You have to be a little adventurous and a just a little bit of a daredevil!
But don't worry, the whole trick riding is not really as wild as it looks, because as with any good equestrian training, we will start things very slow here at Pony Gang Horse Crazy Camp.
Each step of a trick move will be practiced first on the wooden horse and from there we move on to the standing horse. If this is understood on the standing horse we move to trying them out in a walk with a handler leading the horse.
This is mostly how far first year campers will come in a one-week stay. Returning campers or 2-week campers will move even more forward in the trick riding world and with increasing security in the trick moves the camper will start controlling the horse herself. But this part needs time and is more for returning campers.
The trick riding here at Pony Gang Horse Crazy Camp is fun an pushes our campers a little over their comfort zone. But trick riding promotes also mobility on horseback, increases our fitness, provides security, teaches riding independently and is most importantly a lot of fun.
It is an advantage if you are a little sporty and flexible.
You don't have to have riding experience to participate, so beginners are welcome as much as other equestrians.
History of Trick Riding
Trick riding seems like a fun and exciting equestrian sport now-day, but it didn't begin that way. Known as jigitovka in its mother tongue, the art originates from Turkic cultures of Caucasus and Central Asia, and the word describes a skillful and brave equestrian. Admiring the talent, Russian Cossacks learned how to trick ride and used it during battle, proving a formidable force against their enemies. When communism overtook Russia, the Cossacks fled the country to America and used their talent to earn money, becoming prominent figures in the entertainment community, particulary in the rodeo world.
While the sport of rodeo was still being established, trick riding seemed to naturally fit into each rodeo performance. In the 1940's, trick riding evolved into a rodeo event and Cowboys modified their saddles - which is known today as a trick saddle -. Tricks were scored on their difficulty, the rider's execution and outfit, and the horse's performance. However, with trick riders doing more daring and extreme tricks to earn money, rodeo producers deemed trick riding too dangerous for competition and many made it just a special act.
Today it is a remarkable and dynamic equestrian sport, which includes stunts and shows as well as basic trust in the horse, body control and balance are important for every rider and who doesn't know them, these wild riders from the Rodeo's or the large Horse Events who entertain the spectators during a break. You see them galloping up and down, hanging on the side of the horse, head down, feet up, standing in the saddle, lying across the saddle, riding backwards, sitting on the horses neck to name just a few of the different acrobatic tricks