SUMMER HORSE CAMP
Summer Horse Camps and Intensives are getting underway at Sonny Brooke Stables. Each camp is designed to create and teach safe horsemanship and provide a solid foundation of skills to aid our campers. This includes both ground instruction as well as under saddle lessons which will create a well rounded rider. The students are taught how to safely tack up their horses, how to mount with assistance, and how to walk, trot and canter. Also, they will learn tips for how to keep their horses healthy and happy. We hope to have a visit from our local veterinarian as well as a shoeing demonstration. Campers also do a horse-themed craft.
EXPLORING NEW SKILLS
Summer camp is a great way to sample something you are interested in doing. What better way to explore horses than by attending a summer camp program? Through the program, the instructors begin with the basics and provide the campers with the necessary skills and foundation for success. Camp is fun and there is no pressure, but rather a chance to grow in confidence as you try a new activity. So, completing a summer camp can give the aspiring rider a taste of horses and the basic skills needed so they can seek out additional lessons and training. All of this is provided at a reasonable rate at a top-notch facility.
BRINGING OUT THE BEST
This year, the camps are being directed by Frankie O’Fallon. Frankie has been riding at Sonny Brooke since 2017. He has a thorough background with horses and is also experienced with students as both a teacher and school counselor.
Frankie became interested in how horses could assist disabled people and children or teens experiencing emotional trauma. While studying at Maryville college, he wrote a thesis on the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding. He was also an accomplished rider on Maryville College’s equestrian team. He received his Bachelor of Arts in health and physical education.
After his studies at Maryville College, he completed a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, as well as an M.Ed. in School Counseling at Lincoln Memorial University. Following his education, Frankie became the head of riding for Camp Arcadia in Maine for three years where he worked with a variety of students.
He believes that horses bring out the best in people. He highlights the ability people have when working with horses have to grow in confidence. By sharing his love for horses with his students, and teaching them how to interact with horses, Frankie gives the students opportunities to acquire long-lasting life skills.
“As a teacher and riding instructor, you never know where you will make the difference.”
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Frankie says, “As a teacher and riding instructor, you never know where you will make the difference. Every day is new, and every rider is different. In my second year at Camp Arcadia in Maine, I encountered an 8-year-old who was fascinated by horses. On her first day, she wanted to canter, even though she could barely direct the horse around the arena. However, within a few weeks her skills had grown, and she completed her first canter. The smile on this child’s face was priceless as she accomplished one of her goals for the summer. As she walked the mile back through the forest to camp, I heard her singing confidently over and over “I got to canter! I got to canter” at the top of her lungs. I knew I had made a positive difference with that rider and helped her reach a goal that she would never forget.”
If your child has an interest in horses, summer camps are a great way to introduce the hard work and responsibility that is needed to care for horses and some basic equestrian skills. Your student will have fun while gaining confidence through accomplishing new things and overcoming challenges.
With experienced coaches and a well-rounded program, your camper is sure to grow at Summer Horse Camp. To stay up to date with camps and other news, subscribe to Sonny Brooke’s newsletter at sonnybrookestables.com.