Lost Creek Camp Confidence is a one of a kind place where "unwanted" horses are cared for, trained and given a job that that love whether it is teaching children and adults how to ride, being camp horses or taking riders on the trails. The founder, Lynette Weldon, is that rare person who connects and understands horses as well as people. Her uncanny ability to read a horse is matched only by her wisdom in knowing exactly what her riding students need to move forward.
I have learned everything about horses from Lynette and the instructors at Lost Creek Ranch. Not only have I learned to ride but I have learned to take care of horses, feed and I help out with chores too. This year I am on the show team and I am proud to be riding and showing a rescue horse!
Camp is the best week of my year and my favorite part is watching horse movies on the projector in the bunkhouse when we go to bed. I also like that I have learned western and english riding and that everyone is really nice no matter what kind of riding you want to do.
All I have heard about is Lost Creek Ranch since sending my daughter to Camp Confidence! She still talks about "her horse" and the other horses. One of the most important aspects of this camp versus others we have attended was the amount of riding and horse time the girls get- they have lessons two times a day and in between learn to groom and get to help out with the rescue horses.
I loved that the girls were put on chore teams and helped feed and care for the horses every day. Again this is unique to this camp and it instills a work ethic in the girls- my daughter was proud to be part of the team and felt like her chores were really important. And her riding improved so much in just one week of camp! She cantered in the camp show and her smile was huge. She is already planning her return and making sure her new camp friend will be in the same week.
She also loved her camp counselors who were collage girls and now my daughter wants to go to collage and study horses just like them!
The ratings above one star here are unexplainable. This should not be a place that is allowed to serve kids. Surely there is a review board that would close this place down. The kids slept in a shack for a week, with no electricity. No running water or indoor bathroom at all. They showered once at a local pool 15 minutes away. They served instant Mac and chees for dinner more than once. This was a horrible experience and one I feel guilty for sending my kids to.
Lost Creek Ranch Camp Confidence 05/02/2014
We have sent several messages to "RunnerJ" and have not had a reponse. Nothing in his/ her review applies to our camp. 1) Not only are we licensed by the county (and have been for over a decade) but we are the ONLY licensed horse camp in western WI and are inspected every season to be sure that our camp is safe and sanitary. 2) The "shack" or as we call it the Bunkhouse was newly constructed in 2013 and every stage of it from the foundation footings to the roof was inspected by the county to be sure it met commercial construction codes- yes commercial which is a higher standard than residential. Our new bunkhouse has windows on both sides and two sets of double doors (one on each end) as well as heat and air conditioning- and obviously electricity :) 3) It would be extremely difficult to run a ranch with "no running water" and within 20 feet of the bunkhouse are 2 hydrants and another several feet further in the barn. Not only do we have running water but campers use it daily for activities like washing horses and doing dishes. 4) Going to the local pool which is almost 5 miles away is an afternoon treat for the campers who enjoy cooling off and playing on the waterside on hot days. There are nice showers there that everyone uses after swimming. 5) "Instant mac and cheese" while a kid favorite is not something we normally serve at camp- we do have spaghetti nite, hamburgers/ hotdogs from the grill, chicken tacos, and pizza from the grill. Again if this person would respond to my messages I would be able to see what camp she/ he attended and see exactly what the menu was that week. Honestly my guess is that someone is trying to sabotage our success as the #1 horse camp but our results speak for themselves- our camps have a waiting list every summer and many of our campers become riding students at Lost Creek Ranch and lifelong horse lovers. In the end that is what matters to us and to the rescue horses we serve.
I went there over the summer and LOVED it sure it's not the most extra agent one but the teachers, volunteers, and horses make up for it. I m going back again next year!
Simply the best horse camp experience hands down! Campers are assigned their own horse for a week and learn everything from haltering, grooming, saddling, safe handling on the ground to the basics of riding. Campers ride twice a day, help feed and care for the horses, work in "chore teams" learning everything it takes to care for horses. Councelors are experienced horse professionals- many of them students majoring in pre vet and equine studies at the University of WI River Falls which is inspiring to the young campers. Another favorite is having the farrier (horse hoof care specialist) doing a shoeing demo for the girls- they learn so much!
