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Equestrian Academy

(250) 545-9470
196 Bluenose Road
Vernon, BC

Frequently Asked Questions about Summer Camp

Do you have a list of what to bring?

Yes, please jump to What to Bring for a printable list.

Can I choose the horse I want to ride?

Respectfully, no. Horses are selected for each student after their in-take interview Sunday and their riding ability is evaluated by our instructors.

Who determines what level I will ride in, and how do I advance?

Instructors have sole discrection as to which group you ride with. You may be moved from your preliminary group if the instructor feels it would benefit you.

What kind of horses do you have?

Aspengrove has a variety of Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Arabians, Welsh, Paints, Appaloosa, Halflingers, as well as mixed breeds and in a range of sizes. We do not favor any breed but select our horses based on training and temperament.

What if I am a beginner with little horse experience?

We have 5 assistants for each group of 10 students, so there is always someone available to help you catch, groom, tack/un-tack and lead safely to and from the riding rings.

How much riding do we do?

You get two, one–hour riding lessons each day.

How many riders in a lesson?

We try to keep our group size to five riders.

What about the Stable Management/Theory lessons I've heard about?

You get two one-hour lessons each day in a variety of topics about horses.

Do I have to clean stalls?

Nope, but you'll have to clean up the paddock your horse lives in! Hey, it's all part of having a horse - and isn't that the experience you're here for?

Will I be able to do jumping?

Advanced riding skills like jumping are done at the instructor's discretion. If you are able to show that you have control of your horse in a safe manner than likely you will be able to do some jumping. If this is your first riding experience, probably not. Either way, all lessons include a flat work component.

Can I bring my own saddle even though I do not have my own horse?

You can bring your own saddle, but you may not necessarily be able to use it if it doesn't fit your selected mount properly.

Can I bring my own horse?

Yes, you can bring your own horse. There is no extra fee and we supply hay. Please read Bringing Your Own Horse for more details.

Does my Horse Require a Health Certificate?

Horses must have a veterinarian certificate stating all shots and worming are current. Horses must be shod or trimmed prior to arrival.

Where do we stay?

Check out our Facilities Page for details and pictures of our sleeping and eating facilities.

Can I share my cabin with a friend?

Yes, if you are similar in age.

How many campers per cabin?

There are 4 students per cabin and 1 cabin has room for 6.

Are there counselors in each cabin?

No, the children are in each cabin by themselves. The counselor's quarters are very close by and will assist with any emergency during the night. The evening staff is on duty until all the students have gone to sleep.

Where do your campers come from?

Our campers come from all over the world; Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, France, Germany, Peru, Japan, from most parts of the United States, including Hawaii! The majority come from British Columbia, Washington and Alberta.

What is the average age of the students?

Our students range from 8 – 17, but the average age is 10 – 14.

Do most campers come with friends?

About half come by themselves, and we make sure everyone is teamed up with a buddy as soon as they arrive. New friends are made almost instantly because all the campers have one thing in common - they all love horses!!!

What do we do in the evenings?

Check out our activities page for detail on our evening activities.

What kind of food do you serve?

Check out our Meals Page for details on the food we serve at Aspengrove.

Do you accommodate vegetarian diets?

Yes, we have enough of a variety for vegetarians.

Can the parents come and visit their children?

We discourage parents dropping by. One of the reasons for sending your child to camp is to encourage independence. Each Friday we wrap up with a Horse Show that family and friends are welcome to attend.

What do you do about homesickness?

When a camper is homesick, we make every attempt to keep them busy in activities and concentrate on the aspects of camp that they consider fun - usually horses. If the homesickness persists, we call the parents to make the parents aware of the situation and ask for suggestions to make the camper more comfortable.

Are we allowed to phone our parents?

We do not allow phone calls except for students staying for more than one session when calls home are allowed on the weekend. Calls can be made in certain circumstances like birthdays or severe home sickness.

Can I bring my cell phone?

Please, no cell phones! We will safely store all cell phones and if absolutely necessary, you can ask to your phone.

Do you suggest more than one session?

We recommend at least 2 weeks as progress tends to compound with each successive week.

If we stay for 2 consecutive weeks (or more) what do we do on the weekend?

As the horses need time off and so do the instructors, we do not offer riding on the weekend. Weekends give the campers a change to catch up on their sleep, relax, play games, help with farm chores (if they wish) and explore our 100 acre property. Sometimes if the groups are not too large we take the campers to the local beach for a swim or other town outings.

How much spending money should my child bring?

If your child is staying consecutive weeks, we sometimes take them to the store in town for treats on weekends. Then a bit of spending money may be nice to have.

What if my child has to fly in?

Kelowna International Airport is three-quarters of an hour away and offers regular direct flights from Vancouver, Seattle, Calgary and Toronto. We offer pickup/drop-off services to the Kelowna International Airport. Cost is $40 each way.

Can my child take the Greyhound Bus?

Yes, there is a Greyhound bus terminal in Vernon. We offer pickup/drop-off services to the Vernon Greyhound Bus Depot. Cost is $20 each way.

What happens if a camper becomes ill or is injured?

We have staff certified in First Aid and CPR. Emergency medical services are a phone call away. Our staff will telephone parents or the designated emergency contact person if a camper experiences a medical condition that prevents her from participating in camp activities for more than 24 hours, or if the camper must see a physician for any reason.

What is your staff ratio?

We have a 1 to 2 ratio in the tack up area. For mounted lessons there is 1 instructor for each group of 5.

What CAN'T we bring?

Please NO; knives, cigarette lighters and cigarettes, cell phones, video games, stereo systems, boom boxes, video players, excessive candy or junk food.

What is your refund policy?

Registrations may be cancelled on or before April 15th for a full refund minus a 10% administration fee. For refunds after this date, we suggest you purchase cancellation insurance through a travel agent. Jump to our Registration Page.

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