ONTARIO CHILDREN'S SUMMER RIDING CAMPS
PERSONAL - INTENSIVE - EDUCATIONAL - FUN!
Our Ontario Children's Riding Camps are the premiere
focus of our Year Round Adventure Business,
and we'd like to introduce you to our program! Since 2001, our farm has hosted a growing number of
personal and private children's camps, open to only 12 - 16 campers, each camp featuring a unique 'theme'.
Our program revolves around ALL DAY "HORSES ONLY" activities which increase horsemanship skills.
CLICK HERE to jump to our summer horse camp program!
HIGHLAND WILDERNESS TOURS IS A PROUD SUPPORTER AND MEMBER OF EQUINE CANADA AND OEF
CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR PHOTOS ON
AN AWARD WINNING BUSINESS!
HIGHLAND WILDERNESS TOURS WINS THE ONTARIO WIDE
2003 CFDC Outstanding Entrepreneur OF THE YEAR Award
Before moving to Maynooth, Ontario, the Nicols had a city lifestyle. Penny Nicol was an Anthropology
student at the University of Western Ontario, and Matt Nicol spent several years as an electrical appentice.
After University, Penny spent 13 years as a QC technician at a candy factory in London, where she met Matt.
Matt worked in Electrical and Landscaping, which down the road turned out to be skills that came in handy!
In 1999, the two married and moved north from London to Maynooth, to pursue their love of the outdoors.
Within two years of moving to the area, the two began their year round business, which now offers guided
adventure tours by horseback, dogteam and snowmobile, and a cottage rental. Regularly hosting large
groups from Canada's military - Base Borden and Meaford Training Facility have contracted to the business
for military adventure training for it's personel. In 2006, their business also hosted the Attache's Association
from the Canadian Embassy in Ottawa, and providing tours for over 56 guests by dogsled and snowmobile,
complete with scenic sleigh ride - giving folks from all over the world - Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Australia
& New Zealand, Korea, Russia, Germany and the Czech Repulic, and many more - a great taste of Canada!
These groups have continued to visit every year, proving that love of the wilderness INTERNATIONAL!
And our horse camps are no exception - campers from Israel, Monaco, France, Sweden, Mexico, and
from across the USA have visited to enjoy our summer riding camp program every year - returning yearly!
No matter what the season, this lively and fun business is a destination for adventurers from across the globe.
Matt and Penny are proud of the profile that the business has developed, and it's international appeal!
Our horse camps are designed to be fun and educational, while keeping it small enough to be very personal.
With a high return rate, and a program that evolves from year to year to offer new horse camp ideas, and a
well rounded winter program - there really is something for everyone and QUALITY is the name of the game.
THE OWNERS - MATT & PENNY NICOL
Horse Camps are a dime a dozen, but what makes
this horse camp special is the dedication of owners
Matt and Penny Nicol, who take great pride in offering
a fun, unique, 'riding intense' summer camp experience
to youths of all ages & riding levels. Both Matt and Penny
directly oversee the day to day farm activities, Penny having
over thirty years experience in owning, showing, & training
both horses as well as students. Both Matt & Penny are firm
believers in continuing education, so the program focuses
on modern coaching & riding technique. Penny and Matt
travel to off-site clinics & lessons, & invite high calibre
'current theme' guest teachers & trainers to camp. From
team penning to dressage to jumping, the pair are very
'hands on', and thoroughly enjoy putting on a sensational
horse camp program. Both Penny & Matt work very hard
at advancing in their favorite riding disciplines and that
knowledge is brought home for our customers' benefit.
Being hands on every day allows them to develop
each rider's program for maximum benefit, keeping things
safe and challenging for beginners or advanced riders.
Riding well is tough and takes dedication and hard work,
but if you enjoy your work, you've never worked at all!
Our riding camp adheres to CHA (Certified Horsemans' Association)
& OEF guidelines for safe riding programs, our horses are kept
year round, so safety is a HUGE priority to the Nicols. To say
they've been at this a while is an understatement! Penny has
over 28 years in the business, breaking and training her first
show horse at twenty! Matt, a horse lover since childhood,
became seriously involved after marrying Penny in 1999 -
and loves the reining and western riding discipline.
