Horseback Riding Lessons
Each riding camper will attend two periods of Horseback Riding Lessons per day, as well as one session of on-the-ground Horsemanship and one period of Barn Management, for a total of four hours of horse riding and care instruction.
Campers are paired with horses based on ability and personality. Each camper will ride several different horses while at camp, interacting with a variety of equine personalities while building confidence and versatility as a rider.
A typical camp day includes one formal arena lesson and one informal lesson that may involve trail riding, bareback riding, or games on horseback.
Beginner riders will focus on basic position, safety skills, and the fundamentals of hunt seat riding. More advanced riders will improve their equitation skills on the flat and over jumps while also enjoying specialized lessons catering to their areas of interest. Horsemanship will provide campers with instruction in showmanship and horse training. Girls will have the chance to learn how to lunge, how to prepare for horse shows, and how to set hunter and jumper courses. In Barn Management, your camper will learn the basics of equine nutrition and feeding. Girls will also receive hands-on instruction in equine first aid, and will learn how to bandage legs, take temperatures, and recognize signs of colic and other common maladies. Throughout the session, campers will participate in Special Activities such as horse shows, gymkhanas, demonstrations and a 3-day event. Each session will culminate in an exhibition ride for parents on the last day of camp.
Equestrian activities will take place at Bryn Mawr Farms, an upscale 50 acre full-service riding facility. The property includes 30 stalls, three wash stalls with hot and cold water, a large tack room, and several paddocks for turnout. Bryn Mawr farms also boasts an on-site nurse and examination room.
The facilities at Bryn Mawr Farms include three outdoor arenas, as well as a spacious indoor arena. Each of the outdoor arenas is larger than 100x150, providing plenty of room to work a dressage test, host a hunter/jumper show class, or hold two simultaneous group lessons of three to four students. The indoor arena is over 10,000 square feet in size, allowing it to hold a full course of jumps. It is the perfect spot for working on jumping gymnastics or equitation on days when the weather is less than ideal. Bryn Mawr Farms also has several fields equipped with cross-country jumps for riders that are interested in eventing.
In addition, there is a 12 stall barn on Bryn Mawr’s main camps, where the facilities include 3 outdoor riding arenas as well as acres of winding trails.
Bryn Mawr Riding Camp has developed a relationship with the University of Findlay and Centenary University, two of the most well-known equestrian schools in the United States. Horses that compete during the year as part of Findlay's IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) and IDA (Intercollegiate Dressage Association) programs spend their summers at Bryn Mawr Farms, helping campers reach their riding goals. These horses all have extensive backgrounds in hunters, jumpers, dressage, and/or eventing. They include Thoroughbreds, Warmbloods, Quarter Horses, Paints, and Welsh pony crosses.
The Riding Director at Bryn Mawr Riding Camp and the coaches of Findlay and Centenary’s equestrian programs work together to select the very best horses to come to Bryn Mawr. These horses are chosen based on skill set, show experience, and temperament. They range from Hunt Seat veterans and schoolmasters, perfect for beginner riders, to advanced dressage, hunter and jumpers horses suitable for teaching upper level riders the intricacies of the discipline.
For the summer of 2019, Bryn Mawr Riding Camp will be receiving a total of 40 horses.
Along with four periods a day of riding/horse care and one period of traditional camp activity, campers at Bryn Mawr Horseback Riding Camp have the opportunity to participate in a variety of special events. Some of these events will be horse related, while others will be traditional camp activities. Special Events often happen during “Evening Activity” time, but occasionally are integrated into the camp day. Below are a listing of some of the Special Events that your daughter might participate in:
Horse Related Special Events
Gymkhana: Games on horseback. Riders are broken into teams and participate in games such as keyhole, cupcake relay, flag race, egg and spoon, and musical horses.
Horse Show: Riders compete against other Riding Camp campers in a variety of divisions. Each division (from beginner to advanced) consists of equitation on the flat, as well as two over fences classes. “Fences” range from a course of cavaletti poles to a full 3' hunter course.
Equine Beauty Contest: Riders break off into groups of two or three to “beautify” their favorite horse with paint, beads, ribbons, feathers, etc. They create a new name and story for their decorated steed, which they share during the beauty parade.
Horseless Horse Show: Campers sign up for horse-show divisions with just one catch: there won't be any horses involved! Rather, campers will walk, trot, canter and jump themselves through several classes. Judges will score campers as if it was a “real” horse show, looking for correct leads at the canter, finding spots over jumps, etc.
Traditional Special Events
Camp Fire: Campers put on warm clothes before heading down to a campfire. While there, girls sing songs, tells stories, watch skits, and eat s'mores.
Rock Star Camp: Girls choose a popular song and practice singing it with a live band! The event cumulates in a “rock concert,” where girls perform on stage for the camp community.
Movie Nights: Campers get in their PJs and grab their stuffed animals and pillows, then head to the dance studio. Once there, they munch on various snacks while watching a movie on the big screen. Because this is Horse Camp, the video tends to be horse themed – favorites include Secretariat, Seabiscuit, Dreamer, and Black Beauty.
