We are a horse family, and I have been riding since I was a child, so I was super excited to send my kids to horse camp at North Country Horses. I have known North Country Horses owner Amanda since I moved to the area, and she is one of my favorite people. Located not far from Saratoga Springs in Gansevoort, the North Country Horses Summer Camp is a full day camp (camp hours are from 9am-4pm) for both experienced and new riders, where days are filled with horse activities geared towards developing riders into accomplished horse people. The rider must be 5 or older by their camp week, and kids are grouped according to skill level during lessons.
Part of what I love about camp, and about horseback riding for kids in general, is that along with the fun they also learn a lot about responsibility. They learn how to care for the animals and all pitch in to complete the work it takes around the barn from feeding them and getting them water to helping get them ready to ride. From the first feeding in the morning until it's time to go home in the afternoon, the focus is on horses. Their unique program provides each camper the opportunity to care for a horse for the week. Levy would come home talking endlessly about Isabella, the horse she was taking care of for the week, and all the things that went into making sure Isabella was well taken care of. Campers are introduced to the many aspects of horse care and handling and learn how to handle and care for horses and tack in a safe and proper manner.
Games and crafts round out the week and give the kids some downtime in between riding and caring for the horses. Levy's favorite part was the "painting the pony" day where everyone gets to paint one of the white horses and the photo album she made at the end of the week full of photos from her experience.
I felt like the horsemanship camp gave Levy (who was 5 when she started camp last year) a great dose of self confidence which she needed as she started kindergarten. She felt capable and proud of herself for being able to haul the water buckets and find the tack and being able to do these things on her own, and she loved showing off her new riding skills. She also made a lot of friends, and was sad to see the week end, making me promise to send her back the next summer (we are already all signed up).
Here are some details on camp for 2014:
There are 8 sessions of Summer Camp on the following dates:
Session 1 July 7th - July 11th
Session 2 July 14th - July 18th
Session 3 July 21st - July 25th
Session 4 July 28th - August 1st
Session 5 August 4th - August 8th FULL Session 6 August 11th - August 15th FULL
Session 7 August 18th - August 22nd
Session 8 August 25th - August 29th
A $50 non-refundable deposit and completed registration forms are required to hold your spot and the remaining amount is due 30 days before camp begins. The cost of camp is $300.00 per session and discounts are available for children participating in more than one session, children who have siblings attending, as well as children who are current boarders or leasers.
If you sign up before March 30th, receive $25.00 off! They also have a before and after camp program which will run from 8-9 am and 4-6 pm. Before or after camp will be an additional $50 per session or $90 for both am and pm after care.
For more Camp Info click here to visit my Camp Guide!