Tailina Dittmar leads a horse through a series of pylons as part of learning how to handle and lead a horse.                                Photo submitted

Tailina Dittmar leads a horse through a series of pylons as part of learning how to handle and lead a horse. Photo submitted

Horse camp near Ponoka proves popular

Operator glad to be running after initial uncertainty

For parents looking for something different for their child, maybe a horse camp would be right up that alley.

Pyramid Equine, operated by Melanie Aitken just five minutes outside Ponoka, is running some summer camps for kids ages six to 10. While the first camp is already underway this week, there are three more weeks to go — July 27 to 30, Aug 3 to 6 and 17 to 20.

“Each camp runs all day Monday to Thursday and we offer a combination of activities throughout the day with the focus being on horses,” said Aitken about the sold out camps.

The day begins with an Equine Assisted Learning activity, where the children are introduced to a particular skill and develop it by working in pairs on the ground with the horses.

“The obstacles and challenges have been specifically chosen to hit an outcome of skill development, such as relationship building, communication, problem solving, focus, negotiation, and trust. They are learning valuable life skills in a fun and exciting atmosphere while working with horses,” she said.

That’s followed by some time doing crafts and taking part in cooperative games. The afternoon consists of both classroom and beginner riding lessons.

In class, the children learn the basics of horsemanship and caring for horses. In the ring, they develop the skill to ride as well as safely groom and tack up a horse.

For Aitken, this is the first year of offering up a summer camp and she’s excited that it’s happening, as it wasn’t looking that good just a couple of months ago.

“It was looking like camps for kids were not going to be possible this year until the province began to slowly open sectors again and released the announcement that day camps were given approval to offer programs to kids,” she said.

“The response from families in Ponoka and the surrounding area was overwhelming. Our dates filled up quickly as parents were looking for activities for their kids to be a part of.

“It wasn’t just school that was closed last March. So many kids in our community were suddenly no longer a part of their sports, community activities and social events. Physical activity and socialization is so very important to child development and I am happy to be providing a piece of that to kids in our community this summer.”

Aitken, who taught elementary school for 25 years, obtained her Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator certification in Aug. 2019 in order to combine her love for teaching kids and love of horses.

After the summer, she is looking ahead to offering more skill development for kids ages eight to 12 through a program called Building Blocks.

“The curriculum is research-based and developed to encourage self-esteem and self-confidence through hands-on experiences working with horses on the ground without riding,” she said.

The program will run after school, twice a week for four weeks, with the kids working on one objective at a time and then continuing to build upon those skills each week.

To find out more about the programs, head to www.pyramidequine.com.


Kayleigh Behm takes this horse through a course of small obstacles as part of the camp.                                Photo submitted

Kayleigh Behm takes this horse through a course of small obstacles as part of the camp. Photo submitted

Kayleigh Behm poses with the horse she had at the camp.                                Photo submitted

Kayleigh Behm poses with the horse she had at the camp. Photo submitted

Tailina Dittmar learns some grooming skills.                                Photo submitted

Tailina Dittmar learns some grooming skills. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

(Photo submitted)
PHOTOS: Ponoka Secondary Campus grad

Ponoka Secondary Campus held a drive-in graduation ceremony for their 2021 graduating… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the G7 Summit, at the airport in Newquay, United Kingdom, Thursday, June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Details on Canada’s vaccine sharing plan coming Sunday, up to 100 million doses

Canada’s high commissioner to the UK says details will come after the G7 summit

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Newborn daughter’s death inspires MP’s bill on bereavement leave for parents

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec says a day or two off not enough for some grieving parents

Victoria’s 2020 Canada Day celebration will not happen this year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations backs cancelling Canada Day celebration

Statement made after Victoria cancels Canada Day event as a statement of reconciliation

United Nurses of Alberta is slamming Health Minister Tyler Shandro for suggesting staff vacations are causing emergency room problems. (Black Press Media files)
Physicians were suffering burnout and then the pandemic made it worse, UBC study finds

Burnout prevalent among 68 per cent of doctors – likely a reflection of issue globally, says researcher

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. The federal government is bringing in a new coal policy saying new or expanded thermal coal mines create unacceptable environmental impacts.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable environmental effects:’ New federal policy restricts thermal coal

Policy puts another roadblock in front of Coalspur Mines and its Alberta Vista mine expansion

Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health Director General Nobuhiko Okabe speaks during a press conference after a roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures at Tokyo 2020 Games in Tokyo, Friday, June 11, 2021. A group of experts participated in a third roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures proposed for audience-related infection control. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics still undecided on fans — or no fans at all

Fans from abroad already banned from what is shaping up to be a largely made-for-television event

Most Read