July 12, 2016

Summertime is Horse Time!

YMBlog 12 Image 1 MHIB

Check out the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s “Saddle Up This Summer” newsletter


I spend my summers riding and working with horses nearly every day, as well as competing. But when I was younger, I spent summers at horse camps, and my very first trail ride was on a summer vacation in western Maryland. Horse camp was always my favorite camp to go to, and I found it even more fun than weekly lessons because for a whole week I got to spend every day for six hours with horses! In addition to improving my riding skills, the games and bonding with the horses and my horse friends was the highlight of every summer. Barns often offer summer clinics, and I was lucky enough to attend a few of them, including one for vaulting. 

YMBlog 12 Image 2 Vaulting

(photo courtesy of Holden Rafey)

I also spent several years volunteering at a horseback riding summer camp leading horses in the ring and on the trail and teaching young riders. I had a wonderful time volunteering and having the opportunity to introduce younger children to horses and teach them all the awesome things I learned in my years as a camper. 

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While a summer camp Counselor-in-Training,
I was Phantom’s escort for the Costume Parade on July 4 – doesn’t he look patriotic?
The campers did a great job!
(photo courtesy of Holden Rafey)

So the summertime is the perfect time to get to know horses, or improve your riding and horsemanship skills if you already have some experience. The Maryland Horse Industry Board has a great resource to help young people and their families get to know horses:  the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s “Saddle Up This Summer” newsletter (click on the link or see the box below). And subscribing to their Horse Pals program will keep you informed about upcoming events and activities. Click here for more information:  http://news.maryland.gov/horseboard/

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Hello Horse Pals,

Happy Summer! We've found the perfect places for your family to fall in love with horses while enjoying time in the sun: 

  • Horse Discovery Centers: These centers are carefully selected, licensed stables that are welcoming people of all ages and experience levels into their barns to learn about horses in a friendly and knowledgeable environment.
  • Trail Riding Stables: Venture to these stables to go on a relaxing trail ride through the woods or Maryland country side. 
  • Equine Events: Check out this calendar to see what exciting horse events are happening this summer.
  • Licensed Stables: Still haven't found quite what you're looking for? Don't worry, we have over 700 other licensed stables to check out!

If you still have questions about how to have a horse-filled summer, feel free to contact me at annie.hankins@maryland.gov. 

Happy Trails!


Maryland Horse Industry Board

 If you have any questions, you can email Annie Hankins at the Maryland Horse Industry Board at annie.hankins@maryland.gov. Now go spend some of YOUR summertime with Maryland horses; it’ll make this summer the best ever!




My name is Holden Rafey, and I am honored to be serving as the Maryland Horse Council’s Youth Correspondent. As the MHC Youth Correspondent, I will be posting monthly to this blog about horse-related topics in the state of Maryland to give a youth perspective and share information on topics of interest to MHC youth members. I live in Montgomery County and attend Walter Johnson High School, where I play softball and field hockey. My equestrian trainer is Melinda Cohen, and I ride at her barn, Dream Catcher Farm, in Frederick County. In addition to being the Youth Correspondent for the MHC, I am also serving a second term on the Washington International Horse Show Junior Committee and look forward to seeing lots of Maryland barns represented at Barn Night!

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