Each day at camp the campers ride in a lesson in the morning. Beginners learn everything from how to lead their horse around, groom, tack up, guide and control while mounted and normally are trotting on their own by the end of the week. The more experienced campers refine their skills through out the week always learning as they go. Each day the campers also learn about horsemanship - every aspect of how to work with and enjoy horses. Topics range from horse colors to horse health and first aid to how to give a horse a bath.Three times a week they ride again in the afternoon twice playing games on horse back then on Friday for a demonstration to their friends and families.
Our staff is lead by two CHA certified riding instructors who teach, coach, train, and care for horses and riders year round. Laura Johnson is a highly respected coach in the area who has been teaching at Willowbend for 20 years.Emily Merkel has ridden and taught with her for the past 10 years.Both instructors aim to build confidence in each camper, make them smile, and learn at the same time. All senior staff members are Red Cross CPR/First Aid certified. The Willowbend horses and ponies have all been doing this for years and are friendly and easy to work with.They are ridden by beginners to advanced riders year round and do it all from taking little ones around to showing over big fences.
The campers spend their non-riding time doing art projects, sports and games, helping around the barn and always enjoying their time at camp. The campers are a mix of full time riding students to some who never thought they would want to ride but by week’s end it is hard to tell the difference.All of the campers leave camp wanting to join us again the following year.Our bottom line is learning, safety, and FUN.