Held 5 days a week, usually in the afternoon, campers in the Silver Riding Program and Gold Riding Program have the option to sign up for Specialty rides. Specialty rides may be of many different varieties, based on the instructors in charge whim, and camper’s interest. Here are some examples:
Practice ride: A supervised “free” ride where campers can practice the things that they are learning in their riding classes. Campers can only ride the horses, and practice the things that they are already doing in their classes and there is no jumping allowed. Campers often use this time to work without stirrups or other strengthening exercises assigned to them by their instructors.
Bareback class: A favorite with many is the chance to ride bareback. Not usually an option for class time, riding bareback teaches balance and develops strengthening that is hard to do with a saddle. Campers are given horses that correspond to their skill level in riding.
Polo: For intermediate and above riders, playing the basics of Polo is an option. Leaning the rules, the way to dress your horse, how to swing and playing a basic game will be gone over. Campers that are interested will often hold matches during the week and sometimes on Sundays for parent’s amusement.
Games: For all levels. Sometimes it’s fun just to play games on your horse! Games like: Ride a buck, Simon says, Clover leaf, Egg and spoon, Musical tires, etc. are all class favorites.
Indian Ponies: Painting up your favorite horse, displaying his “colorful” side and then riding him in a parade of other similarly painted horses and ponies has become a popular activity.
Drill Team: For more advanced riders, often drill team work is an option. Campers work at first a walk, then a trot. As a group of up to 10 riders, riders work on perfecting a routine to music that they then often present on Sunday for their parents.
Trail Rides: Once a week campers are given the option to go on a trail ride. Cedar Lodge has 150 acres of trails through forests and fields. Usually, the trail ride day will be on Saturday and correspond with Saturday sleep in, and afternoon full camp activity, but 3 weeks during the summer, the trail ride day will correspond with special trips that Cedar Lodge will take the campers on like Lake Michigan Beach and Van Buren Fair.
These are just a few of the options for Specialty rides. There are many, many more!
Specialty rides are by sign up basis except for Horse Lovers, who have an assigned horse if they wish to participate. Many classes will be limited in size and there is no guarantee that everyone that signs up will get a chance of a ride. Instructors work hard to insure that all that are interested get a fair amount of Specialty rides per week. A camper that is truly interested in Specialty rides and signs up every day, will usually get to participate 3-4 times per week.