Mary riding last winter

The following article about riding camp was sent in by Mary Boyle with these comments:

“I am 14 years old and amateur to the extreme. I am probably young to blog for your website but I thought it be interesting to have a kid’s perspective on riding, showing and horses. I read all your articles and my favorites would have to be Riding and Horse Show tips. My horse (of 4 years) is a very nervous jumper and a lot of these tips helped me not only in the show ring, but at home while were schooling too. I’ve decided to write you an article about horse camps, I just came back from one in Bethany, ON and I have to say my horse is jumping much better now. “

Well Mary… thank you for your wonderful article and you are welcome to blog for HJU anytime!

From Mary:

I’ve never been to a camp before, I’m more of a “wake up at lunchtime and spend the day at the barn” type of girl, but this summer has been very different. I spent 2 weeks at an amazing/tough love riding camp in Bethany, Ontario.

I had 2 lessons a day. Which although very tiring, were alot of fun and very good for my horse’s confidence issues with jumping. We have built up a lot of confidence for him and I at the camp. We did cross country, hunter courses and dressage. All the things I need to event, which is hopefully where I’m headed.

Riding camps are normally not cheap (almost nothing about riding is) and this one was no exception. And if I hadn’t been working for my aunt all summer, there was no way I could have been able to go.

Camp was a lot of work and a lot of fun. At the  beginning, riding twice a day for an hour each time was hard on my horse. But gradually, he built up his muscle and (I think) began to look forward to it 🙂 We did a lot of fun things during our lessons = like pony swap, riding bareback with one hand, instructor swap, and we worked on a lot of dressage movements.

Mary's horse wondering what a camera is...

Which my thick necked, junk in the trunk Quarter horse was surprisingly good at (???) Dressage is not my favorite thing to do. I find it very difficult for me, apparently not for my horse though. I much prefer cross-country, which we did quite a few times. The jumps were incredible! Logs,liverpools,rocks,barrels, and of course benches. 🙂

Camp was great, I made lots of new friends and really improved my riding. I have the worst habit of looking at my jumps,which then makes my horse look at them. I can almost hear him saying “Lets not not go over it and say we did…shhhh”. But I corrected that bad habit, after I was told I would have to wear a neck brace if it was not fixed…

Riding camps can really help with your riding ability. I would definitely recommend them to anyone who would like to ride a lot, work on their skills and have fun. Warning, you will have to get up early….