For many girls, learning to ride at Wawenock is an integral part of their camp experience. Campers sign up for riding before arriving at Camp. (Campers can sign up for 2, 3 or 5 one hour riding classes per week.) Riders are assigned to classes by skill level and staff members help girls set attainable goals for their riding lessons, which can be adjusted as the summer progresses. The same instructors work with each small group of riders all summer long, ensuring that campers’ skills, goals, confidence level and suitability for particular horses are well known each time they come to ride. In addition to the development of riding skills, campers will be exposed to horse care and grooming, horse health and nutrition, interactive horse games and groundwork as part of their riding program experience. Wawenock’s program is predominantly geared towards hunt seat equitation; though ideas and techniques from other styles may be incorporated, at times. Older riders with more advanced equestrian skills may be selected to participate in the Vanguard Program. Vanguard participants come at the end of the program day to work with the riding staff, bathing and hand grazing the horses, feeding and interacting with them. This is a great opportunity for horse lovers with the skills and confidence necessary to safely be around and work somewhat independently with the horses.
Camp Wawenock has hosted the Lake Sebago Horse Show for over 50 years. This show is an invitational, inter-camp horse show to which local camps send their horses and most advanced riders. The Camp Wawenock riding staff selects a number of more experienced riders to represent Wawenock at this event each season. All campers who take riding are encouraged to participate in the Camp Wawenock Horse Show at the end of the season. For many girls, this is their first horse show so it is very carefully put together to provide a fun, positive experience for all who participate! A professional judge is brought in for both shows. She goes out of her way to offer encouraging, constructive comments to each girl about her riding at the end of each ‘class’ in the show. Some campers may also have the opportunity to participate in a horse show hosted by another area camp.