Horse Camp help...
This is the first time I have offered/run a summer camp at my barn. This week, all but one of the campers are students (this is a day camp). So, most understand groom, tack up, safety, etc. I'm afraid I will run out of "things" to do! lol
I'd like to hear from our members about crafts, horseback games (3 riders are mounted at a time), and other "activities" we can do. We have three hours to kill after lunch that I need to "fill" with fun or interesting things.
Some things I am already planning:
Any ideas for me?
It looks like you have most of the indoor stuff covered. Its going to be tough finding more. Heres a site I found Horse Games and Activities - Games and Activities for Horse Play Days
with a few suggestions.
How old are they?
Too old for games like musical chairs and such?
If not theres musical chairs like i said above, egg and spoon races, sack races etc.
Gymkhana type games
When i was younger i loved watching the horsey videos at the riding school i went to, like the olympic dressage, jumping, etc that sort of thing..
You could teach them to present a horse for show. (not sure what type of riding you teach at your barn) Teach them to plait up etc, and if they're younger let em go wild with ribbons and such haha :lol:
You could have a quiz at the end of each day covering what they have learnt, and a mini comp at the end of the camp perhaps..
As for crafts, decorating a horse shoe? Make it into a picture frame or something.. thats all i can think of im not very good with crafty stuff lol
umm.. How about a game to show them how much a horse really costs each year? Not sure how exactly to do it but its an idea anyway..
I do camps all the time! One time we got to do "Paint Your Masterpiece" horse figurines, and paint them..thn take them home! We also went over what judges look for at shows.
i still really love playing tag on horses =) tag is always a good fun game for all ages.
I used to go to horse camp when i was much younger!
It depends on the age group, of course, but here are some things I remember!
Learning/labeling the parts of a horse, parts of the hoof and parts of different saddles.
Musical chairs with horses and cones, egg races, learning pole weaving/barrels how to show in a "halter class."
Is there someone you know or at the stables who can do some impressive "showing off" of a sport or discipline? Dressage or barrels or jumping? Then they could talk to the kids about how they got started and what it takes to become as awesome as they are.
Coloring their "dream" horse in coloring books or model horses.
Learning how to braid manes/tails.
Edit: Oh! And anything with a competition / quiz / goal should award little fake show ribbons for them to take him! Aww!
Around here there is a fun horse camp that teaches the kids (7+) how to rope goats.
Here are some of the things that I do with my summer camp:
I make a binder that goes over colors, tack, grooming, safety, measuring, etc. We get little fun stickers cheap at wal-mart and they love decorating their binders and taking them home with them. I include word searches and cross words in the binder.
Put double sided tape on index cards and label the parts of the horse. Let the kids stick the cards to 'ole care less kinda horse.
Horse Jeopardy - BIG HIT - make a jeopardy board on a piece of poster board. Some of my topics include breeds, tack, colors, behavior, grooming, etc. I usually stick post it notes over the categories that have been guessed and come up with the questions as we go along. Put them in teams, they have a lot of fun with it.
Horse beauty contest - if you have the room to bathe several horses at once, let them have a little fun with it, braid them, glitter, etc, judge them at the end. They also tend to wash themselves as much as the horses so its good for a hot day.
Horse Costume contest - I usually do this on the last day of camp, must have very understanding horses. I had a pony dressed up as a paper indian one year and my mini gelding was a fairy with a purple tutu (sp?) ironically weeks after being gelded.....
Horse games - toilet paper race, egg and spoon race, relay race, water race. Put kids in teams and give each team a barrel, some games are timed, some games are races. Put speed limits on it as needed. I usually say trot only, more than 2 strides of canter is disqualified.
Simon says is a great, controllable mounted game. Around the world and Indian Dismount are a bit more challenging. Ride-a-buck is always a good one as well. Have each kid bring a dollar with them, winner gets all the dollars. If they don't want to use money, you can do it with a piece of paper.
The boot race is a fun game that doesn't involve horses. Have all the kids put one boot in the center of the arena, have kids by the rail and give a go signal, the first one to run in, get their boot and make it back to the rail wins. You do need quite a few kids to make this game fun though.
Body paints for horses is fun if you want to.
Invest in a slip and slide or small kid pool. Water baloons are fun if you don't mind the clean up.
Horse shoe picture frames are a fun craft, you can also pick up small ceramic horses in craft stores really cheap for painting.
I had a couple of teenagers with nothing to do one summer, so I gave them a camera and said have fun. The kids parents loved getting a CD of what they did at camp.
We also have had a lot of fun with line dancing lessons if you know someone that knows some easy dances.
"The Blind Horse Game" - sounds terrible, but a lot of fun. No horses involved. Blindfold one kid and have them put a headstall over their head and the bit in their hands. Have the other kid stand behind them with reins and set up a small obstacle course. This has worked wonders to help kids be more aware of the signals that they are sending and put a lot more thought into communication with the horse (and each other).
Of course, give rules to these games according to the level of your kids. I have often found that if "barn chores" are part of your daily routine, then taking one away can be a great reward. I usually do games on Fridays, the winning team still has to do all chores besides one of their choice (stalls, buckets, raking, etc.)
Hope this helps, have fun with camp!
The stables I work at does horse camp during the day. It lasts a week, then they get a whole new set of campers the following week. In the mornings they meet up and discuss the activities for that day, then they go out to the barn and feed and groom the horses, saddle up for a lesson, come in and eat lunch, do a class lesson in the office, go swimming in the lake, come back for a trail ride, then clean stalls, feed the horses again, then turn them out and repeat the process again.
How about going on a scavenger hunt on horseback, and the clues be horse related so it will teach them new things. One of my friends did this for her birthday party when we were little. On Fridays at the horse camp the stables have what they call a "watermelon ride" when the campers invite their parents out for a trail ride and alone the way they have a picnic with watermelon and receive awards. Maybe you could see if you could get other instructors out that teach barrel racing, jumping, whatever to teach them a little about a different discipline. Also, see if you can get a farrier out to show them a little about shoeing horses. You could have them paint horseshoes, have a photoshoot with the horses, and make picture frames to put them in. When I went to the state horse school one year when I was little we made crosses to put on our saddles. They punched them out of leather for us, gave us letter stamps so we could carve our names in them, and paint them. Maybe you could also learn how to make beaded browbands. I've seen those around and they look gorgeous! Not sure how long it would take to do one though, I'd say a while.
Hope it helps! :]
The girls are 7-13 years old, though I advertise for girls up to 15. I haven't had any 14-15 yr olds sign up yet.
I appreciate all of the ideas everyone! Today we gave two of the horses a bath, with soap and conditioner, we scrubbed one big water tub after we discussed a horse's daily needs, and I paired the girls up for a "bareback" lesson. One girl worked on leading the horse while the other rode, and they switched off. They rode facing forward, facing backward, and laid down so their helmet was on the rump of the horse. They really seemed to like that.
Tomorrow we're going to learn about tack (with some worksheets), take bridles apart, and clean saddles and bridles. We'll probably give two of the other horses bathes as well.
Thursday we have my vet coming for a talk. After that, I'm not sure yet... I'll read through all of your suggestions and see what I can come up with ;-). Maybe we'll practice wrapping pillows and standings on one horse (to go with the vet talk), along with some "fun" time.
I wish we had horse shoes to make a craft.... All of my horses except one are barefoot, so we never have extra shoes laying around.
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