16 Memories of a Horse Camp Counselor

Anyone who has worked at a summer horse camp will relate to these moments.

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Horse-related summer jobs funded what I wanted to do more than anything: ride more horses. I’ve worked as a helper at a horse day camp, a counselor at a sleep-away horse camp and as a camp wrangler. I loved every single second of my horsey summer jobs, and I will never forget the memories.

I often go back to my photo albums (before Instagram hashtags could organize my photos) and reminisce on my summer fun. Not only did I get to spend hours upon hours with horses, but I also got to teach kiddos about horses. It was wonderful, and even hilarious at times. Some of the things I often remember include:

  1. Waking up at 4:30 a.m. to push the horses back in to the paddock. So early, but so worth it.
  2. Watching the sunrise since I was up at 4:30 a.m.
  3. Living above the barn. Dream come true.
    Living above the barn
  4. Helping a little camper sit in the saddle for the first time, take hold of the reins, take a deep breath and smile.
  5. Reminding campers to not run around the horses – contain the excitement! Safety first when in the barn yard.
  6. Consoling a crying (but thankfully not injured) camper because the horse tossed her off
  7. Consoling a crying (but still not injured) camper because her horse looked at her funny
  8. Cheering students on while they played games on horseback.

    Summer horse camp
    Photo courtesy Camp Waldemar

  9. Singing songs like “Wheels on the Bus” while leading campers on a trail ride
  10. Listening to the campers talk about what the horses “think” of their riders. (And giggling because I do the exact same thing, even though I’m an “adult”)
  11. Sporting an absolutely fantastic tan … on my arms only.
    Summer horse camp counselor
  12. Recognizing other horsey counselors at counselor training day because they too had very tan arms … and very not tan legs.
  13. Receiving a James Avery stirrup charm from one of my campers as a gift. I still wear it – it means so much to me.
  14. Watching campers proudly teach each other new things – like how to properly tie a quick-release knot
  15. Pushing horses back out into pasture for the night. Pure elegance and beauty.
    Summer camp horses
  16. Knowing I’d never have another summer like the one I was having – every summer, every camper, every horse and every memory was special.

What about you? What summer jobs and horsey experiences bring a smile to your face when you think back on them?

Liked this article? Here are others you’ll enjoy:
Summer Jobs with Horses
Rider Insider: Summer Memories

5 COMMENTS

  1. Trotting (on foot) next to a trotting horse to help the last kid in the group to finally learn how to post. HUZZAH!

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