1. Riding camp is a wonderful place to meet other horse-crazy kids. You're sure to make some horsey friends there. Make sure you exchange email addresses so you can keep in touch after camp is over.
2. You get to ride, ride, ride at camp. You'll spend tons of time in the saddle, and this will make you a better rider.
3. You may get to look after one horse as if he were your own. You'll develop a bond with the horse, and really get to know him inside and out.
4. Most camps offer horse management classes, so you can learn how to look after a horse properly. Knowing horse management skills will prepare you for owning your own horse in the future.
5. You may get to try a variety of horsey activities at camp that you've never done before. Try your hand at vaulting, driving, lunging, cross-country jumping or dressage.
6. If you're a responsible person and a good rider, when you become a teenager the camp may hire you as a junior counselor.
7. Depending on the camp, you may get to try non-horsey activities like swimming, hiking, sailing, tennis and archery. Some camps offer classes in singing, drama and art.
8. Many camps offer trail riding, which is especially cool if you're usually stuck riding around a ring at your stable back home.
9. Most riding camps hold horse shows so riders can compete and win ribbons. You'll get to groom your favorite horse until he shines, then compete against other campers who ride at your level.
10. You'll get to take lessons from someone other than your regular instructor. It's always interesting to be taught by someone new — and you just might learn something!
11. Some camps let you "adopt" one of their horses or ponies for the winter. You can take the pony home and treat it as your own for a few months. Unfortunately, you've got to give the pony back when summer rolls around again.
12. You may be able to go on an overnight camping trip with the camp's horses. You'll take along a tent or you may sleep in the open. Usually the horses are tethered or tied to a line while you snooze.
13. Even if you haven't ridden very much, you'll still have fun. Most camps place people in classes with people who ride at their same level. So, if you're just starting out, you won't be in the same class with someone who's jumping three feet.
14. If your mom is a horse nut too, she may be able to come to camp with you. Some camps offer mother/daughter or son camps. Both you and your mom would be in horsey heaven!
15. Bunking in a cabin with lots of other horsey people is tons of fun. You can talk about horses for hours and hours and no one will tell you to be quiet! And you can share your copies of Young Rider. The person taping the Young Rider posters on the wall will be the most popular kid in the cabin!