Five glorious days filled with ponies, horses, ponies, horses and more ponies and horses for children 7 to 14 years of age. We have several sessions of camp throughout the summer, that run Monday through Friday, 9 am - 3 pm daily. Before and after care is available for an additional fee.
We want every child to enjoy their time at Big Bay Farm. We love hearing giggles, love seeing smiling faces and love seeing bonds develop between the kids and their ponies. Our goal is to give each and every participant 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 session includes:
Each week is given a theme, and daily activities are geared as much as possible towards our theme.
Occasionally, we invite guest speakers to come to the farm to share stories of their unique equine adventures with the participants. We've had a veterinarian, a farrier, an equine chiropractor just to name a few.
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 ponies
Each day participants participates in some form of the day-to-day care of the horses and ponies here at Big Bay Farm. This helps participants learn what a big responsibility owning a horse or pony is, and just how much care they need.
Grooming and Tacking
Each participant 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 well-being of the horse, and is also great bonding time between the participant and their mount.
Horsemanship-the art, ability, skill, or manner of a horseman or horsewoman.
One of the first things participants 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 participants 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 participant teamwork, patience, trust and respect for both themselves and their mount.
Riding time and lessons
Each participant is paired with a pony/horse that is suitable for the participant's height and ability. For their daily lessons, participants are grouped by experience and individual tasks are tailored to each participant's abilities. This means that participants 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, so to help keep our participants with little riding experience safe, the week starts out with the participant on the lunge-line.This way the participant 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.
The crafts vary from session to session and are geared toward the theme of the week when possible. Participants 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 participants
We try to allow enough time each day for all of the participants to play a game or two together. This helps to foster and grow the new (or old) friendships between the participants, and encourage teamwork, leadership, and many other skills.
Schedule subject to change. Sometimes we move things around to accommodate a special event such as a visit from the farrier or horse dentist.
Weather permitting students will ride for each day.
There is no make up ride lesson for days that weather does not allow for riding.
Vacation horsemanship programs run Monday thru Friday during December, February and April School Vacations from 9am - 1pm.
Kids do not need to have prior riding experience to participate.
Activities will include:
grooming, tacking, riding, basic stable management, horsemanship, horse health,
first aid, Games on horseback, braiding, clipping and most important safe horsemanship.
Children will build confidence, self-esteem, and leadership skills that last a lifetime.
Kids will ride daily weather permitting.