Over the hill, through Junior Boys Village, to the “WHOA” sign, and you’ve arrived; to Riding Camp obviously! Although our “Horsey Camp,” as we like to call it, is a little off the main drag from the rest of camp, we love our Camp Friendship Riding Camp! We see our riding camp girls sporting “tube socks Tuesdays,” and performing skits at our weekly campfires. But it isn’t often they get to show their skills and talents off to the rest of us; their talent being riding a horse of course! This Friday, all of that will change. Our very own Camp Friendship’s Equestrian Center will be holding their very own horseshow!
So what exactly have our girls been doing to get ready for this awesome event? Riding Camp Supervisor, Ashley White, was kind enough to share the “run down” of their training days. The girls have riding lessons every morning and ring lessons every after noon. They then practice games that will be performed at the show such as “ride a buck” where the riders hold a strip of paper between their leg and the horse. Whoever holds the paper the longest without letting it fall wins a ribbon! Not only is this game intensely thrilling, but Ashley informed me it also helps solidify the rider’s leg position on her horse. This is all interesting information, but I was curious as to how Ashley ensures her girls can have fun as well. “For them, training is fun!” said Ashley. She explained that horseback riding is their passion, so training isn’t something they necessarily have to do, but something they love to do.
So what other benefits are these girls getting besides boosting their “awesomeness” for their horseshow? According to the site “Horse Riding Adventures,” horseback riding improves blood circulation and respiration like any exercise does. However, the rider develops better balance and posture because they are constantly having to reposition with the movement of the horse. Also, being able to build that connection and bond, and to be able to control and communicate with such a large creature takes skill. Harnessing this skill can lead to improved self-esteem and confidence. Ashley recalls, “I remember being little, and the one place I could relax was with my horse.” Ashley also shared that her girls learn great responsibility in taking care of horses. There is a lot of work to be done, and Ashley sees her girls being empowered once they achieve this work.
Well, I can’t wait to see our empowered “horsey camp” girls riding in this weeks horseshow. After talking to rider, Cece, I am especially excited for the showmanship class. “I like making my pony pretty!” exclaimed Cece! After taking countless pictures of our riding camp girls with their horse companions, I can’t wait to see both horse and rider look astounding in this week’s horse show. So, go over the hill, through Junior Boys village, to the “Whoa” sign and I’ll see you there!