Brumby Specialty Riding Group

A riding camp within a larger all-round summer camp.

HVC's riding camp, the Brumby Specialty Riding Group, is "the best of both worlds," a fun riding camp within an all-round arts and outdoors experience. Named after the wild horses of Australia, the program hosts 12 riders and four instructor/counselors. See details below... Enthusiasm is a must!

The Brumby culture of hard work, responsibility and camaraderie is terrific and very special.
- Brumby Mom

Brumby riding campers live near the stables, each rider managing their "own" horse, feeding, grooming and tacking-up each day. The group rides for 2+ hours daily, enjoying dressage, vaulting, cross-country, gymkhana, late afternoon trail rides and more. The session concludes with an equestrian show for the entire camp.

Left: Campers lead horses back to the barn. Right: A Brumby camper with her horse.

Imagine... You wake up to groom, tack up and feed your "own" horse in Brumby's large hillside barn. Then it's off to morning activities such as arts, theater, dance, sports, and waterfront. In the afternoon, the horses are yours again, for trail rides, skill development, show preparation and more. After dinner, you join the rest of the camp for a special evening program. Or your group might decide to spend the evening with the horses or enjoy a quiet campfire overlooking the valley.

jumping horse

What is Brumby Riding Camp?

Brumby riding camp is a unique English horseback riding program within a main camp setting… 12 campers, ages 10 to 14 spend four weeks expanding their stable management knowledge and improving their riding skills with four talented staff. The Brumby program is designed for enthusiastic, campers, comfortable around horses, who want to spend a month looking after their "own horse."

What is the setting?

Located at the top of a grassy hill overlooking the horse pasture and close to our new barn, the Brumby cabin houses 12 campers and 4 counselors. Nearby, the group makes use of a covered barn hosting 20 animals, 3 riding rings equipped with loads of jumps, and two spacious turnout pastures encompassing about 20 of HV's 350 acres. And we spend time on several horse trails throughout our woods.

A view from the top of Brumby Field.

Who will do well in this program?

We are not looking for experts, and the presence of 3 riding rings makes it possible for the group to be divided into advanced and intermediate sections so all children in the program feel both comfortable and challenged.

Riding: Young people who… Feel confident with walk/trot, and possess some group trail-riding experience.

Barn: Get yourself ready for… Grooming and tacking (putting a bit in the horse's mouth, lifting saddles, picking feet, etc.)… Approaching and working with pastured horses… Barn chores (cleaning up manure, toting hay bales, etc.)

Cabin: Some essential qualities… Desire to learn… Patience… Willingness to work hard… Independence is a key factor in the Brumby program, as 4 staff supervise 12 campers so you'll be on your own caring for a horse… Interest in being part of a group is important, as is… Absolute horse craziness!

trail riding
Left: A Brumby Camper prepares feed for the horses. Right: Campers go on their daily trail ride.

What are lessons like?

Each afternoon, experienced teachers help campers concentrate on improving ring and jumping skills. Campers are grouped by ability and two local professional instructors come to Hidden Valley to provide more individualized instruction.

What can you tell me about Special Events?

The Brumby Horse Show, featuring jumping and other show events, kicks off Hidden Valley's monthly Fair Day at camp's end. Don't miss it!
The Vet's here... Learn about equestrian medical care when our veterinarian comes by.
Hittin' the road... We may take a trip to a teaching farm nearby to learn how to do other forms of riding.
Doin' our thing... Brumby occasionally pulls out of evening programs. Campers can choose to do extra horsey activities, such as braiding, bathing, boots, bandages, bareback riding or a tack cleaning party.

A Typical Brumby Day

  • 7:00: Wake up, get dressed, groom and tack your horse. Group feeds horses and spreads hay.
  • 8:30: Breakfast
  • 9:00: Morning Camp Meeting
  • 9:20: Join main camp to attend three non-riding morning classes of your choice.
  • 12:40: Lunch
  • 1:30: Riding time: activities and lessons change daily and include ringwork and trail rides.
  • 3:45: Hose all horses, pick feet, fly spray, apply hoof oil, afternoon manure, and team feed
  • 4:15: Rest pd., snack, cabin chores, showers, etc.
  • 5:30: Evening Camp Meeting
  • 5:45: Dinner
  • 7:15: Evening Program, with entire camp or just the Brumby group
  • 9:00 - 9:30: Lights out, reading time.

This Brumby camper practices Vaulting

Is this a good match?

Brumby does not require that you be an expert. Some riding experience (Walk/trot), comfort around the horses and barn skills will be important.

What People Say

I'm not sure what I loved more, all the riding or those quiet mornings getting my horse ready for his day.
- Former Brumby Camper

She was very impressed with the degree of care and concern that was taken during the evaluation process and the perfect match made between her and her horse.
- Brumby Mom

The counselors were terrific. They knew exactly how to balance their teaching with the pure joy of horse life.
- Brumby Dad

My daughter had a wonderful horseback riding experience. She was very impressed with the degree of care and concern that was taken during the evaluation process and the perfect match the instructors made for her to be placed in the advanced group of riders although she was the youngest member of Brumby.
- Brumby Mom

tack 1
Tacking up her horse.

Mornings in the barn are another highlight of Brumby camping.