BOCA RATON, Fla. — Florida, known for its beaches, has a lot to boast about when it comes to the equine industry. Florida ranks third in the nation, according to the Department of Agriculture, so it's not surprising to find camps with a focus on horses. Camps that are beneficial to both children and horses.
Kayla Singh, 12, has gone from a beginner to advanced rider in less than five years.
"You have to practice, practice, practice," Kayla said.
She, like her instructor, isn't letting the coronavirus shatter her dreams.
"I want to be in the Olympics when I'm older," she said.
To both keep kids on track amid the pandemic, Boca Riding Club's summer camp is limiting the number of attendees to 12 per week.
"Normally we take 24," Boca Riding Club owner and instructor Elizabeth Constantine said. "This year we're cutting it in half for 12."
But Constantine also stresses the importance of training for both kids and horses.
"If we don't have camp, not only do the children lose their everyday ability to grow in a short amount of time, but the horses get a little anxious not receiving the care from the children, as well," she said.
Boca Riding Club's summer camp focuses on all levels of horsemanship from June to August.
"The camp is for all levels of rider, because all riders have something to learn, even myself as a professional," Delray Equestrian Center trainer Abigail Soldina said. "I still continue to take lessons and ride with other trainers."
Riding lessons are just part of the weekly syllabus. Non-riding related studies includes care of the horse, anatomy, cleaning and equipment.
"Step out of your comfort zone. That's always when you're going to grow," Kayla's mother, Kristen Singh, said. "When you don't know something, when you feel a little challenge or a little scared, stepping over that line brings you to the next level of anything."
Boca Riding Club instructors add the importance of the camp is twofold, both for the riders and the horses. While riders can lose their physical abilities, the horses can get anxiety from limited interaction.
To learn more about this summer's camp visit, click here.