Pool Party: Campers will have the opportunity to cool off with a swim after a hot day of riding. They will have a great time while playing games and listening to music at the pool.
Cabin life is one of the most important aspects of a great camp experience, and our counselors are pros at helping each and every camper feel right at home.
Our Riding Cabin is home base for campers during their stay at Bryn Mawr. Cozy, comfortable, and completely modern, the Riding Cabin features four separate rooms as well as its own bathrooms and private showers.
Campers are grouped into rooms with other girls close in age and supervised at all times by our friendly, caring staff.
Bryn Mawr Horse Camp Staff
Our leadership staff is comprised of Horseback Riding Instructors who have years of experience preparing students to successfully compete in hunter/jumper, dressage and combined riding events. Bryn Mawr Equestrian Instructors are qualified to teach students of all abilities and levels of expertise, from first-time riders to A-circuit regulars. Every riding instructor at Bryn Mawr attends a two week training session prior to start of camp, insuring that all instructors are using the same vocabulary and are knowledgeable of each horse and all safety protocols.
Additionally, Bryn Mawr staff are trained to help campers adjust to camp life. Your camper will always be able to count on having a trusted counselor nearby to answer her questions, tell her a joke, or help her make a friend. Camper safety - both physical and emotional - is our staff's top priority. Counselors live and sleep in the bunks, ensuring that campers are supervised at all times, day and night.
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Emily Vasas, Director
Emily, our certified CHA level 4 English riding instructor, has been part of the Bryn Mawr Riding Program since 2011. She spent two years as a riding instructor and cabin counselor, prior to being promoted to the Leadership Team in 2013. Emily teaches all levels, from the beginner to the more advanced rider, and has an excellent understanding of the emotional needs of girls. An integral part of Emily's job is scheduling, where she matches campers to a horse and an instructor, allowing them to reach their full potential during lessons. Emily lives at Bryn Mawr Farms year round, and is actively involved in staff hiring and training. Emily has been riding in the English hunter/jumper community for over 15 years. Additionally, she brings experience in event riding, dressage, and cross country. Growing up outside of Annapolis, Maryland, she showed in the Maryland Saddle Association and the Maryland Horse Show Association. She was also a member of the National Capitol Equitation League, serving as team captain and high point rider. Emily graduated from VIrginia Intermont College with a B.S. in Equine Studies. She actively competed with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association as well as the Intercollegiate Dressage Association.
We guarantee even the pickiest eater will enjoy mealtime at Bryn Mawr! To fuel campers for the long camp day, we serve three healthy meals every day in our sunny, air-conditioned dining hall, as well as afternoon and evening snacks. Our chefs, who are skilled at keeping campers both happy and healthy, serve fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal. We will do our best to meet special dietary needs.
Q: What is the background of a typical Riding Staff member?
A: Bryn Mawr Riding Staff come from colleges around the country. Riding Staff members typically ride on collegiate teams and/or are majoring in an agricultural or equine related field. Staff members have extensive experience in English riding, particularly hunt seat equitation, hunters, show jumping, dressage, and eventing.
Q: What riding disciplines are taught at Bryn Mawr?
A: At Bryn Mawr Riding Camp, we focus on hunter/jumper riding. Riders of all levels will work on equitation, building their balance, strength, and confidence. We also teach fundamentals in specialized areas of interest, such as jumpers, dressage, or eventing.
Q: What riding level is the typical Bryn Mawr camper?
A: There is no “typical” riding level for a Bryn Mawr rider. Riders range from girls who are just learning to trot independently to girls who have been competing over fences for years. Our program's format, along with our expansive facilities, allow us to accommodate a wide array of levels.
Q: Should campers bring their own saddles/bridles/etc?
A: While campers often have their own saddles, bridles, grooming equipment, and tack trunks, we do not advise them to bring these things to camp. Each horse has its own specially fitted saddle and bridle that we prefer them to go in during lessons. Each horse also has its own boots, grooming materials, and saddle pads. Further, things like grooming equipment and polo wraps are easily lost.
Q: What should campers bring to ride in?
A: Campers should bring several pairs of long pants to ride in. Riders might prefer to bring breeches or riding tights, or they might prefer jeans. Either is acceptable. Riders should also bring riding boots – either tall boots or paddock boots. Riders can bring helmets, though Bryn Mawr does provide helmets for those riders who do not have them. Campers can also choose to bring riding gloves, half chaps, and/or full chaps.
Bryn Mawr Horseback Riding Camp offers a 10 day or two week summer camp session for girls in grades 6th-10th. Sleepaway Riding camp sessions begin June 9th and end August 8th in 2019.
For more information contact us today or call us toll-free at (888) 526-2267.
Enroll Online for 2019
Since 1921, Lake Bryn Mawr Camp has been a home away from home to generations of campers. Register your equestrian today for a summer camp experience sure to create memories and friendships that last a lifetime.