Horse Camp for kids - what is suitable - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-27-2011, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
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Horse Camp for kids - what is suitable

Hello, I started this account to ask the general horse community about what is taught at childrens horse camps.

I used to be horse crazy when I was a child, but unfortunately never had any opportunity of my own for horses.

Now my 9 year old daughter has the bug. So I signed her up for a natural horsemanship camp, hoping she would learn the basics of riding.

The third day of camp I came to pick her up, and there was a child in the round pen "doing a join up" as I was informed by the instructor/owner. As far as I'm concnerened she was ALONE in the pen with a loose animal running around

The instructor assured me that it was safe and that I should not worry. The other parent there did not seem fazed, so I assumed it was okay, but I still am not convinced

As she was explaining it, she said all horses needed to be joined up otherwise they will bully you. She says this makes the child the leader. To be honest I would rather pay a trainer rather than have my child chase it in a pen...but my little girl is so enthusiastic about everything she's learned, and with the instructor approving of it it makes VERY difficult to say no...It makes me feel like the "mean mom".
Am I over reacting or is this just a part of horsemanship everyone should know?

Thank you in advance
NewHorseMa is offline  
post #2 of 6 Old 05-27-2011, 07:03 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2010
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It would all depend on if you were into Natural Horsemanship or not.

Nine does seem to be a little young to be performing join-up, but this is also not a method I would use at all.

That age should be more about correct grooming habits, saddling and bridling properly, and the real basics of riding....heels down, how to steer, how to post etc.

I have never performed join-up, but have never been bullied by any of my horses. NH is just a style of horsemanship. It isn't for everyone, although some people swear by it.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
VelvetsAB is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 05-27-2011, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
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I agree with Velvets in that 9 seems a bit young for a child to be doing a join-up, especially beginners.

The purpose of a join-up is to drive the horse away and give it the option to flee from you or calmly join you. Theoretically, the fastest a horse should come towards your daughter is at a walk. I've done join-ups with my mare and she never comes near me until I give her the option and she chooses to join me.
Poseidon is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 05-27-2011, 07:59 PM
Green Broke
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The one absolute, no exceptions whatsoever, rule that my trainer has is that no child is EVER alone with a loose horse, not even to go get it from turnout.

A loose horse and a small child is an accident waiting to happen as far as I am concerned. My 7yr old has learned how to lunge a loose pony in a round pen but my trainer is right there with her the entire time.
Delfina is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 05-28-2011, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
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I don't think you are over reacting at all. The trainer should have been in the round pen with your child.

Whether or not the join up method is needed is a bigger debate, some care for natural horsemanship, others do not.

I am sure your daughter is very excited, but that doesn't mean that you can't move to another barn with her.
AlexS is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 05-28-2011, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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I think if the trainer is standing by her side that it would be all right =) I believe in natural horsemanship, but I guess it's just my thing.
palominolover is offline  

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