OUR HORSE CAMP & LESSON PROGRAMS
Every single one of our Ontario Children's Riding
offers a unique horse camp experience that revolves solely
around our equine athletes here at the farm. Kids love horses,
and our program is designed to give them the maximum
number of hours with the horses that daylight allows!
We offer programs that encompass the entire spectrum of
riding disciplines, including cattle events! There's hunter
and jumper camps, eventing camp, team penning & western
horsemanship camps, barrel racing, trail riding, and even a
dogsledding & horseback riding camp. There's camps with
shows, camps with a demo for the parents, and some camps
with NO pressure at all - just maximum learning and one on one
horse time. Of course, there's always time for a trail ride or hack
and each camp offers some time on the trails, so that our riders
can enjoy the beauty that the Algonquin Park area has to offer!
We also offer lessons for visitors to the area, and have a regular
lesson program, made even more exciting by the addition of our
Indoor 62 x 120 riding arena, which will be completed summer 2011!
are selected for their ability to work well
with our campers, with a sensitive, caring
approach that encourages confidence.
Our horse camp staff are chosen for
their experience, patience & riding skills,
with qualifications that assist in giving
our campers a safe, comfortable session
yet advance their riding skills each day.
We choose our staff very carefully and
absolutely couldn't do without them! Other
helpers include a selection of volunteers
with horse skills, that are well versed in our
program, and everyone works together to
ensure a quality program for our campers!
Pictured is Counselor Dee Cote aboard HWT Spring Fever,
with Penny's guidance, capturing 2nd in a Table A Stakes class
at the Blue Star Farm Bronze show, near Newmarket!
Well, they're just plain SPECIAL! We've spent years
developing our herd,
and we're proud of them! Each and every one has proven they have the
RIGHT STUFF to take care of our campers, provide a safe and fun ride, and
rise to the challenge of moving between programs without difficulty. From
jumping a course to juggling cattle, our gang is pretty darn talented and fun
to be around. We don't sell our horses each year like other camps - they
stay on board to help keep things running smoothly year after year.
Click here to read more about our special blend of horseflesh.
OTHER DAYTIME ACTIVITIES
An Ontario Residential Riding Camp wouldn't be any
fun without swimming!
Our farm is located in the prime Crown Land area surrounding Algonquin Provincial
Park - home to hundreds of lovely crown lakes ~ so when the dust and the heat drive
us off the horses, it's time for our daily dip in the pool, or the lake! Cardwell Lake,
just around the corner, comes complete with a private and sandy swim spot sheltered
by tall Red Pines, and the kids LOVE it! Our schedule may revolve around the horses,
but when it gets hot, even horse crazed campers head for water! Nature rocks!
Other daytime activities
include an occasional nature walk in our
woods, the inevitable games of cards, information sessions &
instructional videos, and of course, the kids absolute favorite -
our nightly HORSE movie, complete with pyjamas, flop pillows,
and twelve giggling campers strung out across the TV room!
OUR BREEDING PROGRAM
Every year, we choose a few of our quality mares for
breeding, so that we can raise babies
to enhance our future prospects. Every spring, there's a foal or two, and whether they are
registered Canadian Sport Horses or Warmbloods, American Quarter Horses, or Appaloosa's
~ they're always adorable! We've even found a way to include them in our program.
Click here to check out Wrangler Camp, and what our foals teach our campers!
WE OFFER UP VARIETY!
A small business offering a one on one experience for our
weekly horse campers, we try to steer clear of ho-hum,
humdrum 'week in' ~ 'week out' programs, which cause
Staff/Horse (& camper!)burnout. Our solution is JUICE it up ~ so
each & every weekly camp is a NEW experience, designed for
maximum FUN! Whether it's roping, sorting or penning calves, OR
jumping a course, each horse camp theme embraces a unique equine
sport that will expand our campers horizons - the sky is the limit! Others
might have begun to copy our camp ideas, but we stay one step ahead
with new & innovative camps, for a truly fresh approach to horse camps!
