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Ranch Camp FAQ

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What kind of barn chores will campers participate in?

Each day campers will groom the horse they will ride for the day, learn how to tack up a horse (put a saddle and bridle on), clean up the yard and barn area, feed the horses, roll hay bales and clean and maintain the tack. Every camper, including both full and half day, is expected to help in all areas, and the work definitely goes quicker when everyone pitches in! 

Where can I get riding boots, breeches or riding tights for my camper?

There are many online stores and local tack shops that sell riding apparel. If you prefer to shop online, you can use, and choose to support the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges (our association) as your charity. A portion of your purchase will support our Annual Support Campaign and help send kids to camp! On Rt. 206 in Andover Township, there is a store called Outlaw Outfitters where many of our staff and campers shop.

What kind of horses do campers ride?

Our campers ride school horses, typically Quarter Horse cross horses. Our horses are leased from a farm in NY, and are all evaluated by our Ranch staff. Most of our horses return to camp year after year, which allows us to get to know them even better. 

Should campers bring their own saddles/bridles/etc?

While campers often have their own saddles, bridles, shin boots, 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 use 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.

What riding level is the typical camper?

There is no "typical" riding level for a Ranchie. Many of our campers are very green (new to horses), but we also have seasoned riders who take lessons at their home barns all year long! Campers will complete a riding assessment at the beginning of their session and will be placed in an appropriate lesson group.

How much daily riding will my camper participate in?

Full day campers should expect to ride for at least three hours a day, including ring lessons and trail rides. Half day campers should expect to ride every other day, for about an hour.

What riding disciplines are taught at Ranch Camp?

For brand-new riders, we typically start with Western, which is a more relaxed riding style. This allows campers to become accustomed to how a horse moves and feels, work on their balance, and helps them become confident on horseback. As their riding progresses, they will learn English style riding. Proficient riders will also take lessons in jumping and advanced horse care.

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