Summer Camps with Horses

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Redwood ranch horse riding camp

May 2011

These stables in the Oakland hills offer lessons and a summer camp. I'd love to hear any feedback on the camp or anything about them. We're thinking of sending our almost-8-year-old to this summer camp as a first experience with horses. I visited and got a good impression, but would really like to hear about someone's experience with them. Anyone??

Our son and one of his female classmates (both 7 at the time) did a week of horeseback riding camp at Redwood Ranch Stables last summer. It was by far my son's favorite camp of the summer. He begged to do multiple weeks of it this year. They ride for a number of hours everyday, and spend most of the day outside. He was clearly very comfortable around the ranch (got to pet the bunnies, interact with other animals there). The kids also care for the horses, groom them, feed them, etc. I was really impressed with the show the kids did at the end, where they exhibited their riding skills. My little guy was up there riding this giant horse, even trotting. Honestly, he has been to a ton of camps and never loved one as much as this. I highly recommend. Maybe we'll see you there! Redwood Stables Rocks!

My almost 8-year old daughter currently takes lessons at Redwood Ranch, and she will be joining the summer camp for the last two weeks of June. She LOVES it there because she LOVES horses. She is still a beginner rider, but she is extremely comfortable around horses. You might want to think about having your daughter take a few half hour lessons to figure out whether she'd be happy spending an entire week around the ranch. They have horses for all different levels. The people are wonderful, and it's a tight-knit community. I highly recommend it! Aya's mom

Horseback riding camp for 7-year-old

April 2011

I'm looking for a good summer camp that is oriented to riding for my 7-year-old who is new to riding. We're interested in ones near Berkeley/Oakland, such as Chabot or Redwood Ranch. I'd like to hear people's experience with these camps. Thanks.

My kids have been riding at Skye Valley Training in Castro Valley for over 8 years now. It is a fun barn to be at and easy to get to off 580. Skye Valley runs summer camps several time each summer and they involve horse care, riding twice a day and as a special treat they get to take care of a miniature horse and do carting with the mini at the end of the week. My kids loved it! Dede

I can highly recommend any of the horse camps offered by Roughing It Day Camp! They offer a horse day camp (English), a Ranch Day camp (Western, trail rides, farm animals, etc.), and a Hello Horse Camp, which is an introductory program. My daugher did both both the English and the Ranch Day camp growing up, and is now a junior counselor for the Ranch camp. In all her summers of going to camp, not once did she complain about getting up and going to camp every day -- in fact, it was quite the opposite . . . she couldn't wait to get there. She was always full of stories of what happened during the day, and was so proud to participate in the ''show'' at the end of each session. The entire Roughing It experience is fantastic for building confidence and self-esteem, and your child will develop a wonderful working knowledge about how to handle and behave around horses. Here is a link to more information: Good luck! Mary Beth

Try Skye Valley Horse Day camp in the Castro Valley hills. It is close to both 580 and 680 freeways and has a great staff and program. You can check out their website at The facility is clean and has a friendly atmosphere in a beautiful location. They do a variety of horse activities including twice daily riding instruction and general care & knowledge of horses. They even have miniatures that they use for some of the camp activities such as bathing and driving. Best of all they are extremely safety conscious! They also offer year round programs! J

We love Roughing It . It's a great summer camp for horse lovers and all other kids. My three (boy finishing 8th grade, twin girls finishing 6th grade) will be going this summer for the fourth summer in a row and look forward to it all year. They are all nuts about horses and have become quite proficient riders. They have mostly gone to the Day Camp, but there are also Horse Camp (English), Ranch Camp (Western/trail), and Hello Horse camp (more introductory). The Day Camp, Horse Camp and Ranch Camp have free transportation which is awesome for parents. You can get all the dates and info at . Ann

Local camp for 7 year old

Feb 2010

My 7 year old daughter would like to go to a local summer camp for horseback riding lessons and care of horses. She has ridden a few times prior and is comfortable on a horse. Wondering if anyone can suggest a local camp, not too far from Oakland or Berkeley. Most of the information on the website is pretty outdated. Thank you. -Mom of Horselover

My daughter has loved going to Castle Rock Arabians summer camp in Walnut Creek. It takes us about 20-30 minutes with morning traffic to get there by 9 during the summer. She started going there when she was 5 and is now almost 8. They also do holiday camps on 3-day weekends, spring break, winter break, etc. also with a horse-lover

2007 - 2009 Recommendations

Wonderful Horse Summer Camp in New Mexico

May 2009

We just moved back to the Bay Area but are returning to an amazing co-ed horse camp in New Mexico. They are a family run camp that taught our daughter independence, self esteem and responsibility while giving her the summer experience of her lifetime. Camp is two weeks long - July 12 - 25 and is only $800 for everything. Our daughter is flying from Oakland and being met by camp owner. If you are looking for a wonderful experience that is cost effective this is a great camp. Greg Evans the owner is from Berkeley and has an amazing family owned camp. Would love to see some Bay Area kids at this exceptional camp this summer. Rebecca

Sleep Away Camps (with horses?) for 11-year-old girl

Jan 2009

Hello Group: My 11-year old intense, animal-loving daughter is dying to go to sleep away camp. Can anyone recommend any good ones? I'm especially interested in camps that offer one-week sessions, since this will be her first time away for more than a couple of nights. Thank you! -Ann

The Girl Scouts have a horse-oriented sleep-away camp in the Santa Cruz mountains called Skylark Ranch . You don't need to be a girl scout to go, and the prices are very fair. My daughter went last year at age 8 and is going again this year, and she had a blast! Their website is Look for Skylark Ranch (they have several camps). HTH, Erin

Check out Girl Scout camps! The Bay Area Council has two horse focused camps: Skylark in Santa Cruz Mtns. and Sugar Pine in the Sierra foothills. Well run programs, relatively inexpensive (compaired to others), and I know many girls who have had a blast there. Go to Girl Scout fan

The Girl Scouts have a week-long horse camp in the Sierras at their Sugar Pine location, which is very nice. If your daughter is not a Girl Scout, it costs $10 to join and the camps are affordable, too (horse camp is more).