Best of all, most of our camps accommodate beginners AND advanced
riders - there's really something for everyone, & maximum learning to boot!
Click here to jump to our horse camp packages!
OUR HORSE CAMPERS - CAMP!
(well, it depends on your definition of camping I guess!)
Since we began our horse camp program, our campers say
that the best part
about our horse camp program is getting to camp! So we've maintained our
'full immersion' concept, and our campers get to experience the wilderness
surrounding our farm as well as the fantastic camp program. Our residential
cabin is nestled in a clearing on the edge of the farm, is clean and new, with lots
of room - two bunk rooms that sleep up to eight campers each, with 4" foam pads
and lots of room to store gear. There's a common room with couches and chairs,
and a woodstove for use during our winter programs. There's a roaring campfire
several times a week (complete with marshmallows of course!) , room to goof around,
and hoot owls to sing us to sleep at night - campers have the company of our camp
counsellors to ensure that all their needs are met - and they really enjoy our little spot in
the woods, where they can hear the horses nearby to remind them why they are here!
Click here to see some testimonials from campers of previous years!
LESSONS BY THE PROS!
Whether it's a lesson taught by our on
site staff in one of our 3 sand rings,
or a clinic taught by a real cowboy,
all our riding sessions are presented
for maximum value and effect. Over
the course of the summer, our camp
features many high calibre clinics
and demos, an expansive program!
Clinicians such as Heather Kirk (left)
& Dodge Rodeo Champ Harry Hodges
(right) are just two of the many greats
we've had at summer horse camp!
YES WE DO SHOWS!
Working towards a goal is extremely important in
motivating our horse crazy campers.
So each year, some of our camps feature a show at weeks' end. Not only do we
spruce the place up for maximum effect, but the campers help to do it! Putting on a
schooling show is one of the highlights of our Hunter Jumper Camp, where our campers
get a say in designing the course, arranging the agenda, and putting the polish on for
their thrilled parents. Showing is fun, and our goal here at the farm is to allow our campers
to relax and enjoy the event in a non threatening atmosphere - a dry run for our campers,
some who may have an interest in bigger things. There's a Team Penning demo at
Headin West (complete with a whole herd of cows!) a schooling show at our "Invitational"
Horse camp, & we feel these shows really help campers to stay focused during the week.
Of course, there are other camps with no show, and they have just as intense an agenda.
Because we STRONGLY feel that at our horse camp, the object is to learn as much as
possible in a week, giving parents the best 'bang' for their horse camp dollars. It's a
passion for us, and we want to send each and every camper home more confident!
Pictured is Sarah Frank - past Hunter/Jumper Camp Instructor!
FUN BY NATURE!
Perhaps the most exciting feature of our Ontario
Children's Riding Camp
is the fact that our farm is located in the middle of thousands of acres of
wilderness, just outside the east gates of Algonquin Provincial Park. Our
campers enjoy trail rides through the glorious highlands near the park, and
there is always something great to experience during their stay. Whether
a herd of deer romps through our campsite in the morning, a pair of loons
swims by us at the lake, or a bunny bounces past down the laneway, the
wilderness is the highlight of your child's total summer camp experience.
We are conveniently located in Maynooth,
Ontario, and we run our lessons ALL YEAR LONG.
20 x 40 metre dressage ring with letters & white rail
50 ft sand round pen (five foot sides)
90 x 130 sand ring with cattle fencing for events
200 x 130 sand ring with jumps set up for use
**NEW 62 X 120 INDOOR COVERALL (BRITESPAN) ARENA
And with 8 km of onsite trails, over a variety of terrain,
which connect to the main trail system heading out to
at least TWO lakes a short ride away - we've got alot to offer!
We've not only hosted a wide variety of great children's camps, but we've had the
opportunity to meet a really great class of camper! Our campers come from as far
away as Europe, the USA, and Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia ~ and each and every
one is a real hoot! With airport pickup for convenience, our goal is to provide our
unique children's camp experience for kids from all walks of life, and from all over the
globe. And best of all, for those that just can't wait till summer, our March Break Camp
provides the ONLY combined dogsledding/horseback riding camp in the world!
