Skip to Content

7 Best Horseback Riding Summer Camps In 2024

When a child goes to a horseback riding/equestrian camp, they’ll do much more than just learn how to ride a horse and do fancy drills or jumps. Riding horses builds character and compassion and teaches discipline.

Working with a horse teaches kids how to listen to non-verbal cues and show respect and empathy for animals. This can also teach campers how to work better with people and the value of teamwork.

Riding a trail teaches the presence of mind and the ability to pay attention to even the smallest details. For some advanced courses like show jumping, your child can learn how to challenge themselves and master both the horse and themself.

Your children can learn these values and skills with these top horseback riding summer camps in the United States.

Horseback Riding Camps

Best Horseback Riding Camps

1. Valley View Equestrian Camp for Girls 

Located in scenic Cloudland, Georgia, this equestrian camp is surrounded by over 10 miles of lush forest. During the 2-3 weeks of camp, campers ages 8-17 go out on guided trails where they learn how to guide their horses over streams, jump over logs, and navigate rock formations. They have both English and Western riding programs.

Campers participate in competitive trail rides and scavenger hunts. The games they participate in not only test their new riding skills but also teach teamwork and problem-solving. The camp also holds regular horse shows where they compete in their own skill level. Valley View Ranch also has rodeo day races and pony club demos with riding drills.  

Apart from horseback riding, campers can swim, canoe, or kayak in the nearby lake. The counselors also organize fun group games like Capture the Flag and conduct dance and theater classes. There are sports facilities for basketball, archery and more, so there’s plenty to do!

Special night events include talent shows, campfires and cookouts, costume bingo, auctions, and so much more.

Valley View Ranch

2. International Riding Camp

Set in the Catskill Mountains in New York State, International Riding Camp has an amazing overnight horseback riding program for girls ages 7 to 17. They learn several different riding disciplines, including cross-country jumping, polo, and hunt seat equitation.

Campers get 3 to 6 hours of riding each day—whether in the ring or on trails—and then spend the rest of their time doing fun outdoor activities like water skiing, tennis, and swimming.

This equestrian summer camp has one of the most comfortable facilities. Each dormitory room is air-conditioned, and the meals are organic and prepared by an award-winning chef. It also has a 1:2 counselor to camper ratio, and each counselor is certified in CPR and wilderness first aid.

International Riding Camp also offers winter horse riding camps held at the El Venado Polo School in Argentina and special activities like Mother-Daughter riding camps. They also host Polo for Beginner classes, so your child can learn the sport.

International Riding Camp

3. Camp Friendship

Camp Friendship is a family-run equestrian camp for coed campers ages 9 to 16 in Palmyra, Virginia. The camp is open to beginners, and the only requirement to join is that your camper loves horses. Campers will learn basic riding skills and also how to take care of a horse and the safe way to navigate a trail.

Unlike other horse camps, Camp Friendship doesn’t really focus on training campers for competitions or climbing up “levels.” Instead, they try to give a well-rounded, balanced set of activities. When they’re not taking horseback riding classes, the campers can pick from 35 other activities to personalize their schedule.

The activities include sports, arts and crafts, and water sports like canoeing, fishing, and aqua zumba. Their adventure sport includes archery, mountain boarding, and obstacle courses. They even have a wilderness survival experience, where kids learn how to build a fire and make a shelter.

While this is not the ideal equestrian camp for serious riders, this is a wonderful way to introduce campers to horseback riding while learning other skills and enjoying traditional camp activities.

4. Camp Greystone

Camp Greystone is a North Carolina summer camp known for its animal-centered camp experiences. They have a dog camp where kids learn how to take care of puppies and a farm and garden camp where they learn how to take care of chickens, pigs, and bunnies. Plus, they also learn how to grow vegetables!

Their mission is to foster a deep love for animals, and they bring that into their unique horseback riding program. Campers are encouraged to form a connection with their horse and spend a lot of time with their favorite horses.

So even if their activities are very similar to what you’ll find in other equestrian camps like drills, trail riding, and introduction to different riding disciplines, their approach is firmly grounded in building trust and respect between rider and steed. They learn to understand a horse’s cues and guide the horse without hurting it.

Camp Greystone also arranges fun bonding activities, such as tubing down the river or building teepees together. And, of course, they’ll have plenty of fun exploring the beautiful outdoors. It’s around 4 hours away from Raleigh, NC.

5. Camp Tecumseh

Many parents worry about whether horseback riding camp is safe, especially if their child does not have prior riding experience. Fortunately, Camp Tecumseh puts extra attention to making sure your child has the proper gear, the right training, and close supervision by experienced trainers.

All children are provided with ASTM/SEI certified helmet that properly fits their head. There is a safety check before each ride. Instructors look at the horse and the tack and check if the rider is in the proper physical or mental condition to ride.

The summer camp also matches campers to the right training level and pairs them with the right horse, with over 60 horses in their stable. During the session, riders are encouraged to build a bond with their horse by helping take care of it and spend a lot of time together.

The camp is certified by the Certified Horsemanship Association and the American Camping Association.

Camp Tecumseh

6. Camp Marshall

If you’re looking for a short summer equestrian camp, consider signing up at Camp Marshall In Massachusetts! The horse camp is only one week long and is open to kids ages 8 to 16 at any level of riding experience.

On the first day, campers are evaluated to find their skill level and then formed into groups. Each group gets a customized program, which includes daily riding lessons, games on horseback, and trails. They have over six different horse camps, including an overnight camp and day camps, for different ages and interests.  

Campers are also taught how to groom and feed their horse and participate in barn chores. So even if it’s just one week long, Camp Marshall is packed with fun and opportunities to make friends. Whether your camper wants to focus on leadership or bring their own horse, the different programs offer a sense of flexibility. 

7. Stone Mountain Adventures

This Pennsylvania camp offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced riding programs. They have experienced instructors—all trained by respected equestrian professional Pam Hayes-Houldin.

The camp is held at Horsepower Farm, a 60-acre facility with formal riding rings, turnout paddocks, a cross country course, and several forest trails. These are all divided into different levels of difficulty. Each day, campers get a set of drills or activities that are safe for their skill level and prepare them to advance to more complex challenges.

But the most unique aspect of the Stone Mountain Adventures program is its therapeutic riding camp for people with disabilities. Pam Hayes-Houldin is a licensed equine therapist and wellness coach. Equine therapy uses horse riding to develop muscle strength and balance while providing a healing connection with the horse.