Horses Focus Camp
Horses! Ages 10-15
This is the horse lover's dream... Riders spend at least half day every day on horseback. The other half of each day fills with other horse experiences and learning more about horses, building relationships with the animals, caring for them and working with them from the ground up. Days round out with ropes course challenges and choices from all the other activities.
The Horses... The Colorado Mountain Ranch horses are well-trained, have good dispositions and like people. They are strong and steady, come in all colors and sizes, and are kept shod for our rocky terrain. Our horses belong to us, so each horse is like family - old friends with us year after year. The local mountain country is wide open for exploring the pine and aspen forests and wildflower meadows in "Old West" style. At The Colorado Mountain Ranch, folks can still just "get out and ride."
Gentle Approach... Mike Walker has directed the Western Riding programs at The Colorado Mountain Ranch for over 35 years. His gentle, natural approach emphasizes communication, respect, balance and enjoyment. Riding time includes coaching on individual skill development, games on horses, obstacle courses, trail rides, practice riding the various gates and speeds, and supervised "free-riding" off trails. Other horse people refer to Mike as "the best horseman" they know. One of Mike's special gifts is sharing his horsemanship abilities with the campers.
Ground work... includes animal training, routine health care, grooming and daily maintenance of riding horses, draft horses, goats, burros and mules. Become competent in bridling, saddling, catching and leading horses.
"Equus"... (Means "Horse" in Latin) Sit around at the barn and share interesting facts about horses. Learn about breeds, colors and conformation of horses.
Ride Like the Wind!... Riders gain confidence with riding each gate progressively, starting with the walk, then the trot, then the canter. Each rider canters his or her horse on a designated stretch of trail or road one at a time, for safety and to receive individualized pointers.
Longer Rides ... For Horse Focus campers, horse back ride time extends from the very beginning of the camp day for those with the morning ride to the very end of the day for those with the afternoon ride. When rides are scheduled for a ride group, those campers do not participate in the daily morning or afternoon gatherings for flag-raising and flag-lowering, songs and sharing. Instead, they ride!
Unique Program... Horse! Focus Camp is the only program of its kind in the Boulder area. Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.
Previous experience with some independent riding is necessary to participate in the Horse! Focus Program. Campers must feel ready to walk, trot and canter.
Please note: As in all our programs for children, our goal is for each child to succeed and to have a positive camp experience which feels good. Choosing the best program for a particular child can sometimes be a challenge. Horse Focus is an intensive program for riders with experience and desire to "really get out and ride." In our style of Western riding, reining is generally lighter and less controlling, especially when compared to English style. Questions to ask before registering for Horse Focus: Is your child ready for a mental partnering with the horse? Is he/she able and determined to be alert to communicating closely with the horse?
General Criteria for Horse Focus
1.) Some independent horse experience riding on his/her own
2.) Focus - Must attend to directions and pointers
3.) Tenacity and strength – especially in the arms for turning and pulling up a horse with a strong head
4.) Confidence in riding ability – no hesitation to trot during open range riding
If there is a safety concern or if it is in your child's and/or the group’s best interest, we might ask your child to do trail rides with the Mountain Adventure groups so he/she can gain riding experience and become more comfortable while riding.