In order to give you an in-depth look at Frost Valley’s new Horse Trails program, Emily Gorman, Director of Equestrian Programs for Frost Valley, answered some questions parents and campers might have about the program.

1. Who is this program for? 

“Horse Trails is a co-ed program for anyone 13 years of age or older that wants to explore being in the wilderness, and who have ridden at Frost Valley before and are looking for something new or to take their equestrian skills to the next level. This is for campers who want to spend full days with their horses, exploring the wonders of nature, and sleeping out under the stars. It’s for individuals who are looking for an adventure!”

2. What prior riding experience is necessary for the program?  

“Riders should be confident at walk/trot and confident riding on rocky terrain. Ideally, campers will have two weeks of experience in any of Frost Valley’s horse programs or equivalent experience.” Campers are encouraged to call the Director to see if Horse Trails is a good fit for them. Call Emily Gorman at (845) 985-2291 ext. 240 or email her at egorman@frostvalley.org to set up a time to talk.

3. Is there an audition process?  

“No, there is no audition process, but if it’s possible to send photos or videos demonstrating the rider’s experience, that is helpful to our staff to make the assessment if Horse Trails is a good fit for a particular camper. Campers should be comfortable and confident riding over a variety of terrains, but they don’t need to be an expert rider either. We’ll have experienced, trained staff out on the trails with the campers. The safety of the campers is a priority.” 

4. What trails will the campers be trekking with their horses?  

“The campers will cover all the trails in the East Valley. Campers will spend the first night sleeping in lean-tos in the hay fields and four nights camping out at a new site each night as they trek all through the mountains. They will also trek over Wildcat Mountain, Red Hill, Ladleton, and Moon shadow in the West Valley.”

5. What equestrian skills will they learn during the program?

“Campers will learn advanced trail riding skills, including water crossings and riding over rocky and dense forest terrain. They will also learn how to correctly pack equipment on a horse utilizing equal weight distribution to maintain the comfort of the horse.”

6. What Leave No Trace Seven Principles© will they learn?  

“In order to create as little environmental impact as possible while on the trail or camping out, campers will learn the Leave No Trace Seven Principles© including: Plan Ahead and Prepare, Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, Dispose of Waste Properly, Leave What You Find, Minimize Campfire Impacts, Respect Wildlife, and Be Considerate of Other Visitors.” 

7. What kind of meals will the campers make on the trail? 

“Campers will learn outdoor cooking skills to make simple and delicious meals like pita pizzas, oatmeal for breakfast, and what campout would be complete without s’mores! The campers will also have plenty of snacks available while out on the trail.”

8. What other non-equestrian activities will the campers participate in?

 “In addition to equestrian activities, campers will enjoy many fun teambuilding games, bonding with their fellow campers while also learning about nature and developing leadership skills. They will participate in campfire cooking, pack it in and pack it out principles, hiking, and exploring. They will also learn how to use maps, use a compass, and assess topography in order to take an active role in planning their campsite each night.”

9. Is there anything else you’d like campers to know about Horse Trails? 

“I want campers to know that this is a true horse-lover’s adventure! Campers will spend their days exploring the pristine wilderness on horseback, spend their nights sitting around a campfire telling stories with their friends, and sleep under the stars. Along with their instructors, campers will take an active role in creating their own adventure!”

Interested campers should call Emily Gorman at (845) 985-2291 ext. 240 or email her at egorman@frostvalley.org to set up a time to talk to see if Horse Trails is a good fit for them.

 

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Frost Valley YMCA

About the Author

Frost Valley YMCA

Frost Valley YMCA is a 5,500-acre, year-round camp - There's something for everyone here in the Valley. From group and family retreats to sleepaway camps to horse camps to teambuilding, we've got you covered. School groups love taking a three-night field trip to explore the natural world and learn about the environment and their classmates. Family weekends are the perfect getaway for the young and the young at heart. Teambuilding retreats afford corporate, collegiate, religious, and other groups the opportunity to challenge themselves and effectively work toward common goals. In the summertime we're where kids and teens gain independence, explore the world, and make lifelong friends through various camps such as traditional sleepaway camp, farm camp, horse camp, adventure trips, Bear Grylls Survival camp, and day camp. Call (845)985-2291 or email info@frostvalley.org to learn more today!

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