camp cost?
$65 single half day
$130 full day
$325 half day week
$650 full day week
Or build your own custom schedule over the 9 weeks by picking one or two days every week. For example attend Wednesday and Friday, 2 days over the 9 camp weeks for 12 single camp days over the entire summer!