Ton-A-Wandah’s riding program has been built by strong, committed women over many, many years. Horseback riding has so many wonderful things to offer your camper. The confidence and self-assurance they build while working with horses is second to none. Our stables are a place where beginners can learn the basics and experienced riders can seek out new challenges.
Our program is based on a safe and correct instruction following Hunt Seat Equitation. We have based our classes on a level system ensuring that our students get the best out of their time at Camp TAW. Whether they have never been on a horse or are heavily competing at home, we have something for everyone. Our instructors are hand chosen based on experience and roles in their equestrian community. We love having a diverse staff because being able to provide a wide reange of instruction is important and (most importantly!) FUN for our students.
Each girl progresses at her own pace, and there is no pressure to advance beyond basic equestrian skills. However, we follow four levels of instruction and provide different opportunites in how to obtain these levels.
Four Levels of Instruction
Level One: All about the basics! This level is all about your daughter becoming comfortable with her horse. Learning to tack, lead, adjust her stirrups and tighten her girth. Once these have been learned, she will mount up and begin getting familiar with the aides. Being able to learn a correct seat, steady leg and soft hand from the beginning is key! She will be confident with steering, stopping and moving forward upon completion of this level. She will even have her first trot and begin to learn the post as well as half seat!
Level Two: This level is in place to allow your daughter the time to develop her trot seat. This level probably takes the longest to complete because we are asking our bodies to do some pretty hard stuff! Our students will learn all about their diagonals and become efficient walk trot riders. They will even be able to go on their first trail ride! Ending this level with the chance to have a nice canter. We will start talking about what to expect next and become comfortable with the different gaits of our horses!
Level Three: If level one was walking and level two was trotting… yep! You guessed it! Level three is all about the canter! This is a thrilling level for our girls because they get to really push themselves. So many things will be continuously worked on in this level. Soft seat, tall chest, shoulders back. She will gain confidence and grace without even knowing! We begin to add in jumps here as well!
Level Four: This is for students who compete at home or have ridden at camp consistently throughout the years and already possess the skill level to walk, trot, and canter. This is about perfecting our dressage and putting together complicated over fences courses.
Riding Opportunities at Camp
DAILY RIDING (Currently Full for all Sessions): The Daily Riding Program is designed for riders back at home who would like to continue expanding their skills while at camp. They will have two consecutive class periods daily that are dedicated to furthering their development as riders at camp. These campers are expected to be able to groom and tack up their horses. Daily riding is limited 12 campers per session. An additional fee of $400 to do daily riding is required.
ACTIVITY RIDERS: The Activity Riders are able to sign up for one activity period during camp. They will be placed in an appropriate class that match their skill level. They will ride/groom every other day for 50 minutes. Our Activity rider program is currently on the smaller side, so we ask that you ensure your camper really wants to learn and progress with her riding skills as space is limited (50 per session).
EXPERIENCE RIDERS: The Experience Riders will have the opportunity to visit the barn and ride a horse. We will have one activity period daily for any camper to sign up and just experience horseback riding. This is a perfect solution for your camper if she is unsure about committing to a class period for the whole session. There will be ten spots available daily, so if space is available, your camper will be able to sign up multiple times if she chooses.
HORSEMANSHIP: This class is designed for our campers who love to care for these beautiful animals. Campers will learn how to properly groom and tend to our horses. They get the opportunity to learn about the anatomy of the horses, parts of the tack, how to care and maintain the horses while also focusing on common illnesses and how to detect, treat and prevent them. This class if packed with fun activities and tons of hands on experience with the horse at Camp TAW! These classes will be offered all day long, during all activity periods.