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Horsemanship campers will enjoy either a three-hour session (full track) or an hour and a half session (half track) each day at the barn improving their western or English riding techniques and participating in a wealth of activities designed for the passionate horse-loving camper. Our introductory level is for beginners with little to no experience. Riders who have already grasped the basics and are ready for a challenge advance to our Novice level. Intermediate level riders have demonstrated their capabilities by working their way through our main camp or specialty track program in past summers.
Beginner (Half or Full Track)
A beginner rider has either never ridden a horse before or has ridden just a few times. The rider does not need not remember how to control or command a horse. The rider may have experienced trotting before, but was not able to steer the horse through obstacles at a trot. A beginner rider: may have timid hands or rough uncontrolled hands, may not have sufficient leg strength to push a horse forward, may not be able to focus on complex instructions while focusing on riding position, and may be nervous or overconfident in their riding skills.
Novice (Half or Full Track)
A novice rider has ridden many times before. At this level, the rider must remember how to control a horse. The rider has experienced trotting at least a few times and was able to steer through obstacles at a trot. A novice rider should: have control over their hands at the walk and trot, have sufficient leg strength to convince a slightly stubborn horse to move, be able to follow simple instructions while maintaining riding position, and a healthy degree of confidence in their skills.
Intermediate (Full Track only)
An intermediate rider has ridden too many times to count. The rider has experienced the canter quite a few times and has a balanced seat and good control of the horse at the canter. An intermediate rider should: have control over their hands and legs at the walk, trot and canter, have the ability to use their hands and legs independently and softly for more complex maneuvers, have sufficient leg strength to help a horse gaits and complete pivots and leg yields, and be able to follow complex instructions while maintaining riding position.
Advanced (Full Track only, specify English or Western)
An advanced rider should: have sufficient strength and control over all their aids at the walk, trot, and canter; have the ability to use their aids (including their seat) independently for complex maneuvers, and be able to follow complex instructions while maintaining riding position. English riders may choose to focus on Hunter/Jumper, Equitation/Pleasure, or Dressage patterns. Western riders may choose to focus on Reining, Western trail, or Horsemanship patterns.
Specialty track participants are required to bring a pair of boots to camp and are encouraged to bring multiple pairs of jeans or riding pants. Camp has a limited supply of boots for campers that cannot afford to purchase their own, but we want to make sure we have the size your child needs.
For more information on curriculum, riding level recommendations or appropriate attire, please contact our Equestrian Director at Kelly.Agorichas@ymcahouston.org.
Full Track (3 hours per day) - $200
Half Track (1.5 hours per day) - $100