Horse Girls of all Ages

Teen Horse Girls

One common question about our horseback riding program is whether all the girls at camp, from the smallest kindergartners to the oldest teenagers, can ride while attending Rockbrook. The answer is yes! We are very careful to tailor our riding lessons to accommodate both absolute beginners as well as those teen horse girls who want to spend as much time as possible at the equestrian center.

For those girls who are brand new to riding, camp is a perfect place to develop their interest and take their very first ride. They will learn important safety rules, how to mount, riding positions, how to communicate with their horse, and so much more. They will get to know some of the experienced, gentle ponies Rockbrook has especially suited for beginning horseback riders.

For older, and more advanced horse girls, there are special mounted lessons to match their ability as well. The Rockbrook horseback riding program is ready to teach more difficult riding techniques and likewise has great, well-schooled horses for skilled riders.

There’s horseback riding for everyone at Rockbrook!

Equestrian Riding

Rockbrook Camp Horses

It’s really getting exciting around here at camp now because the horses are starting to arrive! Several have made it up from South Carolina, a few from Virginia, and a bunch from down in Laurinburg, North Carolina. It’s great to see them back in the mountains and enjoying their time in the Rockbrook fields. They’ll also be enjoying the latest addition to the Rockbrook Horseback Riding Program— a new double riding ring!

That’s Robbie in the photo.

Hilarious Horse

hilarious camp horse

Isn’t that the funniest picture you’ve ever seen!? You just never know what kind of silliness will burst out down at the Rockbrook stables. Certainly making the horses “look good” is a part of it!

We love this photo also because it so beautifully represents the feeling of the riding program at Rockbrook. It shows that the girls are not only learning a lot about riding, improving their horsemanship skills and experience, but also having a great time. Being together at the barn is for some girls, their absolute favorite part of camp life. Rockbrook is well known for its riding program because it does an amazing job balancing things like this.

Horsemanship Shown at Camp

Aofnd memory of the horse show held at the end of a camp session in 1930. Yes, from the very beginning, horseback riding has been a core activity for the girls at Rockbrook.

Camp Show Horse

The Horse Show
“At last, all the polishing and shining was over. There was not a boot left in camp that did not shine to the highest degree in preparation for the horse show. Every girl who had been down to the riding field at any time during the summer was to be in the show. The first to ride were those in the advanced horsemanship class for Seniors. Each rider was asked to walk, trot, and canter. Finally, everyone came to the center of the field and awaited the judges’ decision. After that long deliberation which makes the audience want to wring the neck of each judge, the blue ribbon was awarded to Louise Lykes. Next was the music ride. The participants were divided in pairs, and as the music was played, each couple came to the center and formed the figures of a square dance. When this was completed, Dr. Wheeler announced the musical stalls. This was done just as one plays musical chairs, except when the music stopped each person rushed for a stall. The horses seemed to enjoy it as much as the riders, and soon needed very little urging. The last person to stay in was Barbara Leovy and she received the prize. There was also tandem riding, in which each girl rode one horse and drove another in front of her. After that, Bet Martin jumped sidesaddle. As a climax to the show, Elizabeth Klinesmith, who received the blue ribbon in Junior, and Louise Lykes were each given a large horseshoe of flowers. They then rode from the field with it about the horse’s neck.”

Jean Wall, 1930

Befriend a Special Horse

Youth Horse Rider

It’s so easy to enjoy horseback riding at camp. Everything is right there for you: beautiful horses, wonderful instructors, excellent equipment and riding facilities, and other youth to ride with.

Part of that enjoyment comes from befriending a special horse, from being paired with a graceful powerful animal you grow to trust and who trusts you. It’s really a special relationship. With kind and gentle communication, you and your horse become more responsive to each other, and more comfortable together. There’s nothing quite like it— the feeling of power and freedom you experience when you and your camp horse willingly cooperate and ride.

It’s also a real accomplishment for a youth girl to build this kind of friendship with a horse at camp. It takes patience and a caring attitude, but with good instruction and practice, every girl can do it. Every girl can experience the joy of horseback riding.

What is the Camp Stable Club?

Rockbrook Girl Riding Camp

“What’s the Rockbrook Stable Club?”

A riding camp for girls should be more than just riding; it should also be learning about horses. That’s why girls who are truly “horse crazy” love Rockbrook’s ground lessons, what we call the “Stable Club.” This is a chance for girls to have “extra time at the barn with their favorite horses and riding staff and to learn skills and take part in activities that a lot of riders don’t learn even at professional riding stables or until they get their own horse (such as polo wrapping, proper first aid, nutrition, etc.),” explains Cara Thompson, the Director of the Rockbrook Camp Equestrian Program. “I’ve not had a rider, (yet!) who hasn’t wanted to learn, and come away from Stable Club without learning something new that they appreciated,” she added. If you really love riding and want to learn more about it, you’ll want to be in the stable club!

Equestrian Camp NC

NC Equestrian Camp

Going to an equestrian camp, a summer camp that offers a quality horseback riding program, is one of the best things you can do to improve your riding skills. It gives you a chance to ride new and different horses, learn from new instructors, to hear about different techniques, and to simply practice everything in a new environment. Along these lines, riding at camp introduces you to new horses and their different personalities. Overall, attending a horse camp program helps diversify your riding skills, experience and horsemanship knowledge. And of course, it’s a lot of fun too! 🙂

Horse Games for Girls

Girls Horse Equestrian Camp

Toward the end of each session at camp, we have a day of “barn games.” It’s when we come up with fun activities a little different from the regular summer camp riding lessons. For example, play “red light, green light,” but one of the most popular is the “Apple Hunt.” This is when the riding instructors hide several apples out in the fields, and the girls are challenged to ride around and find the apples. One apple is marked, and the rider who finds it gets a special prize. They’re all great fun!

Another popular horse game we do is hand print painting. Colorful water-washable paint goes into a tray and then girls take turns dipping their hands into the paint to paint hand-prints on a light colored horse. It can be really creative and fun to add your hand to the horse!

Finally, the girls enjoy the horse game that is essentially a relay. Each rider takes turns carrying a baton or other object and then riding across the ring to hand the baton to another rider, who then rides it back to the original side. This game is fast and fun!

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