Riding lessons 2x/day (indoor and outdoor arenas), an awesome selection of horses for all levels and abilities, hot afternoons spent at the local pool, evenings around the campfire and watching horse movies projected lifesize on the arena walls are just a few camp favorites!
Lynette Weldon has been running Camp Confidnce for over 12 years and loves working one on one with the campers building their confidence and fostering a lifelong love of horses. Her staff are professionally trained, comitted to the best care of the campers and horses and above all enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and passion for all things horse.
Never had I been more disappointed in a camp than I was in this one. The camp was run-down and filthy, the water main broke toward the end of the 5-day camp and there was no running water for 1 1/2 days. The one "biffie" was filled to the brim and was DISGUSTING - most likely a complete health hazard - not to mention the fact of no running water. The area set-aside for the kids to ride the horses was so dusty, my husband couldn't even take pictures at the end for fear of ruining his camera! Haven't they hard of spraying at least SOME water down on the dusty ground to minimize the dust when horses stomp on it??
Even though "Camp Confidence" touts itself as the kind of camp that builds confidence and self-esteem, it did nothing of the kind for my daughter. If my daughter approached Lynnette with the fact that she wasn't sure how to do something - Lynnette (and the other snotty girls) made fun of her, told her she should know how to do that, and didn't help her or teach her at all. So much for a teaching camp!
Even though the counselors touted that they watch movies in the bunkhouse every night (keep in mind the "bunkhouse" is a thrown-up "shed" that barely houses 6 bunk beds - no running fans - no open windows) - they watched "Saddle Club" one night out of the 4 nights. The main house on the property might as well be a crack house, for the sight of it. Completely run-down and not taken care of at all.
The campers sat on their iPhones during all the sessions - and Lynnette didn't do anything to stop them. The campers were encouraged (or at least, not discouraged by Lynette and the other counselor) to mock, tease, and act entirely like snotty, bratty children toward the other "not as financially able" campers. "You don't ride every day???" "You don't have your own horse???" Blah, blah, blah. They even mocked my child for actually wanting to spend time with her horse!!! What child wouldn't want to spend time with a horse - they are at A HORSE CAMP!!!!
Give me a break. I have no problem with the attitude of Lynnette and her counselors (and yearly campers) toward new-comers - BUT, to tout this camp as "Camp Confidence?" Give me a break!
Lynnette's own daughter has Down's Syndrome and was lost for hours playing "hide and seek." Not only was Lynnette not worried and not looking for her daughter, she came across (to my daughter) as completely unconcerned and uncaring. Luckily, she was eventually found!
The campers didn't do one single trail ride the entire week - which was very disappointing to my daughter - especially since it is touted, as well, in the literature.
This was certainly NOT a $750 5-day camp week.
The facilities are severely lacking, the teaching and training is demeaning to say the least.
The only good thing are the horses. The half shire/half quarter horse my daughter had was beautiful and outstanding. And well cared for.
I only wish Lynnette actually cared for her campers as much as she does for her horses.
Don't waste the money on this camp. There HAS to be better ones out there.
