Our Horsemanship Achievement Program Helps Train New and Experienced Riders

No matter what skill level your young equestrian is at, the Bolo Program will help them improve! This horsemanship achievement program helps guide our campers through a natural skill progression, learning the key lessons they need to succeed at more advanced levels of horseback riding.

Our campers have the opportunity to earn one bolo each week, with first-time campers starting at the Filly level and then moving up to their appropriate skill level afterward.

Filly – Level 1

  • Demonstrate proper approach, lead, mount, dismount.
  • Identify 5 parts of horse.
  • Identify 5 grooming tools and their use.
  • Give 3 horse safety rules.
  • Identify 3 parts of bridle and 3 parts of a saddle.
  • Describe 2 gaits of a horse.
  • Ride a walk in proper equitation.
  • Stand in the stirrups at the walk.
  • Describe your favorite moment at horses.

Colt – Level 2

  • Identify 10 parts of a horse.
  • Identify 5 horse breeds and discuss their proper uses.
  • Properly groom a horse.
  • Give 6 horse safety rules.
  • Demonstrate proper safety around the horses.
  • Describe 4 gaits of a horse.
  • Tie a safety knot.
  • Assist in cleaning manure.

Stallion – Level 3

  • Identify 15 parts of a horse.
  • Identify 6 parts of the bridle.
  • Identify 10 parts of the saddle.
  • Identify 5 colors of a horse and describe or give an example.
  • Discuss the history of one breed of horse.
  • Clean out two watering troughs in barn area.
  • Begin a sitting trot.
  • Help with hay nets twice.
  • Come to morning chores (tack-up) at least once and learn how to properly saddle a horse.
  • Learn how to properly tack up a horse.

Ranch Hand – Level 4

  • Identify 25 parts of a horse.
  • Clean and oil a bridle and discuss why this is important.
  • Identify all face markings.
  • Discuss feeds, feed storage, and proper feeding of a horse.
  • Properly wrap a horse’s leg and explain reasons for wrapping.
  • Begin a posting trot.
  • Identify all parts of the hoof.
  • Come to morning chores (tack-up) at least twice.
  • Discuss why and how a horse is lunged.

Junior Wrangler – Level 5

  • Identify 30 parts of a horse.
  • Name 5 common horse diseases including prevention and cures.
  • Clean a saddle.
  • Identify all leg markings.
  • Discuss proper health maintenance of a horse.
  • Help with morning chores twice (tack-up) at least three times.
  • Teach another camper how to saddle a horse at tack-up.
  • Improve upon the trot both sitting and posting.
  • Ride a 7×7×7 (sitting trot for 7 beats, posting trot for 7 beats, and standing at the trot for 7 beats).

Wrangler – Level 6

  • Identify 35 parts of a horse.
  • Start a canter.
  • Discuss and perform first-aid on a horse.
  • Discuss how and why to deworm a horse.
  • Discuss why it is important to groom and wash a horse and 3 reasons why a horse’s hooves would be trimmed.
  • Help teach begging riders trail etiquette.
  • Properly bridle a horse.
  • Teach beginning riders trail etiquette.
  • Identify every raintree horse by name.
  • Come to morning chores at least four times and demonstrate safe tack up of a horse.
  • Demonstrate posting trot on the correct diagonal.

Raintree Rancher – Level 7

  • Disassemble and reassemble a bridle and saddle.
  • Discuss proper reactions to trail hazards.
  • Describe how you check for lameness on a horse and how you can tell if the lameness is in the front or back end.
  • Pass a pattern test in riding arena.
  • Help with morning chores (tack-up) horses four times.
  • Help in one feeding each day (at least two mornings).
  • Assist with the horse show.
  • Assist with hoof picking during tack-up with staff supervision.
  • Demonstrate a controlled canter.
  • Write an essay on what horsemanship means to you and include your thoughts on the four YMCA core values.

Trail Master – Level 8

  • Minimum age 13.
  • Assist in the instruction of one trail ride.
  • Feed twice daily.
  • Help tack or untack daily.
  • Assist with first aid on horses as necessary.
  • Assist with teaching ground classes.
  • Help with daily ranch maintenance chores.
  • Name 20 possible careers that have to do with horses.
  • Demonstrate all riding skills of previous bolo levels on various levels of horses.
  • Write an essay about your camping experience at raintree.
  • Be a camp role model.
  • Note: this is the most difficult to achieve and may take more than 1 week.