Just horsing around

Horse kiddie camp educates, entertains the kids
By: Matt Long
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As summer vacation comes to an end for children in Folsom and El Dorado Hills, some youngsters spent three of their last free days on the back of a horse. At the horse kiddie camp at Equine Unlimited in Rescue held Tuesday through Thursday, 25 kids ages 4 to 6 learned all about horses and by the end of the camp were riding them like they’d been doing it for years. Malinda Kregoski, owner of Equine Unlimited, spends nine weeks during the summer teaching and training kids of all ages about horses and how to ride them. Aside from the camps, she’s also certified in English and Western riding and frequently gives lessons and enters her horses in competitions as well. “I’ve have a huge lesson program with 150 students coming in every week,” Kregoski said. “The 6-and-under kids go three days a week for 9 a.m. to noon, while the older kids go five days a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “I also offer birthday parties and girl scout, boy scout and brownie badges.” The kiddie camp wasn’t just about riding the horses. The kids learned a lot about horsemanship, as well as parts of the horse, including learning about their health, diet and equipment used when riding them. “Our number one factor is teaching them safety,” Kregoski said. “After that we want them to have fun and by the end of their time here they will know how to ride a horse by themselves.” El Dorado Hills resident Maree Lenz, 5, enjoyed her time at the camp. “This is my first time being around a horse, but I learned how to ride it in one day,” Lenz said. “Riding the horse is my favorite part of the camp.” Ashleigh Whittle, a 4-year-old from Placerville, also had fun at the camp, according to her mom, Lori. “She’s really shy and we were concerned that she wouldn’t get on the horse or wouldn’t talk to anyone,” Lori said, “but she’s had a great time. “It’s not all about riding either. She’s only 4 and she’s learned names of everything having to do with a horse, how to guide a horse and the care involved. She also knows how to groom a horse and can even put the saddle away with a little help. “Her favorite story to tell is that she looked at the horse and smiled and he smiled back at her.” Tuck Forbes, a 5-year-old from Rio Vista, had the most fun riding his horse, “Secret.” “It’s fun because the horse goes wherever you tell it to go,” Forbes said. Despite the fact that Forbes was on the biggest horse, he said he wasn’t scared. For more information about the camps, visit or call 718-8662.