This is a four-day program lasting approximately 90 minutes each day. The program will begin by talking with campers about horses, asking campers their experiences, if any, with horses, and talking about proper attire and conduct off-site. This will be framed in a Jewish context and we will discuss Tzar ba'alei chayim or not being cruel to animals and the various places in the Tanakh where we find instructions on animal care. If campers have no experience with horses, they will still likely have pets at home and connections between care and treatment for their pets and that of horses is clear.
While at the off-site horseback riding facility, the staff there will teach horseback riding skills and horse safety. Campers will be taught basic horse handling in the ring and trail riding if they possess the necessary skill. Ideally, campers will have access to learning horseback riding in both the ring and on the trail. Campers will also learn the importance of caring for horses before the ride and after the ride and will include grooming, cooling off, and washing horses. There may be some cleaning out of stalls. In the event of a light rain day, horseback riding in the ring will still continue. In the event of heavy rain, lightning or other unsafe weather conditions, horse care in the barn will be taught be the facility staff and this might include horse grooming techniques, horse anatomy, and types of horses, for example.
The horse riding program should allow for an even mix of horse riding, handling and care. The camp staff member should stay in close communication with the manager of the horse riding facility to allow for flexibility in programing but exposing campers to the wide array of horse riding and care options that exist. Talking about the camp’s expectations ahead of the program and before the start of the next day is encouraged.