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Hi everyone!

I was wondering if anyone had any good horse-based activities for a summer camp. This summer will be my third year running a camp at the barn I work at. We have kids 7-14 and I'm trying to come up with some more activies for this summer.

The camp is only from 9 am -3 pm, but the kids tend to come 3 weeks to all 8 and I don't want them to get bored.

Previously, we've done horseless horse shows, water fights, pipe cleaner horses and others. I was thinking of adding silly awards to our end of the week show, but I can't think of names.

Any help would be awesome. Thanks so much in advance.

P.S. Some of our kids are dead beginners, but most have been taking lessons and can even jump around a fair sized course. We only have like 8 horses to work with though so I can't do trail rides unfortunately. Thanks again.
 

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You could do relay races, fun courses that get timed (like having to do bending, pick up a flag, put it on a barrel etc.) etc. You could do horseless dressage/ reigning tests/ courses depending on what discipline is ridden.

For awards: Most falls (if there are any - hopefully not :D), fastest times. Really anything that could go along with what you are doing.

Even how to dress up your horse for a show. How to do basic makeup and plaits?

Um..... yeah, I'm out of ideas :p If I have any more, I'll come back!

Good luck!
 

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Maybe you could include something like best turnout? Even if there aren't many horses, you could get kids to make up groups and they could work together on a horse to make them look nice :) Then you could have prizes for the showiest looking horse!

Or you could do something like a hunt, maybe for horsey items? You could leave them around the area and get groups to ride a horse out and look for them - whoever finds the most wins!

Whatever you choose, have fun :)
 

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i really liked some of the ideas above me...

what if you asked for each child to bring in an old bed sheet of any color... and have them all decorate a costume for a horse... work on it a little each day during like an arts n craft time... use glitter, glue, paper, scissors, paint, blah blah...
and during the last week have a costume show and every kid has to dress a horse with there costome and have it be judged..
 

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barrel racing/pole bending on foot or on horseback. walking races, trot pole course at walk/trot for riders who arent ready to jump, muscial freestyles are always fun even if you dont use horses. the kids can pick the music and the movements.
 

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have them do the relay game with out horses so they can see it for the horse view - work on memory show them a course and the with out a horse do it
 

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Can't go wrong with theme days...tacky tourist day, backwards day etc. Also lots of to do scavenger hunt with horsey clues. Dress up your horse anyway you like...bows, ribbons etc this is a good one to do with teams. Have the kids set up a course of jumps very very low and have the kids do the jumping, no horses. It's your horse for the day. Kids get to take care of horse as if it was their own, under supervision. Decorate horse shoes and have them make name plates of thier favourite horse, decorate it and take home to show parents. Thats all I got for the moment, hope it helps.
 

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Mr Wolf on horseback. Or green light, red light. You could do quizzes on horse care/ health/ riding for a lollipop or something.
 

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Great ideas.. love the theme days!

Another approach is you could invite an equine professional (the vet, saddle fitter, chiro, farrier) to do a clinic and show the kids an aspect of horse care. We did this with our kids and they loved it! Or have groom days where you bathe the horse, braid it's hair, paint it's hooves, get safe horse paint for them and draw on their bodies, etc.

Have fun with them!
 

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*Scavenger Hunt. One year the person making it was a little bit eccentric and we got some fun orders. Example..."Capture a live fly". That was a hard one :lol:.

*Hide-and-go-seek.

*Divide the kids into teams and have them design a barn. Whoever designs the best barn wins.

*Divide the kids into teams and have them write down all the breeds they know. Whoever writes down the most REAL breeds wins.

*Man Hunt! Or tag if you want to be boring about it :p.

*Name Frisbee to help everyone learn names. (Throw a frisbee and whoever catches it has to say their name).

*Musical Stalls (on horseback). Set up ground poles as stalls. They have to get their horses into a "stall" before the music stops.

*I don't know if it's called anything, but set up two ground poles WIDE apart. Have riders (one at a time) ride between the poles and stop their horse for a few seconds. Decrease the distance between the poles every time everyone's gone. Whoever's the last one standing wins. You can do this walking or trotting. I guess you could also do it cantering if the riders are advanced enough and you don't make the space TOO narrow lol.

*Egg-and-spoon race.

*Set up a course. Have riders do different things at different place. Example: At barrel A they have to drop their stirrups. The wall near the weird crack has a rag they have to pick up. Etc. See who can complete the course the most correctly and quickly.

*Simon Says. (On horseback. Have them put their hands on their helmets, etc. Be creative).

*Follow the Leader. (Have an instructor or older rider lead a line of kids on horseback. Whatever the leader does the kids also have to do).

*Walk and trot races. Canter if they can.

*Hold a knowledge competition. Divide the riders into teams and ask them basic horse questions. Whoever gets the most questions right gets a small prize or even just bragging rights. A cool twist at the end is having the teams decide if they want to "bet" their points on a final question, and if so how many. It adds drama :D.

*Have a show at the end of the week (I can't remember if you already do) and spend a little time practicing for it each day. Trust me when I say that the riders will LOVE this.

*Water Balloon Battle

*I might think of more later. I LOVE horse camps :D.
 

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At some of the CTR rides I used to sponsor, We made up a list of Wildlife in the area and had a game with riders to see who could spot the most. Of course deer, elk and moose were big creatures to look for, but we also included the smaller animals. squirrels, weasels, porkypines and the various birds. You could do the same for the plants in the area. List off the wild flowers or trees in the area.

