Horse Day Camp Debut Large Success


EMBRACE’s first horse day camp fundraiser began with a whirlwind of excitement and sunny skies. The freshly dragged arena demanded fresh hoofprints, and the group of joyfully anxious girls in glittery t-shirts and their horses were eager to oblige. The air was full of the delightful aroma of horse manure, organic bug spray, wet sand, candy and sunshine.

Nine girls between the ages of seven and eleven came together with two common purposes: Jesus and horses. Unlike most horse camps, EMBRACE decided to do their debut camp more like an equine vacation Bible school. What did that look like exactly?

For one, “We pray before we play, and we pray before we send them on their way,” said Colleen Ripatti, one of the lead horsemanship instructors for EMBRACE. Before any bit of instruction was given to the girls they dedicated the camp to Jesus Christ. Before the girls went home for the day, they thanked Jesus for keeping everyone safe and for the fun. A character trait, based on a Bible story, was emphasized throughout each day of the camp.

Everything the girls did, from groundwork to horsemanship, to the craft, to a trail challenge, they were reminded of and encouraged to demonstrate the trait they were learning about that day. The story of David and Goliath demonstrated strength and courage, the story of the apostle Paul’s conversion illustrated trustworthiness, and the story of Esther impressed upon the girls the power of gentleness. As the camp progressed, every girl grew in each of these character strengths as they worked with their horses, and each other.

“It was like a 3-day EMBRACE session,” said Renae Buck, another lead horsemanship instructor. “It was awesome!” Girls who had never been off of a lead line were independently riding their horses through complex trail challenges by the end of the 3-day day camp. EMBRACE is hosting another Day Camp for teenagers, boys and girls, ages 12-18 for any who are interested.

The camp will take place July 24th, 25th & 26th. In a similar format, participants will learn groundwork, horsemanship, trail and do a Bible study and age-appropriate craft. Visit our website for more information about horse camp and how you can sign up!

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