Whether the long term goal is English or Western riding, every good rider needs to develop a solid foundation.
This begins at DJ Ranch, where we focus on beginners and have done for 15 years.
Students will learn the basics of horsemanship from the ground up including:
- horse care & management
- theory of breeds, colours, markings, equipment, and more
- horse behaviour
- horse body language
- and of course riding!
All in a fun and safe environment!
What makes DJ Ranch different?
Horses have an incredibly therapeutic ability to increase happiness, confidence, and compassion; plus the skills and knowledge that they come away with is something that you simply can’t put a price tag on.
What makes the summer day camps at DJ Ranch different from many others?
We keep our weekly groups small, to allow more personalized attention and direction, while still giving kids the opportunity to form bonds and friendships with other kids.
We focus on a Horsemanship Foundation – kids don’t arrive to pre-saddled horses and plod away in endless circles with the constant direction of “toes up, heels down”.
Instead, our kids learn to observe horse behaviour; they learn the importance of care and maintenance of both horse and equipment; they learn first aid; they learn about breeds, colouring, and parts of equipment; they learn to ride bareback allowing them to master the feel of a horse and the importance of balance; they learn the proper use of equipment; and they learn how to “read” and “listen” to their horse.
All of which is conducted in a safe and controlled environment.
2018 Summer Day Camp Schedule, Cost, and Requirements
Our weekly day camps run from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday with our special show at 2:00 pm on Friday
Week 1: July 9th to 13th (only 2 spots left)
Week 2: July 23rd to 27th (FULL)
Week 3: August 6th to 10th
Week 4: August 20th to 24th
Cost: $400+gst per child per week
There are no additional charges. All material is included and the fee includes the use of one of our horses. Kids are asked to bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink.
Non-refundable $75 deposit required at time of booking to hold placing.
Refundable for medical or emergency reasons only.
Our horse summer camps are day camps and are open for children 7 years old and up. If you have a younger child that you would like to get involved with horses, contact us and we can see if any of our other programs would be appropriate.
We keep our camps limited in numbers with only 6 to 8 participants per week. For some activities all students will be working together, for others they will be divided into groups.
What to expect at a week of camp
Our Summer Day Camps are a FUN and Educational choice for your children for the summer!
We are very excited about our camps and have many activities planned for the kids.
There’s never a dull moment on a working horse ranch and our campers will experience life as we know it. There will be morning chores making sure the horse troughs are full, paddock horses are fed and our herd of over thirty horses are safe and happy. As we move through these chores, campers, who may either watch or help, will learn to identify breeds, colours and markings. They will get to know the horses’ body language and what it means – how it interacts in a herd. They’ll be taught how much a horse/pony/miniature horse weighs and how much it should be eating and drinking to stay healthy; whether it needs supplements or not and why. We’ll chat about our special Suffield Mustang horses and how their history and natural instincts help them.
During our time getting the horses ready for riding we learn how to approach, catch, halter, lead, tie-up and groom our horse. Our riding sessions are based on the foundation principles of understanding how a horse moves, the correct mounting, sitting and dismounting methods, control and manoeuvrability. We start our campers riding bareback in our arena because this helps them feel the movements of the horse and most importantly it teaches the rider balance.
There will be at least two riding sessions every day. Beyond that the amount of riding and other material covered will completely depend on the ages, skill levels and comprehension levels of the students registered. As with everything we do at DJ Ranch, our primary goal is to learn through fun.
Vaccinations, de-worming, foot care, grooming equipment and products, halters, bridles and saddles will all be discussed and explained in a hands-on manner. All animals are a law unto themselves and as things arise during the week they will be explained, discussed and dealt with so that our campers will leave their week at camp fully aware that there is a lot more to being a horse owner than getting up on an already tacked-up horse and riding around an arena.
There may also be visits from other horse specialists – in the past we have had vets, farriers, equine: chiropractors and first aid instructors visit us.
We foster a fun environment with some times away from the horses allocated for playing with our goats, dogs, cats, running through the sprinkler, games of tag, etc.
On Friday afternoons, family and friends are invited to join us for a fun demonstration of what our campers have learned during the week.
At DJ Ranch we specialize in giving kids aged from 7 to 17 a fun, safe and educational horsemanship week!
When attending a horse summer camp kids should be well equipped for all types of weather. Dressing in layers is usually the best policy. But they should be bringing:
- Shorts to change into on hot days
- A light, short sleeve shirt
- A long sleeve sweater
- A jacket (preferably water proof)
- Footwear suitable for riding (something with a small heel)
- Hat for shade
- Riding Helmet, mandatory (we do have a selection that can be borrowed)
- (a bike or hockey helmet works too)
- Change of clothes & towel for sprinkler activities (weather permitting)
- Water Bottle
- Packed Lunch
- Morning and Afternoon Snacks
- We have both indoor and outdoor facilities and will utilize them based on the weather.
Each horse summer camp typically fills up very quickly, so we recommend that you book your spot as soon as possible.
Diving even deeper
For more details on the educational content of our horse summer camp please keep reading . . .
A FUN and Educational choice for your children for the summer!
Examples of areas of Horsemanship to be covered may include:
- Anatomy and conformation
- Breeds, colours and markings
- Measuring height and weight
- How to tell a horses age
- Bits and bridles
- Saddles and saddle pads
- Cleaning and storing your tack
- Types of stabling
- Mucking out a stall
- Feed, bedding and supplements
- Turnout and grooming
- Calling in a vet
- First aid
- Common injuries
- Worming and vaccinations
- Riding position and balance
- Learning the aids
- Mounting, dismounting, falling off and emergency dismounts
- Riding arena etiquette
- How to properly catch and safely handle a horse
- Groundwork – Exercises for people and for horses
- Walk, trot and halt
- Patterns and games
The degree of coverage in any of the above areas will be directly dependent upon the age of the students enrolled. The number of different areas covered will depend on the current level of knowledge each student possesses and the rate at which they are able to learn the material presented to them.
At DJ Ranch we focus on Horsemanship and everything that goes with it. It is necessary for students to have a clear understanding of each topic before proceeding to the next in order for them to gain true horsemanship skills and eventually mastery. We believe in building a strong foundation and expanding on it, as each student is ready to progress. Each student will be allowed to progress at their own pace, never being held back by another student or pushed forward beyond their level of comfort. If a student is having difficulty with a particular concept they will receive one-on-one assistance to help them through it.
To print out the registration forms please click on the link below. If you are unable to view this document, please call us and we will forward a package to you. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us either by phone at 403-819-0929 or by Email.