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Natural Awakenings New York City

Frost Valley YMCA Horse Camp

Feb 16, 2013 06:45AM

Giving Girls a New Vantage Point: Empowerment

At Frost Valley YMCA, located in the Catskill Mountains just two hours north of New York City, Horse Camp teaches girls how to ride, groom, and take care of horses. But that’s not all. Inherent in the care of the horses and the ability to ride—especially for young girls—is the development of an underlying confidence that takes them down the path toward leadership.  

The bond between a girl and her horse is unique. When a young girl willingly gives of herself to care for her horse every day—with the help of our experienced instructors—she conquers her fears and begins to have faith in the unspoken language developing between her and the horse. When she wins the animal’s trust and the two work together as a team to achieve goals, it’s a profound experience. Life-changing. The young girl feels an inner strength and a power she never knew she had.

Frost Valley YMCA is home to two special Horse Programs: Mustang Village at our Main Camp and East Valley Ranch, just twelve miles away in a serene and secluded valley unto itself. Both locations and their programs are dedicated to providing the opportunity for developing equestrians to become more confident in their abilities and comfortable within a community of riders as, together, they develop lasting friendships and lifelong leadership skills.


Giddy-up and choose the right camp—Mustang Village or East Valley Ranch:

Main Camp, home to Mustang Village and our day horse programs, has over fifty horses, three arenas, a large horse barn, and acres of open fields leading to miles of horse trails.

Mustang Village is designed for girls (grades 3-8, minimum age 8 ) who want to live the life of an equestrian but also participate in traditional camp activities during their two-week session. Half of each day is dedicated to learning the basics of horsemanship and developing riding skills, both in the arena and on the trail. The rest of the day, girls enjoy the pleasures of summer camp: swimming, hiking, climbing, making arts and crafts, playing sports, and more. Girls live in a lodge with counselors selected for their exceptional skill with both horses and campers. Mustang Village is great for first time campers and those with little to no riding experience, however all riding levels are accepted.

East Valley Ranch, set in a picturesque valley alongside the Neversink River, has a 28-stall horse barn, three arenas, miles of trails, and a highly experienced and passionate staff. Girls and counselors live in a yurt village near the horse barn and pasture.


2-Week Program at EVR:

Young equestrians­—girls only—learn wrangling, feeding, grooming, tacking, and cleaning. Each day, they ride for two to three hours, focusing on their technique in the ring and on the trail. They have the opportunity to try vaulting and driving. They learn about veterinary care, proper nutrition, and round pen skills. Part of each day is spent hiking, playing sports and games, and making arts and crafts. Previous horse experience required.

4-Week Program at EVR:

For advanced riders with controlled walk, trot, and canter skills, this month-long adventure provides new challenges and opportunities for developing equestrians to perfect their riding technique. They work on drill maneuvers, horse-training techniques, and coaching skills so they can go on to teach riding lessons, if they want. This 4 week program is a real commitment, focusing solely on horses, giving developing equestrians a solid foundation for horsemanship.


Frost Valley Horse Camp Programs are accredited by the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) and uphold the highest of safety standards. For more information as well as dates for any of our horse programs, please visit our

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