Click here to read more about what we offer over the March Break Week.
Make no mistake - year round fun for everyone!
Penny is an avid photographer, and one of her favorite past times is using her
camera to not only grab some amazing camper shots - but also to help our campers
with their riding endeavors. So during each lesson, with Camera around her neck,
Penny tries to capture just the right pictures to give our campers a good look at how
things are going. All week, everyone crowds around the computer to see what
the shots look like, and laugh together about the silly ones and glow with pride
at the good ones! During evenings, when the campers are busy with their movie,
Penny crops and edits a shot of each camper, and sends it home to the parents with
a story on the days events. The parents have grown to love this service, as it allows
them to see how their child is doing, and help them to cope with missing their child
during their stay. We understand their feelings about having to send their children
away, and believe us, the photos really help everyone enjoy the camp experience!
Just a little something we do to make your horse camp experience a good one!
Thanks to Facebook, now all the photos are available to our horse campers,
so that they can use them after camp is over, and show off to their friends!
Look for us on Facebook under 'Highland Wilderness Tours'...!
Some of our campers are photogenic - just like this adorable Farm Camper!
WHAT OUR CAMPERS THINK!
I miss Highland so much, especially now that summer's over and it's back to the books.
I finally got around to organizing my camp pictures in an online album!! Yay! I just wanted to let you
know what an unbelievably amazing, unforgettable time I had at camp!! It was my first time at an
overnight camp and certainly won't be the last. I don't think I could even pick out my favorite moment.
I loved it all, from grooming, to morning lessons and afternoon trails, to the three clinics, the
Team Penning, swimming at the lake and even the little things like watching horsey movies
at night! I wouldn't have changed a thing! You can sure bet I'll be back next year, hopefully even
before to visit!! Say Hi to all the horses for me!!! And of course George and Flex !! - Kim!"
<< click here to read more customer comments >>
OUR WINTER PROGRAM IS SPECIAL!
We've been very lucky to have developed a great
winter program, with dogsledding & snowmobiling
the focus! We're very busy folks, but it helps us to
afford to keep our horses year round, giving you a
safer and more predictable ride for the summer
horse camp program. Having a business that is
open all year for activities makes us a cut above!
click here to see the dogsledding & snowmobiling!
SOUND GREAT? HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Please don't hesitate to email me with any questions
you might have about our program. We're more
than happy to chat with you, or provide references to
ease your mind about sending your child off to camp.
If a week or two in the beautiful Ontario Highlands
aboard quality horses doing a variety of 'horse only'
activities sounds like a great thing for your young horse
lover, we've got just the thing for you! And be sure and
check out our two NEW 'co-ed' riding camp, which offers
boys and girls of all ages the same opportunity to shine!
Try your next Ontario Horseback Camp, trail ride, or riding lesson at
Highland Wilderness Tours
Matt & Penny Nicol
And don't forget - we do winter snowmobiling and dogsledding too!
OUR HORSE CAMP & PUBLIC TRAIL RIDING FACILITIES
Our Ontario Riding Stable Ontario Trail Riding Rates Weekend Trail Riding Excursions
Ontario Horseback Riding Lessons Ontario Horse Camps Meet the Trail and Camp Horses
How our Riding Stable is Different! Horseback Riding in Spring Horseback Riding in Fall
What to bring to Horse Camp Ontario Horses for Sale Ontario Horse Breeder
Ontario Dogsledding Tours Meet our Dog Team What is an Alaskan Husky?
Ontario Snowmobiling Tours Ontario Snowmobile Tour Rates Licensing for Ontario Snowmobiling
Ontario ATV Tours - Four Wheeler Trips - Ontario Quad Tours
Dressing for Our Tours Cancellation/Damage Policies Email Us Printable Directions Our Links Page
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PUBLIC TRAIL RIDING
YOUR FOUR SEASON GUIDES TO THE WILDERNESS, NEAR ALONGQUIN PARK, ONTARIO!