August 2019 - Area VI Young Rider Camp


Education, friendships, morale building and fun highlight camp at Twin Rivers Ranch.

by Bruce Hill

When you attend Young Rider Camp you are guaranteed to have a great time. There is lots of fun to be had as you learn from different coaches, make new friends and grow old friendships throughout the week. Being around your horse, friends and great mentors all week is a great opportunity to learn in a fun, supportive environment. In my opinion, you just can’t go wrong with a week spent at Young Riders Camp.

My experience at Young Rider Camp, in late June at Twin Rivers Ranch, was excellent. I had the opportunity to learn so much in such a short time thanks to the awesome coaching and grooming clinics. We each had a private dressage lesson on day one. Then over the next two days we had group cross-country and show jumping lessons. We had use of the whole cross-country course and the coaches set some challenging show jumping exercises. Each day we also had grooming clinics covering topics such as using studs, the vet box and turnouts for jogs.

Thanks to the grooming clinics I can finally braid my horse independently!

Sunday ended with a practice jog with properly turned out horses. It’s always helpful to have a chance to be coached by various coaches both on and off a horse as you are able to hear information in different ways and learn new skills.

I especially enjoyed seeing all the new younger riders at camp who are just coming into the sport. I have always appreciated watching older riders and learning from them. This year at camp it was encouraging to the upper level riders to see the younger riders coming in and really wanting to learn and grow as riders themselves. We are going to have strong Area VI teams, from Training through 3*, for years to come!

My favorite part from camp, besides the riding, was all the new friends I made that will continue to grow. In this sport a lot of our engagement doesn’t just come from our coach and our parents, it also comes from all the teammates and friends you have.

Young Riders camp gives you the opportunity to make lasting friendships in this sport. In addition to the morale it builds, you have the chance to learn so much from all the coaches. Even if you aren’t the one riding, you can simply go out and listen to the coaches’ instruction. It’s truly a week filled with engagement, learning, and friendship.

I loved my time at camp! Thank you to all the people that help make camp happen every year for all of our Young Riders. It is truly an excellent learning experience. Thank you to the moms who worked behind the scenes to provide good meals and fun evening activities. A huge thank you to all the coaches who made time for camp: Bec Braitling, Andrea Baxter, Shannon Lilley, Bea DiGrazia, Alyssa Dobrotin and Teresa Harcourt. Last but not least we all owe a huge thank you to the Baxter family at Twin Rivers Ranch for hosting all of us at camp.

Author Bruce Hill is a student of Jennifer Wooten at Trinity Eventing in Buellton and is an accomplished 2* competitor with Cortina. His sister Katherine also competes and the Hill family members are active volunteers on the West Coast circuit.