For a sleep away camp with horses, please check out Far View Ranch Camp . Go to Although the sessions are 2 weeks rather than one, the times flies by for the kids. I went there almost 40 years ago and my two kids went as long as they could and absolutely loved it. In addition to horses they have many other animals that the kids help taking care of - goats, cows, pigs, kittens, etc. The staff do a great job making sure each camper is happy and making friends. The only downside is the drive to get there as it's about 2 1/2 - 3 hours from Berkeley, but it's worth it for the kid's sakes. former camper

Castle Rock Arabians

Feb 2008

Re: Walnut Creek daycamps for 5th grade girl
On a slightly different tack (no pun intended...), my daughter has gone to Castle Rock Arabians for two summers now. It goes week by week and they may give you a discount if you book multiple weeks. They made riding really fun and the kids learn lots about horses, grooming them, caring for the tack, etc. My daughter adored it! It is up near the foot of Mt. Diablo past Walnut Creek High School. kl

Roughing it Day Camp

April 2007

Re: Sewing, horseback riding, and cooking camps?
You might check into Roughing It Day Camp in Lafayette for horseback riding. They pick your child up each morning and drop them off in the afternoon --less time in the car for you! My neighbors' twin nine year old girls attended last summer and had a fabulous time (we live in Montclair). Some years ago, my sister was a camp counselor and her best friend was the riding instructor, so I know they've been around for a long time and have a good track record. Monique

Horse camps for 9 year old equestrian

Jan 2007

The postings about local horse camps are outdated. Tilden horse area is being renovated and Wildcat Creek seems to be defunct. Can anyone recommend other horse camps for my 9 year old equestrian? Betsy

Rancho del Lago in Briones has a great camp for young riders. Camps are offered in the summer, but also during school breaks as well, ie. spring and winter breaks. Most of the horses are ponies, which makes them a great size for learning to groom and tack-up. My daughter started at camp there and continues to take lessons there. There is a newly formed pony club for the older riders as well. Check them out at

Horse-riding sleepaway camp for our almost 10-year-old

Jan 2003

Greetings - We're interested in recommendations for horse- riding sleepaway camp for our almost 10-year-old daughter. She's old enough to welcome a sleepover camp for a week or so next summer, but short of that, a regular day camp within a reasonable drive from North Oakland would also work. Have checked the archives but there's nothing on sleep-away riding camps. Thanks very much. Deborah

Try Skylark Ranch of the San Francisco Bay Girl Scouts. The camp is a couple of miles back from the water near Pescadero (between Half-Moon Bay and Santa Cruz) and the most affordable riding and horse tending experience for girls of all skill levels. You can find them via My daughter went two years and enjoyed it a lot. Heather

Roughing It Day Camp is an excellent local camp with horse programs. If you are looking for sleep away camps the best place to start is the American Camping Association where you can search by area and activity. You also have the peace of mind knowing that they are accredited. Jennifer 

Horse day camp for 8 year old daughter

April 2002

My 8 year old daughter is interested in spending part of her summer at a horse day camp. I checked the web, but anything I find is also extremely expensive. Anyone know of a local horse daycamp that's reasonably priced? Cathy

Tilden Park's Pony Ride offers a horse day camp: --Pony Ride at Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley, Camey Thompson (operator), (510) 527-0421 carolyn

I highly recommend the farm/horse camp at Wildcat Creek Stables, 6102 Park Ave Richmond, CA (510) 232-6344. You can read more about it at This stable is set as a rescue stable, which I think teaches the kids a lesson about how animals should be treated once they are past their prime, (not to say that the horses there aren't GORGEOUS and well behaved - they're just not going to win their race at Bay Meadows any longer). Because it is a non-profit, their horse camps are much less expensive. Be aware that the day is not spent riding all day long. The kids also learn about animal care (there are also goats, geese, a donkey and many dogs and kitties roaming the property) and get involved in clearing the stables. My son was lucky enough to attend over the week a horse gave birth last year and saw a colt take its first few wobbly steps. All in all it is much less pretentious and casual than many stables I've been to in the bay area. When they ride they do both arena work and go on beautiful treks through the regional park right behind their property. The only downside is that I think they are closing soon as the owner is very involved in animal research somewhere in Nevada. - Jen (horse lover)

Tilden Park has a horse day camp--ask at the pony ride. (no personal experience, but I've seen their flyer) Deborah

Regarding a horse day camp, try the Girl Scouts Camp Chameleon in the Oakland Hills. As far as I've been able to tell, the Girl Scouts offer the only bargain for horseback riding, though it is only two hours a day at the stables. The camp is sponsored by the Girl Scouts of the S.F. Bay Area. My daughter has participated in Girl Scout sleep away, but not the day camp. Good luck. Ellen

Horseback riding day camp?


I have a daughter who loves horses and has been taking lessons for about 6 months. Can anyone recommend a good horseback riding day camp in the area for the summer? Thanks.

Wildcat Stables on Park Ave in East Richmond has a summer day camp program that I hear is great fun. It's very woodsy up there, next to Wildcat Canyon.

My son spent a fun week at Bottomly Farms one summer taking riding lessons. It's near Martinez. Ginger