Mankind was relieved to discover the horse after attempts to ride the saber-toothed tiger ended poorly and attempts to invent the car ended in the future. Hop on a herbivore with today's Groupon: for $50, you get a one-day horse-riding camp for children or adults (a $100 value) at Witte Stables, located at Camelot Farms in Scottsdale.
The brother-sister team at Witte Stables cultivates Arabian show horses and shares their championship-winning skills with hopeful stallion steerers during calming lessons and camps. Offered once or twice a month, kids' camp guides groups of 8–12 children ages 5–18 in equine-centric activity from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. A barn tour introduces the bairns to their bronco buddies —allowing them to become acquainted by braiding one another's manes—before guest speakers grace the dais, including a horse veterinarian, who shares stories of equine emergencies. During basic riding instruction, meticulous moppets dive into practical grooming and horse-care lessons.
In the adult camp, offered from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. several times a month, groups of six to eight adults enjoy similar activities aimed at an older audience but still get to use finger paint for all forms of written communication. Adults cautious of riding horseback have the option to leave their feet on the ground and focus their lessons on grooming, leading, and enjoying animal accompaniment. Riders of all ages should be sure to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. While beverages and snacks are provided, the carrots are for horses only, so junior and senior cavalry should bring their own lunch.
It’s often hard to get siblings to agree on anything, but for more than 30 years, Peter and Susan Witte have been united by a powerful bond: their shared passion for horses. During that time, Peter has trained and shown national and regional champion steeds, while Susan—who began riding at the age of three—serves as a licensed United States Equestrian Foundation judge in the Arabian horses division. As the co-owners and head trainers of Witte Stables, the Wittes pass on their horseback-riding experience with the help of several amateur equestrians. In an outdoor riding arena, the staff trains riders of all experience levels in both the saddle- and hunt-seat disciplines, pairing lessons in riding technique with an emphasis on proper care and handling. Though beginners learn to sit upright and communicate with the horses’ secretaries, more advanced students hone their showmanship skills for high-level competition.