Equine Department to offer youth mini summer camp

by Pamela VanHook | Apr 10, 2012 <p> </p>

GAINESVILLE - Children who want to learn to ride a horse can learn from one of the best at the North Central Texas College Equine Department's Youth Mini Summer Camps in June.

The camps, for children ages 8-14, are limited to eight campers per session and cost $150 per camp.

The Beginner I camp will run June 5-7 and June 12-14, the Beginner II camp will be June 19-22 and the Beginner III camp will run June 26-28. Each beginner camp will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

An Intermediate camp will take place June 5-7 from 1 to 4:30 p.m.Kids get ready to attend horse camp

The Beginner I camp is for children with no previous riding experience or fear of riding. The Beginner II camp is for riders who are very confident walking, somewhat confident trotting or have completed Beginner I. The Beginner II camp includes riders who are very confident trotting, ready to lope or have completed Beginner II. The Intermediate camp is for children who are very confident riding at all gaits, need to work on more advanced skills or have completed Beginner III.

Camps will be taught by NCTC Equine Science instructor Bill Kaven. Along with his teaching duties, Kaven coaches the college's IHSA Equestrian team. He also has over 20 years of experience as a horse trainer, breeder, clinician and judge. He has helped horses and riders achieve top honors in numerous events and has shared that knowledge through the vast clinics he has given worldwide.

"Our summer riding camps for youth have proven to be extremely popular for many years," Kaven said, "giving participants the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of riding and horse behavior and to become familiar with basic tack and related equipment. "They also learn how to care for horses and, most importantly, how to be safe around them."

A parent or guardian must accompany each youth participant the first day to fill out paperwork, and there will be an informational meeting after the paperwork is completed. "We will supply nice gentle horses for the camps, as well as saddles and all the rest of the tack and equipment needed," Kaven said. "All campers are required to wear a certified riding helmet. We recommend that students provide their own, but if this is not possible, the college has a limited number to borrow." Participants may use their own horses with instructor approval. Jeans are recommended, and footwear should have heels. Boots are recommended but not mandatory."

For more information on the summer camps, contact Bill Kaven at 940-668-7731 or by email at