|Five glorious days filled
with ponies, horses, ponies, horses and more ponies and horses for
children 7 to 12 years of age. We have three sessions of camp
throughout the summer, that run Monday through Friday, 8:30 am-3:30 pm
We want every camper to enjoy their time at Meadowsweet Ranch. We love hearing giggles, love seeing smiling faces and love seeing bonds develop between the campers and their ponies. Our goal is to give each and every camper life long memories that will always bring a smile to their face, and skills that will last a lifetime, no matter where their equine journey may take them.
Each camp week is given a theme, and daily activities are geared as much as possible towards our theme.
In the past we have had themes ranging from medieval times, cowboys/cowgirls, and the circus to Art, health, breeds of the world, and even jobs ponies and horses have held through history! There are sure to be many new and exciting things to be learned within each and every camp.
Occasionally, we invite guest speakers to come to the ranch to share stories of their unique equine adventures with the campers. We've had a veterinarian, a former civil war re-enactor, and a professional photographer, just to name a few. Field trips have also been used to enhance the weeks adventures, such as a wagon ride through Chain O'Lakes
State Park, a visit to a nearby farm to learn about foals, a trip to Medieval Times, and many more.
The theme of the week is used for the educational time of each day. A number of different modalities are used from the guest speakers we invite, the field trip we may take, the printed material we read together, the videos we may watch and even some of the games we play.
|Day-to-day care of the
Each day campers participates in some form of the day-to-day care of the horses and ponies here at Meadowsweet Ranch. This helps campers learn what a big responsibility owning a horse or pony is, and just how much care they need.
|Grooming and Tacking
Each camper learns how to get their pony (or horse) from the paddock, how to groom them (and the different tools used to do so), and saddle up for their riding lesson each day. This time helps maintain the health and wellbeing of the horse, and is also great bonding time between the camper and their mount.
Horsemanship-the art, ability, skill, or manner of a horseman or horsewoman.
One of the first things campers are taught is how to enjoy time with their mount on the ground. By learning how to communicate using their bodies in a way horses and ponies can understand, our campers learn how to safely handle horses and ponies whether they're riding, leading, or simply being around them. Groundwork is also important in teaching the camper teamwork, patience, trust and respect for both themselves and their mount.
|Riding time and lessons
Each camper is paired with a pony/horse that is suitable for the camper's height and ability. For their daily lessons, campers are grouped by experience and individual tasks are tailored to each camper's abilities.
This means that campers with absolutely no experience, to those that have been riding for some time, are sure to improve their riding skills and abilities throughout the week.
There is nothing that improves riding more than time in the saddle with eyes on the ground, so to help keep our campers with little riding experience safe, the week starts out with the camper on the lunge-line.
This way the camper has time to develop some balance, timing and feel-the three keys to riding- before they need to worry about directing where the pony goes and at what speed.
A child that spends a week at camp will generally progress more in their riding in the five consecutive days of camp than taking a weekly lesson for three or four months.
|Games with the ponies
There are times during each camp when all the campers are together with their mounts to play games. The games are used to utilize skills they've been learning in their lessons and to have lots of fun with their mounts and their friends.
The crafts vary from session to session and are geared toward the theme of the week when possible. Campers get to take their crafts home and we hope that when they use them or look at them, they will always bring a smile to their faces as they remember some part of their week at camp.
|Games with other campers
We try to allow enough time each day for all of the campers to play a game or two together. This helps to foster and grow the new (or old) friendships between the campers, and encourage teamwork, leadership, and many other skills. A favorite here at the ranch, especially when it's hot and humid, is drip, drip, SPLASH!
|Click here to watch a short video of
excerpts from a past horsemanship camp.
Camp session dates and registration/secure payment links are available on ourevents page from late January through mid-August.
If you have any other questions, please contact Kathy