Lost Creek Ranch Camp Confidence 11/16/2013
Reading this "review" saddens us as we strive to provide the best experience for all campers. Our facilities include a new barn with stalls, indoor covered/ well lit arena. outdoor fenced arena with lights for night riding, 20 acres of fenced paddocks, apple trees, shady hammock areas, sandy campfire pit with lots of seating and shaded picnic areas. Our bunkhouse sleeps 10 and has double doors on each end, 4 screened windows, electricity as well as heat and a/c. We are the areas only licensed horse camp and are inspected by the county multiple times each season to insure we meet all health and safety codes. Our staff are trained in first aid and responding to emergencies. In addition to the camp staff we are proud of our interns who are pre vet and equine science majors at UWRF and choose to spend their summers sharing their passion for horses with our campers. We have a strict anti bullying policy and throughout each camp session work on team building and play organized games to encourage new friendships and teamwork. Our campers come from a wide range of backgrounds- only a handful of the 120 campers we meet every summer actually are lucky enough to take regular riding lessons or have a horse of their own. Our campers are often first time riders and we welcome everyone of all abilities to join us! We have always been a camp who caters to horse crazy kids- some on scholarship, some paid- all happy to get to spend a week caring for and learning to ride their assigned horse. Cell phones and electronic devices of any kind are prohibited. We want kids to work on people skills, horse skills and teamwork and we find the best way to do that is to interact through games. lessons and working in teams to complete tasks at chore time. In the 12 years of Camp Confidence we have always taught lessons in a fenced arena- it is the safest way for new riders to learn. Trail rides have not been and will not be part of the camp experience as we take pride in our safety first attitude. We invite anyone to stop in and visit our ranch anytime. 2014 Camp Confidence dates are posted online and filling fast: http://www.lostcreekranch.info/
I surprised my wife with a trail ride excursion at Lost Creek Ranch last summer and little did I know it would renew her love for horses and begin a relationship with Lost Creek Ranch that I know will continue for a long time. My wife began weekly lessons with Lynette the owner of the ranch. Lynette not only has tremendous knowledge and experience with horses, but has a gift of teaching both children and adults. Lost Creek Ranch rescues horses and trains them for jobs at the ranch. The horses in turn help children and adults build confidence, gain experience riding, showing, and caring for horses along with giving guests at the ranch a unique riding experience. Lost Creek Ranch also provides a great opportunity for interns to work with guests and the horses.
Last weekend my wife and I invited our two nieces to the ranch for the Fall Horsemanship. Jillian (12) and Emma (10) had a wonderful time grooming the horses and learning to ride. With Jillian’s parents going through a divorce and her cousin Emma still mourning the loss of her father less than two years ago, this experience really provided a day of fun and escape from the stress of life’s unexpected turns. Horses have a unique way of helping people deal with the pain in our lives and Lost Creek Ranch truly is a place that recognizes this. - Bill and Julie, Roberts, WI
I have been taking lessons at Lost Creek Ranch for two years. As a special needs rider it is always a challenge to find the right place that is willing to accommodate you and allow you to grow at the same time. When I am at the ranch, I will completely liberated and free. Free to be myself, to build confidence on a horse and be part of a caring community that treats everyone equal. Lost Creek Ranch has amazing programs that fits your needs and desires to learn. I am so happy to have found such a terrific place that works to rescue horses and give them a forever home. it just feels good to support such wonderful people and beautiful horses.
Had the worst trail ride experience at this ranch. The people did not even introduce themselves or talk to us while on the extremely short ride which was mostly on the road where there was traffic by cars. The only thing they cared about is making sure everyone was tipped which was not going to happen after I almost fell off their horse. The inexperienced staff put a too big of saddle on the horse I rode causing me to fall off. I would not trust anyone to take their kids here riding! Very unsafe and my worst experience ever on a horse! Staff are very unfriendly!
Lost Creek Ranch Camp Confidence 09/30/2012
Hello, I was shocked to see your review- especially since no one has ever fallen off on a trail ride (in your review you you stated you "fell off" and "almost fell off") and our ranch is at the end of a dead end dirt road with little traffic. Our rides are one hour and we do start and return on time. Our trail guides have worked with us from 1-3 years each and know the trails and our horses extremely well. Rider and horse safety is our number one concern. It is true that at the bottom of the release form there is a note encouraging riders to tip since all of our staff are volunteers. Please contact me directly so we can address your concerns. I need to known what day and time your ride was at too so I can follow up with the other riders and guide.
Lost Creek Ranch Camp Confidence 10/16/2012
Just wanted to follow up again and see if we can figure out your situation. I do not have any other contact info for you and have contacted all of our clients who took trail rides around the time this was posted and all of them assured me they had a wonderful time. Please get in touch.