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There is a lot more to know about horses than just learning to ride. Six students who attended the Youth Horse Camp in Lonsdale last week spent time getting to know the horses, how to care for them, and finally, how to ride them as part of the three days packed with activities. Organized and led by Dustin Freiheit at Capall Stables, the school-aged students washed, groomed, and had some fun getting to know their four-legged friends. One morning, they even painted the horses' manes in bright colors as a way to get used to being near the large animals.
Once a comfort level was established for those not used to being around the large animals, the students donned helmets and were taught how to approach and then mount and dismount. They also learned the cues and commands of walking, stopping, turning and trotting all while being led by an instructor using a lunge line. Two experienced students who show horses, practiced riding "saddle seat" and "hunt seat", different riding styles that are judged at shows.
No matter what their experience, the students said they had a lot of fun and can't wait to do it again.
"I like horses, and when my parents saw the camp advertised in the paper, they called. I'm glad they did," stated Claire Bleess, age 8, New Prague.