Running a children’s horse riding camp may be an out-of-the-ordinary idea that can turn into a satisfying business for a horse lover.
This probably entails having children of roughly ages 9-16 attend day-long sessions for a period of time.
Public riding camps can be very valued in the community, since only so many exist. Here’s how to set one up.
1. Staff is a must
No one can run a riding camp alone. You will have a number of children all riding at once—perhaps eight or nine, perhaps fifteen. Not only will you need staff to help the campers through barrel courses and other games and riding, but you’ll probably need some help with greeting them each morning, checking them in, and leading them through varied activities. You may take a break from horse riding with non-horse-related games or entertainments. It’s important to have proper staff for this.
2. Learn safety and provide safety
If you are starting a children’s riding camp, you probably have ample experience with horses and with all entailed in riding them safely. But if you need to look into safety regulations and best practice, be sure to do so. This has to do, largely, with equipment, but also in the kinds of activities you’ll be offering, and any rules or procedures you’ll put in place.
Remember that people are trusting their children to you and they may wonder how safe your camp may be. It’s important for you, when advertising your camp, to emphasize that you are adhering to strict safety guidelines.
3. Carefully plan activities
Again, it is pretty important to be part of a local horse-riding community. Not only is this rather necessary for gaining attendees, but it also gives you a good sense of the abilities of the local riders, etc. It’s important to have a good sense of the kinds of riding you’ll have the campers do, what comes first, etc.
For example, early in the camp, you may wish to devote a day to safety, basic techniques, care of the horse, building a rapport with the horse, and other basics. After you’ve considered the activities that might be safe and appropriate, you’ll be able to set up a comprehensive schedule.
4. Get Attendees
Your camp is nothing without the campers to pay your expenses and bring in a profit. Having some connections in a horse community is rather important here. Not only does it allow word to get out, but it instills confidence in parents.
5. Communicate with parents
When organizing a group of children and having a camp that runs smoothly, it’s absolutely crucial to communicate clearly with parents. Before your first session in your first year, be sure to have social media pages, a web site, and even letters written to parents.
You should communicate, in addition to the times for each day of the camp, lunch procedures, anything you need children to bring, the necessity of reporting food allergies, etc. You may wish to set up a wiki or discussion board for back-and-forth communication. With so many people involved, some misunderstands may be inevitable, but it’s key to do your part to cut down on them.