It's summer camp season, which means that we are constantly looking for new and fun ways to teach the basics to our campers. One of the first things that they learned about after safety day is grooming.
The kids are always looking forward to grooming because that means they get to be with the horses. But, the brushes and the order of how to use them can be confusing, especially for campers who can't wait to brush a horse.
This year, I tried a bunch of different grooming activities. This particular one, though, seemed to be pretty popular with the campers. I began by teaching them the names of the brushes, what they are used for, how to use them and the correct order.
Next, we told each camper to take all the brushes out of their brush box. Then they had to lay them out in the correct order that they are used. It took a couple of tries, but they all figured it out.
The next thing they did was dump out all the brushes together in a big pile in the grass. Then they had a race to see who could find all the brushes to complete their brush box first.
Most of the camp groups really thought this was fun and we even ended up timing them. I hadn't intended it to be a competition, but they loved it. When the campers are asking to do an activity again, that means I hit a home run!
Next, we moved on to the part that they all have been waiting for: getting to groom a pony. The way we approached this was each student was assigned a grooming tool. When it was their turn, they would go up to the pony and teach the group the name of their tool and how to use it. We also used this as a way to practice safely moving around the pony. It was a good way to reinforce all the safety rules without the kids feeling bored with it.
After they had all had a turn to tell the group about there grooming tool, I had them switch tools. Then they had another turn to go teach the group how to use their grooming tool. This time though I videotaped it on my phone.
Basically, after they were finished, they had made an instructional video on how to safely groom a horse. Then they, of course, had fun watching themselves and the other campers on the video.
There are a lot of options of things you could do with the videos. Before doing anything though you need to get the parents to sign a waiver, acknowledging that they are okay with you taking pictures of and videotaping their child. Most parent's don't have a problem with it. It is just one of those business things you need to do, just in case.
Once you have permission from parents, you could use the videos on your social media channels. If nothing else, you can send links to their parents so that they can see what their child learned in camp. Not to mention, seeing how much fun they are having is always good for business!
We work hard to provide our campers with a fun and safe environment to learn horsemanship. There are so many different things to teach them. It is just a matter of coming up with fun and safe ways to do it. I consider that one of my specialties, so I'm always happy to share new ideas that I come up with.