Today was the first day of summer for most children. Classes and moving up ceremonies were all completed last week and many Playa del Carmen summer camps began today. After much poking and cajoling, Cat and Cole finally dragged themselves out of bed and into their riding gear for their first day of riding camp at Hipico Playa del Carmen.

Already seasoned riders, they were looking forward to seeing what new students this summer would attract. It was a pretty good turnout this morning. My two were joined by six other children, all with varying degrees of experience. For some, it was their first time on a horse! I was, uncharacteristically, without my camera this morning but tagged along to snap some photos on my iPhone

Hipico Director, Paco Magallon, and Junior Instructors, Diego and Valentina, worked with all the kids, introducing them to their mounts for the day. The children took turns grooming one of the horses; brushing, currying and picking hooves.

Summer Camp Playa del Carmen

Summer Camp Playa del Carmen 

Working with the lunge line helped Paco determine what each rider's comfort level was. The two older girls both had some previous riding experience and took turns doing some simple gymnastics on gentle Jabil.

Horseback Riding Playa del Carmen

Horseback riding Playa del Carmen 

Horseback Riding Playa del Carmen 

Summer Camp Playa del Carmen

Summer Camp Playa del Carmen 

Next, paired up with one of the stable's reliable lesson horses, the kids worked their way around the arena and practiced controlling the motion and direction of the horses around barrels and other obstacles. Junior instructors Diego and Valentina joined them and gave one on on instructions to each child, correcting positions and physical cues along the way.

Summer Camp Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen Summer Camps

Summer Camp Playa del Carmen 

Finally, when Paco was assured that each rider had control of his or her horse and felt comfortable enough to leave the ring, he took the group for a trail ride through the jungle.

Stables Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen Stables

Playa del Carmen Summer Camps 

Playa del Carmen Summer Camps 

Summer Camp Playa del Carmen

Riding Playa del Carmen 

Once back at the barn, the kids took a quick break for a snack, changed clothes, doused themselves in bug repellent and went for a trek through the jungle to a secret cenote not far from the stables. The remote cenote was clean and clear and cold. The perfect place for the kids to chill out and splash around and get to know each other a bit better.

Playa del Carmen Summer Camp

Cenotes Playa del Carmen 

Cenotes Playa del Carmen

Secret Cenote Playa del Carmen 

It was a great first day of summer for the kids at Hipico Playa del Carmen Summer Riding Camp. If you think your kids might enjoy this experience, it's not too late to sign up. Call Paco for more info at 984-115-5826 or just turn up at the barn on Monday morning at 8:45am. I know we have a few more boys joining the mix tomorrow so it should be a lot of fun!

To be fully prepared for the day, please be sure your young equestrian brings the following:

Boots or sturdy, closed shoes or sneakers
Socks
Britches, long loose-fitting pants or leggings
Bathing suit (best if worn under clothes as changing facilities are limited)
Water shoes
Sunscreen
Bug repellent
Towel
Snack and a bottle of water
Carrots for the horses are appreciated!
If your child has his or her own riding helmet, please bring it. Helmets are required and will be provided for those children who do not have one of their own.

Stables Playa del Carmen
***If you do NOT want to see you kids with a smile as big as this one, do NOT send your kids to pony camp. You have been warned. LOL!