I've always made my daughters identify the edible plants that they pass as we ride. If they got seperated and lost on the mountain, I want them to know what they could safely eat to survive. Same goes for trail marks.

I ran into a couple from Michigan one fall during Elk hunting in a Utah Wilderness, They asked for directions back to their camp, and I told them I was going in that general direction and they could follow me. The trail in that direction was just a whisper, often over grown with grass or indistiquishable from the rocky ground. But there were trail markers. Blazes on trees, rock cairnes etc that I spotted and followed. When we reached the point where I had to peel off and head the other direction, I told them to continue following the trail and they would reach their truck/trailer in a mile or two. They said, "What Trail" I said the one we have been following. They had not noticed ANY of the trail markers. Set up a trail for the kids and teach them to spot the trail markers that Forest Service has used for past 100 years.

Do a Mounted Orienteering course. Teaching the kids how to read a Topo Map, compass or GPS. Anybody riding horse, can easily cover enough ground to get themselves lost if they don't have basic back country navigation skills. Maybe you do this with a geo-caching type of event. Where the kids use a map and compass to find hidden caches.

I also believe anybody involved with horses should have the basic education to evaluate their horses in the field. Are they stressed, over worked etc. Teach them to take basic P&R on their horses, To identify Hydration and recovery times.
 

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Or you could do something like a hunt, maybe for horsey items? You could leave them around the area and get groups to ride a horse out and look for them - whoever finds the most wins!
We had a horseless "fox" hunt at one of the summer camps I attended once. The instructor set up clues for us to find and direct us which way the fox had gone. Sometimes arrows, sometimes clues written on paper and stuck in a tree. It had us roaming around the fields for a couple hours and was lots of fun.

You could do a parts of the horse quiz with one of the horses. Have different parts written down on slips of paper each kid gets a turn to come up draw a part and point to where it is. You can have a prize for whoever gets the most right. (you can do the same for parts of the bridle and saddle). It would be especially cool if you can somehow stick the name of the part on the horse, but I have no idea how you would do that.

We had a field day the summer camp I worked at that had all sorts of fun events, but most of them were for the older, more experienced girls. We had a horse version of musical chairs with ground poles laid out in a circular pie configuration. The girls would walk around the outside of the circle when the music stopped you had to get your horse into one of the slots. We also had your standard egg and spoon and then a relay race where the first group had to walk, second trot and third group canter. If you broke gait you had to go back to start. That one's nice because you can divide up the teams based on rider experience and just use one horse per team.

You can also teach them some camp songs. Even if they aren't strictly horse related it's still fun. We were encouraged to keep the girls singing when we took them out on the trails, because if they're singing that means they're breathing :lol:
 

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*Scavenger Hunt. One year the person making it was a little bit eccentric and we got some fun orders. Example..."Capture a live fly". That was a hard one :lol:.

*Hide-and-go-seek.

*Divide the kids into teams and have them design a barn. Whoever designs the best barn wins.

*Divide the kids into teams and have them write down all the breeds they know. Whoever writes down the most REAL breeds wins.

*Man Hunt! Or tag if you want to be boring about it :p.

*Name Frisbee to help everyone learn names. (Throw a frisbee and whoever catches it has to say their name).

*Musical Stalls (on horseback). Set up ground poles as stalls. They have to get their horses into a "stall" before the music stops.

*I don't know if it's called anything, but set up two ground poles WIDE apart. Have riders (one at a time) ride between the poles and stop their horse for a few seconds. Decrease the distance between the poles every time everyone's gone. Whoever's the last one standing wins. You can do this walking or trotting. I guess you could also do it cantering if the riders are advanced enough and you don't make the space TOO narrow lol.

*Egg-and-spoon race.

*Set up a course. Have riders do different things at different place. Example: At barrel A they have to drop their stirrups. The wall near the weird crack has a rag they have to pick up. Etc. See who can complete the course the most correctly and quickly.

*Simon Says. (On horseback. Have them put their hands on their helmets, etc. Be creative).

*Follow the Leader. (Have an instructor or older rider lead a line of kids on horseback. Whatever the leader does the kids also have to do).

*Walk and trot races. Canter if they can.

*Hold a knowledge competition. Divide the riders into teams and ask them basic horse questions. Whoever gets the most questions right gets a small prize or even just bragging rights. A cool twist at the end is having the teams decide if they want to "bet" their points on a final question, and if so how many. It adds drama :D.

*Have a show at the end of the week (I can't remember if you already do) and spend a little time practicing for it each day. Trust me when I say that the riders will LOVE this.

*Water Balloon Battle

*I might think of more later. I LOVE horse camps :D.

Great ideas! We also did Simon says, we also played red light green light on horseback. I would not recommend horseback duck-duck-goose though. Looking back, I'm surprised we didn't get anyone hurt with that one even if I only did it with my advanced group of girls :wink:
 

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My daughter was at a horse camp where they did a really neat craft. Each kid got a lump of clay, and made an impression of their horse's hoof... a 'footprint', or hoofprint. They dried overnight, and the next day the kids glued a piece of paper behind the print, then used paint, glitter, etc to decorate the imprint and surrounding paper. It made a really nice keepsake from the camp.
 
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