Imagine being a little kid and your mom just woke you up on a Monday morning. It is your first day of horse camp. You get your boots ready and you wear your favorite horse shirt. Showing up on the first day is a little nerve wracking. You do not know any of the people or even the kids you will be spending all week with. Once mom leaves you finally settle in and your first day is an absolute blast.
Summers at Sarajevo Stables are always filled with adventure and mischief. However, one week out of the summer, we take the time to host a horse camp. Horse camp is one full week and consists of craft, snack and learning to ride time.
Research or contact us here about summer camp.
The first day of camp the kids get introduced to all the leaders and then they get to meet the horse they will be working with for the rest of the week. The first day they learn all about grooming and then they learn how to handle horses and connect with them.
The second day is always the day the kids look forward to. Their leaders will be working with them individually, teaching them how to saddle and then learning the basics of riding. Occasionally we have kids that are nervous about getting on a huge horse but eventually they work it out and are all super excited to ride the rest of the week.
Day three is the leaders favorite day. Day three includes learning barn chores. Learning what it is like to work on a farm and maintain the land. Some of the chores we teach them are how to repair a fence, how to water the arena so it does not get dusty when riding, how to scrub, dumb and refill water troughs and how to clean up the hay room.
Day four is one of the best days but does not beat the last day. On the fourth day the kids are well versed in their riding skills. This allows us to do what we call ‘horsey fun games.’ We play things like musical horses. The game the camp kids enjoy most is when we give them a spoon and an egg and make them race without dropping their egg.
Check out the other horsey games we play.
Day five, the last day of camp is by far the most fun but also very sad for many of the kids. For day five we plan out a trail ride. The kids make and pack their lunch, then we ride out to the woods, pick a shady spot and eat lunch. The kids love the trail because we officially let them go and ride the horse by themselves. The last thing we do on day five, as part of the good-bye tradition, is a prank. Every year the kids prank their leaders but in reality the leaders know what is happening and get them right back.
Overall, camp is one of the best highlights of these kids summers. Many of these kids are unable to afford lessons year-round and therefore come to the camps to be able to stay involved in horses. If you went to horse camp as a kid, I would love to hear your story and if you had a good experience.
Read my last blog about the community we have at the barn. Most of the girls from What is Our Barn About are leaders for kids camp.