Summer Camp Fun at Last Chance Ranch!

Many of us fondly reflect on summer camp and as adults, it may have even been a formative part of our lives!  It is a place that children can not only have fun but learn about themselves, other people, and the world around them.  Last Chance Ranch offers a unique summer camp experience for 9 weeks this summer!  These weeks are divided up between horse camp and rescue camp.

For horse camp, it is just like the name says, it is all about horses!  The weeks are split up this year based on age and riding ability. The beginners have two weeks separate from the intermediate riders (those who can walk/trot independently).  Each day the campers get a 45 minute to an hour-long group lesson.  Each day at camp is a different theme for the riding portion! For example, one of the days will be a games day, so the kids can play games on horseback! Some of the fun games include egg and spoon, dollar bareback, red light – green light, barrel racing and more!

 

The final day (which is Friday), is a horse show day. This is where we invite the family members of the campers to come and watch the kids demonstrate the skills they have been working on all week. Each kid makes their own course and can decorate their horse for the show.  When not on the horses, the kids get to do other activities that are geared towards equines. They learn that it is not all about riding and horses are a lot to care for! The care they get to participate in includes mucking out stalls and dry lot areas, scrubbing water buckets/troughs, feeding hay and grain, etc. The campers also get the opportunity to watch the farrier (hoof trimming/shoeing), dentist and veterinarian, as all of those are involved in the care of horses. But it is not all hard work during camp! The campers do other fun activities such as scavenger hunts, water games (especially on those 100-degree days), giving the horses baths, crafts and more!

For rescue camp, every day involves a different animal. The kids get to learn about dogs/cats, small animals (such as rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, etc.), but also have a day or two to learn about horses as well. For the horse day(s), the kids get a basic introduction into horses and a group riding lesson. They will all learn how to halter/lead a horse, how to catch one in the field, groom and bathe a horse along with how to tack up before riding.  The benefits of summer camp and learning about animals are endless and can influence children for a lifetime.  Is your child excited to experience the joy of summer camp with horses or animals?

To sign up your child for camp,  go to our program page on the Last Chance Ranch Website:

Programs

Posted:  May 12, 2021, by Jill Roggio

Minions at Last Chance Ranch?!?!

We all know and love the “Minions”, those fictional characters that appear in the Despicable Me franchise, but did you know that Last Chance Ranch (LCR) has their own “Minions”?

The fondly called “Minions” are teenagers that are current lesson students at LCR.  They came to Marie’s rescue one Saturday when she did not have an assistant and back-to-back lessons were scheduled all day!  Marie manages the horseback riding lesson program at LCR.  Check out our last blog to meet the amazing horses who are part of her lesson program.

Since that day, the minions help Marie get the lesson horses to/from the fields, get them ready for lessons, give birthday party pony rides (which are temporarily discontinued due to COVID) and assist with summer camp activities.  They also school (this means to exercise/train) some of the adoptable horses.  Even when there is not a lot to do, they will still hang around the barn after school, ready to assist with any project or horse that needs attention.

Why do the minions volunteer and love to be part of this special group?

Here are a few of their responses and pictures of them in action!

“I enjoy coming to LCR, learning about new horses and their abilities as this teaches me how to become a better rider with experiencing all the new/different situations.”

“I love being a minion as it has given me a good start to working with horses!”

“I love working with all the animals and have learned so much here!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also a small group of adult volunteers who dedicate a couple of hours each week to help Marie work with the adoptable horses.  When someone wants to volunteer to ride, they have an evaluation ride on one of the lesson horses, so their abilities can best be matched to the appropriate horse(s).  Marie wants the volunteer riders to feel safe and never wants them to work with a horse that they are uncomfortable with.  It is not always riding that needs to be done, as some days, certain horses need to be groomed and lunged, or assistance is needed with an adoption appointment, etc.

Without volunteers, Marie would not be able to accomplish all the things that need to be done with the horses and the lesson program.  As with all the volunteers at Last Chance Ranch, they are very appreciated!  LCR could not be what we are today without our volunteers and friends!

Posted:  April 6, 2021, by Jill Roggio

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