The Youngest Equestrian Riders

Young Horseback Riding Girls

Can the youngest children at camp take horseback riding?

Absolutely, yes! The youngest girls at Rockbrook, who are 6 years old, are some of our most enthusiastic riders down at the equestrian center. Camp is a great place to develop girls’ interests in horses, even to take their very first ride. Rockbrook has several experienced, gentle ponies, perfect for these young beginning horseback riders, and our staff is well qualified to teach beginner lessons. There’s lots to learn— what to wear, safety rules, grooming, tacking up, how to mount, riding position, communicating with your horse, and so much more— but step by step, you’ll progress through it all.

Equestrian Riding is fun and rewarding: yes, even for the youngest girls!

 

Let’s Canter!

Riding Horses CanterAfter you feel comfortable controlling your horse in a walk, and learning to post while trotting your horse, the next step is to learn how to canter. The canter is a 3-beat riding movement of a horse that is faster than a trot but slower than a gallop. It’s a very natural gait where the first beat you hear is either the left or right hind leg. The second beat is the opposite hind leg and its opposite fore leg together, and the final beat is the fore leg opposite the first beat. Riding the canter involves the hips moving forward and backward slightly while keeping the rider in the saddle. It’s kind of a back and forth sweeping motion rather than an up and down motion like when you post. One important tip is to not pull on the reins for balance; this makes it more difficult for your horse to more forward as he needs. There are lots of types of canter to learn as well (“working,” “collected,” and “extended” for example), but in any case its great fun to learn this technique as you develop your horse riding skills at camp.

Girls Riding

girls riding horses at Rockbrook horseback summer camp

Girls riding horses— it’s a daily thing at Rockbrook. Our horseback riding program is easily one of the most popular, if not the most popular, activity at camp. It certainly is the most elaborate with all the horses (26 in all!), instructors (6 or more), facilities (two barns, 6 different pastures, miles of fence, jumps, rails, standards, etc.) and equipment (tack – saddles, pads, girths, stirrups, bridles, etc.). It’s a big operation! All of this allows us to have simultaneous classes and therefore a lot of riders participating at once. It lets Rockbrook offer riding at different skill levels with the right mount, class and instructor. No matter how much experience you have riding, you’ll be able to grow more comfortable and skilled in your riding.

Recognize this big guy?  It’s our 17.1 hand thoroughbred gelding, Gordon!

Horseback Riding Lessons at Camp

horseback riding girl camp lessonThe horseback riding activity at camp is a nice combination of learning, riding, and fun with all things horse and riding related.

With the great instructors and amazing horses down at the Rockbrook Riding Center, you learn so much about taking care of the horses and the operation of the barn (which is no small thing for 26 horses!). In the horseback riding lessons, you ride of course, but you also learn how to improve your riding skills and to become more comfortable on the horse. All of this is great fun, if you’re a little “horse crazy.” But even if horseback riding isn’t your number one thing to do, you’ll still enjoy being down at the barn with your friends, and you’ll learn a bunch too.

Equestrian Jumping at Summer Camp

summer equestrian camps

One of the most common questions we receive about our equestrian summer camp for kids is if girls can learn how to jump.  Naturally, equestrian jumping is an advanced skill and it requires a great deal of practice and knowledge to do it safely.  That’s why, while the answer is “yes, you can learn how to jump,” you must first be good at most other horseback riding techniques.  Equestrian jumping requires a high level of accomplishment that you have to work up to.  Step by step, you’ll have the right amount of challenge added to your lessons, and eventually you’ll be ready for jumping.  With good personal instruction and well-trained horses like those at the Rockbrook summer equestrian program, kids can learn how to jump.  Over your time at camp, you’ll be really good!

Rockbrook Horseback Riding Video

Riding video girlOK, are you ready for an awesome video of horseback riding from camp last summer? You can poke around the Rockbrook Camp web site and see all kinds of great photos of girls riding, taking care of horses, and enjoying their time at camp.

But, nothing beats a fun video of all that action. Here is a riding video! Watch closely, and you’ll see plenty of people you know, lots of jumping, views of the upper and lower riding rings, and of course a bunch of the Rockbrook Camp horses. A little Rockbrook summer horse camp fun. Enjoy!

Advanced Riders at Rockbrook Camp

Horse Riding Girl at Summer Camp

“Can I learn more advanced riding skills at Rockbrook Camp?”

The director of our riding program, places each camper who wants to ride at camp in a class with girls of similar ability, and assigns each camper an appropriate mount. This could be a gentle pony for a younger beginner, or a schooled hunt-seat horse.

With outstanding horses from St. Andrews College and Sweet Briar College, as well as the camp’s own horses, and with skilled instructors who work with horses and teach riding year-round, Rockbrook horseback riders are set to learn. It’s so great to ride an excellently schooled horse, and have fresh, appropriate instruction for your riding. Advanced riders can learn to post the trot, canter and jump. No matter what your level, the horse riding program at RBC is ready.

Advanced riders are always excited to ride at Rockbrook!

NC Equestrian — Camp Photos

Here’s a set of photos taken one day last summer during our equestrian program. It was a particularly nice day, so we took quite a lot 🙂 .