What is included in the Equestrian Program at Coppercreek?


Riding Lessons:

Interested campers can take a one hour lesson each day with other campers of the same ability. Campers are matched with an appropriate horse and ride 6 days a week. The levels of lessons range from kids who have never touched a horse to kids that are experienced competitors.


Barn Rats:

As Barn Rats, campers help out all morning at the barn. Their duties may include getting horses out and tacked up, assisting instructors in their lessons, grooming, vetting, lunging horses, or even helping beginner riders. IMG_2662

Miniature Horse Fun:

Campers can learn how to drive our miniature horses and take hour long rides around the beautiful camp property. We also just have afternoons of miniature horse fun where campers can take the miniature horses through obstacle courses and over jumps and dazzle them up with braids and bows.



We like to describe vaulting as “gymnastics on horseback.” The campers learn the basic vaulting moves and then get to let our their creativity to create their own moves. During the talent show at the end of the session, the vaulters always give us a fabulous performance to their favorite music on Hatch, our seasoned vaulting horse. _MG_8866_MG_3507

CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association):

Our campers follow the same CHA certification as our staff to earn their “levels.” Campers work on their levels during their riding lessons and during the afternoons with our riding instructors. There are four levels with many steps in each level. Campers who participate in CHA take home ribbons to represent the levels they accomplished while at Coppercreek. _MG_8984


In the afternoons, our riding instructors will put on short clinics to teach campers something new about horses. Clinics range from learning the different parts of the horse, to learning “ground work” techniques, to properly setting jump courses and learning horse strides.


Most importantly, at the heart of our equestrian center, are great horses who amaze us summer after summer.  Look on our YouTube channel for a video of our equestrian program.


Lesson pony of the year- PHINNEY!


We have some really awesome ponies at Coppercreek Camp but PHINNEY won this award (again) this summer for her work ethic, willingness to adjust to her rider, and the many hours she trotted from “H” to “M” without complaint.


Phinney is the quintessential “fairy tale” pony, with her delicate face, beautiful mane and tail and, of course, her luscious, white coat. (Her tongue is pretty cute, too! See above picture.)


This little pony has taught many, many girls and boys how to ride, from their first introduction to…


… two point trotting….


…to the beginning of jumping.


She only goes as fast as her rider asks and HAPPILY walks if her rider gets distracted.


She has put a smile on many campers over the years.


Phinney is fine if her rider wears faux fur, pink tights and cowboy boots.


And, she will stand for endless braiding.

Phinney is what every riding instructor calls “gold” and wants in their lessons. Older campers will remember Phinney as a wild, energetic pony but as she has grown older and wiser, she has settled into (almost) the perfect lesson pony. She may get a little grouchy about her girth and sometimes wants to go right when her rider asks her to go left, but other than that, every camper who has been assigned Phinney ends up loving her.  She is just about as perfect as a pony can be. We love her and hope she is with us for many, many more years.

Lesson Horse of Summer 2013- LUCKY!


Lucky is an older gentleman we “luckily” acquired many years ago from a local boarding stable. Lucky’s owner had abandoned him and the boarding facility called us wanting to know if we might want a nice children’s horse. Our Riding Director, at the time, Kalli Bowles, took him for a test ride and immediately approved. Lucky has been a cornerstone in our lesson program ever since.


He patiently allows campers to learn the beginnings of horsemanship. He is happy teaching a camper how to “whoa” and “go” or “two-point”.


He even will trot happily through cavalettis and pop over a cross rail for the more intermediate riders.


He is getting older now and has earned a reduction in his hours but we will probably see him still cruising around the arena with a camper or two on his back, next summer.


His best buddy is Hank, who has won this title in the past. The two older gentlemen love their Equine Senior, carrots, and turn out with their other buddies.