April 02, 2009 | | Comments 0

Summer Riding Camp – Maryland

Written By: Lauren Prater

Talbot Run Equestrian Center in Mount Airy, Maryland will be offering summer camp again this year for children and teenagers, from ages 5 to 16. The camp will consist of formal instruction, leisurely trail rides, and informative classes.

Talbot Run is a family owned and operated stable. Ann and Bob became interested in horses after their daughter, Robin, began riding at the age of 6. Four years ago, the family bought the stable which is equipped with a 30 stall barn, and both indoor and outdoor riding arenas.  They now offer lessons, boarding, and training as well as summer camps.

Talbot Run Summer Riding Camp

Talbot Run Summer Riding Camp

When asked what inspired the Petraseks to offer this summer camp, Ann replied “we started it as a part of our instructional program to give the kids more opportunities to learn horsemanship.” Their endeavour has proved fruitful, as many of the regular lesson students attend this yearly camp along with several newcomers.

Campers will be given two riding lessons each day of the week-long session. Students will have a chance to ride several of the stable’s Mount Airy lesson horses, which include Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Shetland and Welsh ponies. Working with different horses will give the campers a broader range of experience, as opposed to becoming accustomed to the habits of only one horse. For lessons, campers will always be matched with a horse appropriate for their experience and likewise split into groups according to ability level. The emphasis is mostly on English riding, but Western is used for trail rides and barrel racing. The riding will not be confined to the lesson arena, as all campers will be given the opportunity to go trail riding through Talbot Run’s 147 acres. At the end of every week, a presentation will be held to display skills the students have learned.

When they are not riding campers will be learning how to care for their horse, braiding techniques, the horse’s anatomy, and the various breeds. Ann Petrasek, owner and director of Talbot Run, says “Our camp focuses specifically on horsemanship skills” both in and out of the saddle. It will be a “hands-on” experience for the campers, as they will groom, bathe, and saddle their own horses.  Arts and crafts are always horse-related as well, which vary from horseshoes decorated with pictures, painted ponies, to braided brow bands.

A regular session will be held every week, which is perfect for beginners who have spent little to no time in the saddle. For students with more experience, specialty camps will be offered. These will include eventing,  jumping, dressage, trail riding, and show team competition. Their unmounted classes will also be more advanced, covering topics such as advanced braiding (perfect for show competitors), how to condition themselves and their horses for cross country courses, and how to care for their tack. Students will also design jump courses and create their own routines for musical dressage.

Ann Petrasek and the instructors make it a point to emphasize safety around the horses, and riding helmets are provided for all students. The camp’s riding instructors are certified through the United States Pony Club, and the Certified Horsemanship Association. Many of the other staff members and helpers either took lessons at Talbot Run, or have been campers themselves.

Whether your child is just learning to post at the trot or is perfecting their subtle movements in the art of dressage, Talbot Run Equestrian Center can cater to and develop his or her skills. This is a great opportunity to break into the field of horseback riding, as campers will learn how to work with horses both in the saddle and on the ground. Experienced riders will be challenged by qualified instructors in their preferred field.  Talbot Run’s summer camp exposes campers to all aspects of equitation, teaching students not only how to ride well but also providing them with a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the sport.

Each day’s session lasts from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with extended care available from 8 to 5 for an additional charge. The maximum is 15 campers per session.

For more information, please call 410-635-3842 or visit Talbot Run.

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