What is the difference between the CIT and the RIT Program?

The emphasis of the RIT (Riding Instructor in Training) program is on the development of horsemanship and riding skills. It is a four-week, two-summer program. The CIT program, in comparison, is two weeks for only one summer. The focus of this program is learning the skills necessary to be a successful camp counselor. While many CITs are skilled horsewomen and go on to become riding instructors or even barn directors, the CIT program itself focuses on skills in leadership and teaching that, while they can be applied to teaching riding lessons, are not specifically used for teaching riding over the course of the program.

 RIT/CIT Selection Process

Our selection process for our RIT and CIT programs involves a thorough examination of the leadership skills, maturity level, and personality of our older campers. A camper is considered a RIT “potential” when she is thirteen and fourteen, and is a CIT “potential” at the ages of fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen. When campers reach these ages, their cabin counselors, horse science teachers, down-the-hill instructors (CIT potentials only), and riding instructors (RIT potentials only) receive forms to fill out on each RIT and/or CIT potential they have in their classes.

These forms are comprehensive and include questions about a camper’s maturity level, helpfulness, leadership skills, social skills, enthusiasm, and several more areas. Riding instructors evaluate the ability of the RIT potential to not only ride with consistently good form, but also to ride a variety of horses in an effective and organized manner. The staff also have the opportunity to provide any additional comments that may affect the decision about whether or not the camper should become a RIT or a CIT. Staff turn in these forms to the RIT and CIT Masters at the end of the week, and after a camper’s stay at Hoofbeat is done, the RIT and CIT Masters review all paperwork and compile a summary. In conjunction with the Camp Director and the other administrative staff, selections are made as to who will be invited the following summer.

In the fall, we begin to send out RIT and CIT invitations. Campers who are eligible for both programs are given a choice as to which one they would like to participate in. There are a limited number of spots available in each program for each session, and we invite more campers than there are spots, so the programs are first-come, first-served.