4835
Ozark
Horseback Adventures in the Shawnee National Forest
Grab the reins for an adventure that will have you feeding, grooming, saddling and riding a horse — all with the help of certified and experienced riding instructors!
Rating (5)
Program No. 4835RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
730
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Tour, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Ozark IL
D
St. Noel Center at Camp Ondessonk

Afternoon: Ondessonk Guides will be available to greet participants collect waivers, help you get checked in, hand out room keys and name tags, and help you move into your rooms. After getting settled, please feel free to go for a stroll around the main area of Camp, wander over to the pastures to view the horses, or enjoy the patio of St. Noel to get to know your guides and fellow adventure companions for the week. In the Welcome Circle, take an opportunity to introduce yourself, where you’re from and how you found yourself to be here at Camp Ondessonk with us. Before dinner, your Ondessonk guides will lead you on a small guided tour of the main area of Camp. Take a sneak peak of Camp Ondessonk's Road Scholar programs on YouTube. www.youtube.com/user/CampOndessonk#p/u/15/HxnSmmv-6aU. Just copy and paste the link in your browser.

Dinner: A hearty dinner will be served family-style in the St. Noel Center's dining area. Bring your appetite!

Evening: After dinner we will sit down for orientation to frame the week, share with the group in more detail the lay-out of the week’s activities, get to know each other, and set our goals/expectations for your experience.

DAY
2
Herd Feeding, Horse Behavior Class, Basics of Riding
Ozark IL
B,L,D
St. Noel Center at Camp Ondessonk

Breakfast: Breakfast will be served family-style in the St. Noel retreat center's dining area. A warm start to a great day!

Morning: The lessons today will mostly consist of unmounted instruction as instructors teach about horse sense, care, and handling. The morning will begin with feeding our large horse herd. We will welcome you to the barn with a tour, followed by our first learning lesson covering horse behavior, handling, and safety. After demonstrations, you will meet your hooved companion which will be matched to you based your experience, size, and ability. Learn how to feed, handle, groom, and saddle your new friend.

Lunch: Lunch will be served family-style in the St. Noel dining area

Afternoon: In the afternoon we will head back to the stables for a riding demonstration and verbal riding instruction. You will then have your first mounted lesson in the arena, where we will begin with the basics.

Dinner: Dinner will be served family-style in the St. Noel dining area.

Evening: After dinner come join us around the campfire, roast marshmallows, or explore the enchanted nocturnal world with a night hike or astronomy lesson. Listen for the distant calls of coyotes echoing up the canyon systems, the Great-Horned Owls calling to their mates, or the Barred Owls squabbling over territory. See the stars like never before. Or just relax in the common area of St. Noel and enjoy a good card game with new friends as you recharge for tomorrow's ride.

DAY
3
Herd Feeding, Horse Breeds Class, Riding Review, Trail Ride
Ozark IL
B,L,D
St. Noel Center at Camp Ondessonk

Breakfast: Breakfast served family-style in the St. Noel dining area

Morning: After breakfast, help feed the herd (if you choose). After, we will have a learning lesson covering the history of the horse and horse breeds. After, feed, groom, and saddle your horse before we head to the arena for another lesson and a review of the riding skills taught yesterday.

Lunch: Lunch will be served family-style in the St. Noel dining area.

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll return to the stables, mount our horses, review the basics, and hit the trail! Our trail ride will head through the pastures and woodlands of Camp Ondessonk, giving you a chance to really bond with your horse during the ride. Take in the scenery while your horse takes you through oak-hickory woods and rolling hills.

Dinner: Enjoy another delicious meal prepared fresh by our talented food-service director and served family style in the St. Noel Center Dining Area.

Evening: After dinner come join us around the campfire, roast marshmallows, or explore the enchanted nocturnal world with a night hike or astronomy lesson. Listen for the distant calls of coyotes echoing up the canyon systems, the Great-Horned Owls calling to their mates, or the Barred Owls squabbling over territory. See the stars like never before. Or just relax in the common area of St. Noel and enjoy a good card game with new friends as you recharge for tomorrow's ride.

DAY
4
Herd Feeding, Horse Health, Obstacle Course, Open Session
Ozark IL
B,L,D
St. Noel Center at Camp Ondessonk

Breakfast: Breakfast will be served family-style in the St. Noel dining area.

Morning: After the horses are fed, we will cover horse health and keeping/caring for a horse in our morning learning lesson. Following our class, we'll groom and saddle the horses for an arena lesson where we will do an all-time favorite: the obstacle course!

Lunch: Lunch will be served family-style in the St. Noel dining area.

Afternoon: This will be our open session at the stables. Based on group choices, options include bareback riding demonstrations, trot lessons, another obstacle course, and other requests. Or you can choose to take the afternoon off, hang out at the Barn, visit a local winery, or just relax with a good book to prepare for tomorrow's all-day ride.

Dinner: Enjoy a delicious Camp tradition! Our foil dinners will be prepared on a bed of hot coals. Burgers, fresh fixin's, and the works, all enjoyed in the fresh air.

Evening: After dinner come join us around the campfire, roast marshmallows, or explore the enchanted nocturnal world with a night hike or astronomy lesson. Listen for the distant calls of coyotes echoing up the canyon systems, the Great-Horned Owls calling to their mates, or the Barred Owls squabbling over territory. See the stars like never before. Or just relax in the common area of St. Noel and enjoy a good card game with new friends as you recharge for tomorrow's ride.

DAY
5
Herd Feeding, All-Day Ride Through Shawnee National Forest
Ozark IL
B,L,D
St. Noel Center at Camp Ondessonk

Breakfast: Breakfast will be served family-style in the St. Noel dining area.

Morning: This morning will find us grooming and saddling our horses and packing for a day-long ride through the sand-stone bluffs and canyons of the Shawnee National Forest. The highlight of the week, the all-day ride takes all that you have learned and puts it into practice. Our route will take us by the highest free-falling waterfall in the state of Illinois while crossing rock bottom creeks and cutting across sand-stone canyon systems.

Lunch: Take some time out of the saddle to stretch your legs and enjoy lunch in the fresh air of the great outdoors.

Afternoon: After lunch in the beautiful Shawnee National Forest, we will mount our horses for the ride back to camp. We will pass an old homestead barn and ride back around our lake. When we get back, feel free to spend time saying good bye to your horse, or head for a relaxing hot shower!

Dinner: Dinner will be served family-style in the St. Noel dining area.

Evening: An opportunity to again relax around the fire to reflect on the week spent in the natural world, share memories freshly made, and recognize new companions who made the experience meaningful.

DAY
6
Wrap-Up, Program Concludes
Ozark IL
B

Breakfast: Our final breakfast together. This meal will be served family-style in the St. Noel dining area.

Morning: After breakfast we'll wrap-up, exchange goodbyes and e-mail addresses. If you're not staying an extra night, we will need to flip your rooms for our weekend guests, but if you're not in a hurry to get home, feel free to enjoy Camp for the rest of the day by going out on a hike on your own or ask us about other great things to do in Southern Illinois! "The thing to remember when traveling is that the trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all that you are traveling for." -Louis L'Amour. Thank you for joining us at the Camp Ondessonk Stables, may our trails cross again!