When not riding, campers have the opportunity to participate in a plethora of equine activities, including learning ground training (preparing a young horse to be trained to ride), stable management, training tricks of the trade, how to identify correct & faulty conformation (how a horse is built), training foals to lead, tie, pick up hooves, and more. The subjects are endless!
All activities will be determined by each camperís age, experience, and preference. What follows is a catergorized list of subjects covered at camp.
Scroll way down to see a sample day.
HORSE RELATED SUBJECTS & ACTIVITIES:
*Fun Stuff~ Make horse treats, Learn to draw a horse, Teach your horse to bow, count, say yes/no, Come when called. Learn how to mount without a saddle. Horse games- egg and spoon races, canter competition, tied strings, ride a buck, tandem bareback, flag race, and more.
*Riding/ all disciplines~ Independent, quiet, soft hands, Centered riding, Posting on the correct diagonal, correct position on horse, balance exercises, building a partnership with your horse, vaulting for confidence, bareback lessons, learn your arena dimensions- learn letter markers, 5,10, and 20 meter circles, center line, quarter line. Also conditioning programs for the rider, equitation vs. pleasure, safety lessons. Learn collected, working and extended gaits.
*Showing(all disciplines)- proper attire, how to prepare, how to enter, grooming for the show ring, what is a class? How a class works/ Definitions of : open, amateur, pleasure, equitation, showmanship, aotr, aaotr, maiden, novice, gate hold, victory pass, etc.
*Farrier lesson~ soundness/ purpose of trimming, pads, weights/ Types of shoes, hooves, etc. Corrective shoeing, club feet, quarter cracks, pigeon toes.
*Jumping- walking a course, counting strides, 2 point position, follow through, what is a sight pole? Difference between Show Jumping and Cross Country. What is a jump off? Learn how faults are given and what that means.
*Games~ Keyhole, pole bending, gate, barrel racing: improving your time, calming your horse, staying off horses mouth.
*Sport Horses (of Western and English)- proper warm up, cool down, protection legs, liniments that work, conditioning programs, etc.
*Stable Management & Safety~ Barn maintenance, tack care, safety, fire hazards.
*Trail Riding- How to pace and condition your horse, Trail courtesy, what to do after every hill, how to cross a river, how to calm a nervous horse, what to pack in your first aid kit. Basic trail first aid.
*Nutrition- Supplements that work, proper hay/ grains for specific breed/ age, human foods that will make them shine for cheap, when to feed grain and when not to. Feeding schedules.
*Vet Lesson~ Horse Anatomy/ Conformation, identifying faults, avoiding splints, How to know if your horse has stopped growing, health care program, how to worm, how to check for lameness, giving shots, proper maintenance of your horse. Horse science.
*Foals halter training, leading, weaning, introducing to clipping, farrier, friends. How to tie, trailer, load, blanket, and lunge the young horse.
*Horse Terms~ Definitions of: paddock, pad, all pieces of tack, pasture, rail, hunt, half halt, diagonal, spook, leg yields, colt, filly, mare, gelding, flaxen, learn all horse colors, difference between a jog & trot, a lope and canter, conformation faults, difference between a breed and a color, all horse parts, crop, green horse, under saddle, stall, and much more.
*Guest speakers will include vets, farriers, trainers, and other professionals. All lessons will be hands on, no boring lectures or videos.
*S.P.O.R.T.!-This is a program that is voluntary, and usually enjoyed most by older campers. An experiential approach to developing greater self-awareness, using a team of a professional horse handler, and a horse (or several horses). Horses offer ample opportunities for campers to examine their fears, become aware of possible self sabbotage, and get in touch with their highest dreams. This process opens the door to self-discovery, personal empowerment, improved communication, and an opportunity for developing accountability. This approach is instrumental in developing greater self-esteem, creating tools for managing anger,and discovering pathways to resolving conflicts.
NON HORSE RELATED:
*Swimming, hiking, Volleyball, badminton, croquet, flashlight tag, drama, bon fires, singing, dance, environmental awareness, BBQs, sports, FUN!
Chastain Mist also has a 9' outdoor movie screen!Campers choose from the camp library of great movies (Spirit, Dreamer, Saddle Club, Racing Stripes, Etc.), and choose the nights that we show them. It is great watching the beautiful Black Stallion under a million stars, surrounded by horses munching, and a bunch of new friends!
Sample Day at Camp:
8 a.m. Rise, get dressed.
8:30 a.m. Feed horses, eat breakfast.
9:30 a.m. High Energy Camp Meeting (Discuss previous riding lesson, successes and road blocks, next goal, decide on day's discipline (western, dressage, jumping, etc.). It's like a mini pep rally to start the day.
10:00 a.m. Prepare to ride (long pants, boots with a half inch heel, helmet if you have one, otherwise one will be provided.)
10:30-11:00 Groom and tack up your horse, with assistance if necessary
11:00-12:00 Riding Lesson
12-1 p.m. Lunch! Yummy home cooked meals prepared by our culinary chef.
1:00-1:30 Hang out at the barn, play with foals, swing under the shade tree, read horsey magazines, etc. A low key time to rest and rejuvenate. Store is open for snacks and drinks.
2:00 p.m Clinics, with lots of hands on opportunities. No boring lectures ever!! This is a time where professionals come in and share their knowledge. Campers learn about hoof anatomy, how to teach a horse to "drive", introduce a pony to a saddle and rider, and more. More info about possible clinic topics can be found above.
3:00 p.m. Catch up horse for various activities, such as a game of polo, barrel racing or other games, obstacle courses with your horse, bareback riding, a trail ride, etc.
4:30 p.m. Swimming, Volleyball, Free time, or other activity OF YOUR CHOICE.(or if you're not quite ready to get off your horse, you can keep riding)
5:30 p.m. Campers clean themselves up and help prepare for ranch style barbeque dinner . We all eat outdoors by the bon fire or in the big white event tent.
7:00 p.m. Songs, skits, and horse stories by the fire, roast marshmallows, SíMORES etc. We have a great time, and we're heard for miles around!! And then it gets quiet, and there is nothing better than being surrounded by the sounds of horses munching on hay with summer stars overhead. No one wants to go to bed!
9:00 p.m. Give your horse a treat and a pat goodnight, get ready for bed, and have horsey dreams.
10:00 p.m. Lights out, pretend to sleep
This is a SAMPLE day at camp. Some days change, but in general this is what to expect. Some days include trail rides, treasure hunts, soccer, swimming, various games. The majority of the time is spent developing each camper into accomplished horse people.
Our number one priority is the safety of our campers. Campers are never without counselor supervision. We only employ people we know well and who are VERY experienced in both teaching children and handling horses. They have also passed an FBI background check for the peace of mind of parents. Our horses have been through careful screening as well. They are all very mellow and suitable for complete beginners.
Every camp is different. Sometimes we have a large number interested in jumping, and therefore spend the week focused on relevant subjects. During those weeks, barrel racing isn't going to happen. Other weeks we are inundated with polo fanatics, dressage riders, and sometimes, complete beginners...point being that those weeks will be geared towards helping each group reach goals in the areas which they show the most interest. In addition, campers would need to attend several week long sessions in order to cover every subject mentioned above. The more advanced riders will skip the more elementary areas, whereas the beginners may not be ready for more intense study.