At Giddyup camp equine education is about more than simply getting on your horse. Throughout the week campers participate in many activities to teach them about horse behavior and psychology. They take on the role of friend and leader to their horse as they learn to demonstrate empathy and respect, communicate through body language, make decisions and become more confident.
Campers also take responsibility for all aspects of horse care. This includes grooming, saddling, feeding, bathing, and barn chores. They learn about the day-to-day responsibilities of running a working farm. Each age group is responsible for working together to complete specific daily chores.Of course there is still time to ride twice a day!
Our older and more independent campers participate in our equine leadership program, ‘Think Like a horse”. They are then encouraged to take on leadership tasks with the horses and the younger, less independent campers.
The GIDDYUP! horses are used year round in our therapeutic riding program. They are chosen for their calm, people-friendly personalities. Our ongoing, specialized training program is designed to teach them to react in a calm and controlled manner in all types of situations.
For those interested in smaller animals, the farm is also home to some other furry friends. When they aren't competing in professional tournaments, our highly trained dogs spend their summers working with kids. Campers can learn how to safely interact with dogs in a controlled environment, and learn basic dog training techniques. Those looking for a more intense experience can even learn how to work with them to navigate professional agility courses!
Life on a Farm
There are many other unique and rewarding farm activities that campers can choose to part in based on their interests! Campers can tend to the vegetable garden and adopt a plant of their own, help with the farm upkeep and learn basic carpentry skills, or help with daily chores such as sweeping and filling drinking buckets for the animals. There's always work to be done on a farm, teaching valuable skills, responsibility and the satisfaction of a job well done!
Time in Nature
GiddyUp Farm Camp isn't just limited to our 15 acres of grass fields. The farm backs on to the public York Region Forest, offering miles of hiking trails in beautiful forests and meadows. Campers can just relax with a scenic and peaceful hike, or learn basic outdoor navigational skills with a local map and compass to complete scavenger hunts.
Fun and Games
It's not all about responsibility though, we still have lots time for fun and games! We play a variety of fun outdoor games adapted to include all ages and ability levels. Past favourites include scavenger hunts, capture the flag, beach ball croquet, soccer and baseball.