Big Horse Therapy and Learning Center Summer Horse Camps at GRR

Big Horse Therapy and Learning Center Summer Horse Camps at GRR

Big Horse Camp TLC Registration Forms 2015

Please join Liz Polanco as she hosts our seventh season of summer camps at GRR! Liz is a PATH registered therapeutic riding instructor who skillful teaches kids of all ages and abilities. Her co-facilitator Alyssa Overton is a graduate student in Naropa University’s Wilderness Therapy TCP Program.

We have small, mixed-age groups that allow for a lot of personalized attention and hands on time with the horses. Participants generally ride 7 times per week (5 morning lessons, one bareback ride, and an afternoon horse show on the last day of camp). Campers also learn to catch, groom, and tack up their horse with assistance as needed.

We emphasize good communication skills and respectful relationships for all participants – human and equine!

With small groups of 5 to 10 riders, camps will fill quickly.

Download registration materials here: Big Horse Camp TLC Registration Forms 2015.

Please email questions to Mica at

Camp Dates for 2015 Season:

Camp 1 – June 1 – 5 – Half-Day Camp (9 am – 12:30 pm M-F) and Horse Whisperer Camp (1 – 5 pm)
Camp 2 – June 15 – 19 – Hunter Jumper Camp (9-4 M-F)
Camp 3 – June 29 – July 3 – Standard Horse Lovers’ Camp (9-4 M-F)
Camp 4 – July 13 – 17 – Standard Horse Lovers’ Camp (9-4 M-F) FULL
Camp 5 – July 27 – 31 Horse Buddy Leadership Camp (9-4 M-F) JUST ADDED!
Camp 6 – August 10 – 14 – Horse Buddy Leadership Camp (9-4 M-F)

  • Our participants range in age from 4 (for our half-day camp) to 13 and (in our advanced camps) 17. We find that the range of ages allows for unique opportunities for participants to build confidence and mentor one another. All riding instruction is provided by qualified adult instructors.

More details on each camp:

1. Camp 1 A: June 1 – 5 – Half-Day Camp (9 am – 12:30 pm) for lil’ buckaroos 4-8 ($300). This is a great, safe way to introduce young cowboys and girls to the riding life. With assistance, young campers learn to work safely around horses. Each day involves one group riding lesson as well as activities on the ground to learn the basics of horse behavior and care. Each participant is matched with a suitable horse and is able to learn at his or her own speed.

1. Camp 1 B: June 1 – 5 – Horse Whisperer Camp (1 – 5 pm) Experienced “hands” (ages 11 – adult) are welcome to volunteer in the morning and to join us in the afternoon for our Horse Whisperer camp, focusing on leadership, connection, and communication through activities like round penning, groundwork, massage, energy work, and animal communication (little or no riding is involved). $200 for non-volunteers; $100 for those volunteering with us this summer. $40/day drop in. We encourage anyone wanting to improve their horse handling skills to join us for this innovative camp.

2. Camp 2 A: June 15 – 19 – Advanced / Hunter Jumper Camp (9-4 M-F, $425) – This camp is for those who can ride independently at the walk and trot (canter optional). With Liz and extra help from other GRR instructors, campers will learn what it takes to prepare for a horse show. Even those less interested in horse showing will still learn valuable lessons about how to handle horses confidently in a challenging, new environment such as a show. Activities will include mane and tail braiding, horse bathing, and course design. If experience allows, riders may opt for jumping lessons with resident trainers Cj Wagoner or Ali Graves Kish (lessons up to twice a day!) and/or a weekend schooling show held at the ranch (additional fees would apply for second daily lesson and/or horse show).

2. FULL Camp 2 B: June 15 – 19Leadership Camp (9-4 M-F, $425) — This camp is for participants 11 and up who love horses and want to learn how to be a respectful, effective leader for humans and horses. Based upon experience and preference, participants will have the choice to ride with Liz or another GRR instructor for their daily riding lessons. This is a great camp for anyone wanting to volunteer with us throughout the summer. THIS IS FULL. PLEASE INQUIRE IF INTERESTED.

3. Camp 3 – June 29 – July 3 – Standard Horse Lovers’ Camp (9-4 M-F, $425) 

Our basic camp for horse lovers, this is a great introductory camp for those new to riding or new to our ranch. Returning campers can always learn—and share—a lot!

  • 5 riding lessons plus a range of afternoon activities, including bareback riding, ground work with horses, herd observation, and more.
  • Emphasis on equine feeding, first aid, fun barn chores, and knowledge of horse parts, colors, and breeds.
  • Fun, casual horse show—a demonstration of what the campers have learned—from 3-4 Friday afternoon.

4. FULL Camp 4 – July 13 – 17 – Standard Horse Lovers’ Camp (9-4 M-F, $425)

5. JUST ADDED! Camp 5 – July 27 – 31 – Horse Buddy Leadership Camp (9-4 M-F, $425/$395) – This camp is like our Standard Horse Lovers’ Camp but we have two tracks—one, (5A), for younger campers who may need a little support catching, grooming and tacking their horses. And a second track (5B) for those who are able to independently catch, groom, and tack their horse. Those in the second track receive a $50 discount and commit to helping the younger campers during their lessons, which, as always, are taught by our PATH-certified instructor. Through this pairing of younger and older participants, campers are able to practice ways of being confident, kind leaders. Open to all but perfect for siblings or friends of different ages.

6. Camp 6 – August 10 – 14Horse Buddy Leadership Camp (9-4 M-F, $425/$395) See description above for Camp 5. Please inquire about availability before registering for this camp. 

More details about the 2015 Summer Season at Good Reception Ranch:

  • Camps will continue to be led by certified riding instructor Liz Polanco with support and assistance from guest facilitators.
  • Liz’s regular riding lessons will be offered every other week. Please see her schedule here:
  • Mica will be involved, but much of her focus will be directed toward a second baby expected to arrive in April. (Big brother Quinn is eagerly looking forward to a sibling!)
  • For more information, please contact Mica at
  • Download registration forms here:Big Horse Camp TLC Registration Forms 2015
  • Please also contact Mica for information about leadership and volunteer opportunities for those 11 and up.