In Part III of Adult Riding Camps, Equitrekking looks at The Mountain Top Inn & Resort's "Five Night Adult Horsemanship Camp."
by Jocelyn Pierce
The Mountain Top Inn & Resort offers a “Five Night Adult Horsemanship Camp” for both English and Western riders. Located on 350 acres within the Green Mountain National Forest in central Vermont, The Mountain Top Inn & Resort’s Equestrian Center is active June through October, and caters to riders of all skill levels.
The Mountain Top Inn & Resort’s “Five Night Adult Horsemanship Camp” is available for both English and Western riders.
Three camps are offered this summer, with each week intended for a specific skill level. For example, the adult camp offered the first week in July is for beginners, while the following week is geared towards an intermediate level rider. Most of the campers that come to Mountaintop Inn & Resort are riding at the beginner or intermediate level.
“We’re not catering towards a strong, advanced rider who is going out and jumping around our cross country course, this is a camp for the lower level rider,” said stable manager Louise Bienieki.
Because The Mountain Top Inn takes no more than six campers per week, instructors customize each day to meet the needs of the class.
Louise Bienieki got the idea for the adult camp program from their kids’ camp. “There were many adults who wanted to have their own camp,” said Bienieki. “The camp situation is very beneficial as it totally immerses participants. They have lots of lessons and learning, and at the end of the day they don’t have to nestle into bunk beds¬–– it’s a luxury stay.”
Because they only take a small number of campers at one time, no more than six per week, instructors customize each day to meet the needs of the class.
“We tailor our package to the camper,” said Bienieki. “I talk to every camper before they come to make sure they are in the right week of camp so they can get the most out of the experience.”
Campers have two mounted lessons with two to three hours of unmounted instruction daily, learning anything from basic grooming and general safety to saddle fit and equine nutrition. They also have at least one guest speaker per camp, again, completely customized for the appropriate audience. In the past they have welcomed veterinarians, farriers, and an equine masseuse.
Returning guests enjoy that the camp is an intensive week in which they really get to bond with the horse.
Returning guests enjoy that the camp is an intensive week in which they really get to bond with the horse. Campers are usually matched with the same horse for the entire week so long as it’s a good fit. Guests are also welcome to bring their own horse.
“Campers are constantly interacting with horses,” said Bienieki. “I think that’s what they love about this camp. Its very hands on; they are in charge of grooming, tacking up, and getting ready.”
The resort also offers various other activities to enjoy during your stay including a private beach for swimming and boating, clay bird shooting, fishing, hiking, tennis, croquet, and sand volley ball. Guests are also welcome to take part in indoor activities such as yoga massage therapy, or a workout in the fitness center.
“Our location is a truly beautiful setting,” said Bienieki. “Many campers choose to add in a trail riding component because of the beauty of the area.”
Because of the limited size of the camps, Louise Bienieki recommends booking your spot for 2014 as soon as possible.
About the Author: Jocelyn Pierce is an avid equestrian and lover of travel and photography. Her passion for adventure has led her on numerous excursions throughout North America and Europe. When she’s not riding and competing her homebred mare, she enjoys hiking, camping, and snapping photographs.
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