Learn the Ropes

YMCA Camp Thunderbird’s safe horses and certified instructors create an equestrian program where riders can improve their horseback riding skills, deepen their horsemanship knowledge, and have fun in a friendly, educational environment! Our riding program accommodates a wide range of riders- from advanced riders with years of experience, to a participant riding a horse for the very first time. 

The goal of the YMCA Camp Thunderbird Equestrian Program is to develop horsemanship skills while on the ground and mounted. The priority of mounted lessons is safety, confidence, horsemanship knowledge, and skill advancement. 

Lessons are primarily taught English-style and focus on the basic principles of riding with the opportunity to learn advanced skills of trotting, cantering, pole courses, and jumping. Our program also gives participants the opportunity to learn ground handling skills, grooming, tacking, feeding, and overall care for the horse and equipment.

Our program follows the safety and teaching standard of the Certified Horsemanship Association, visit cha.horse to learn more. 

Equipment and safety gear are provided. Pants and boots are required.

Parking instructions

Limited parking is available in the gravel driveway at the YMCA Camp Thunderbird Barn. Additional parking is available inside of camp thunderbird in the front office parking lot. Do not park on grass or at the EMS station neighboring the barn property.

Equestrian Program Photos

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