Summer camp horses?
Has anyone had any experience with horses after being used as summer camp horses? I know that next weekend there will be a sale of them, and I'm wondering what to expect. I am looking for a very quiet, well-broke horse. I don't need speed. I need safe. So give me your thoughts?
I work at a riding school that gives summer camps as well as lessons. We're currently downsizing and when we're deciding what pony/horse needs to go its typically the one that we fell in love with and does great for us trainers but may get bored or try to get away with little things the kids don't catch (eating the bushes, stopping early etc) so they aren't cut out for the program.
I would say, from my schools experience, the horse/pony may or may not be a little on the deadsided side and may need a little fine tuning on the breaks (depending on how much a young rider has been allowed to hang on their mouth) but are overall well mannered and highly appreciative of an experienced quiet rider.
I should add, that if they were selected for the camp to begin with they are most likely quiet and dead broke (one would hope!) so I don't think you'll find too many who are green etc. speed is a possibility but finding a nice slow goer shouldn't be too difficult.
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HagonNag, before I decided to purchase a horse, actually many years before, I leased two horses that were used in a summer camp program.
One was a very well trained and behaved gelding. A real joy and gentleman. The other, not so much. He tested me on every level in saddle, was fine on ground.
When I looked at them prior to leasing, they were both terribly underweight and very quiet. Upon bringing their weight up with free choice hay and sweet feed (didn't know better back then), one remained a gentleman, the other as I said became a handful.
On the whole it was a good experience and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to someone to look them over.
Thank you both. You've reassured me. While I CAN ride, I've reached the point where I do not want to deal with lots of issues. This horse will probably be my last horse (unless I make a mistake and have to replace him) and at this point, I'd welcome boredom on the trail. Safe, no spook, good brakes and predictability (as much as you can predict with a horse) is what I'm looking for. I've had my fill of challenges and excitement.
I totally understand HagonNag, so happy that you're looking in to another equine partner! Best of luck at the auction and of course let us know how it goes! I have such a soft spot for the horses and ponies who do camp, they typically have such big hearts.
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One of mine was used at a kid`s camp before I got her. Pros: Perfect sweetheart (worth her weight in gold) - mellow, easy going and not easily excited. Cons: A little insecure about going out all by herself (easily fixable with just a few more miles). I'm glad a bought her.
HN, I dealt with some, and while they were very quiet, they were very unresponsive to the aids either (plus quite herd-bound). Not saying it's always a case, just those I tried. I do like quiet horses, but unresponsive horse is usually not my cup of tea. Good luck with your search!
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