Rocky River Ranch has an exceptional horseback riding department with an extremely high safety standard. Our program is certified and horses are matched to each camper with temperament and experience in mind. In addition to proper riding techniques, we also focus on proper care of horses and tack.
Our main focus is on Western riding and Horsemanship skills. Our riding lessons are built around teaching the Secure SeatSM skill-driven system* from the American Association for Horsemanship Safety. Through these lessons, we hope to teach and improve each rider’s balance and basic skill set, so that they can be successful in any equestrian discipline they choose to pursue. Because our program caters to a wide variety of riders, most of whom are beginners, our priority is always safety.
Unlike traditional lesson barns, many of our campers’ only opportunity to ride is during their week at Rocky River Ranch. Due to this, we try to conduct our lessons at a pace where every camper can excel. Our Barn Girls class gives both equine enthusiasts, as well as those new to horses, various ground and riding activities through which to learn. Riding activities will include lessons on Secure-Seat riding skills, a trail ride through the pasture, and a chance to ride multiple horses. Our ground lessons will cover tack and equine knowledge while participating in activities and games with our incredibly patient and calm horses. All levels of riders are welcome!
*The Secure Seat Method was developed by equine professionals as a step-by-step lesson program that teaches balance and control through the rider’s seat. Some of these steps include teaching proper alignment, a steady lower leg, posting, standing and sitting trot, and canter/lope.
Summer 2021 Update
In order to have more fun and age appropriate lessons, horseback is now organized by grades at different hours. Barn Girls is focused on learning about horses from the ground up. Our lessons mix horseback riding techniques and fun horse care! In ground lessons, we'll teach grooming, saddling, anatomy of the horse, roping and more. In the riding portion, we'll work on western equitation, safe riding habits, riding games, and trail riding. Equine enthusiasts of all skill levels welcome!
The perfect summer is waiting for your daughter aged 5 to 14 at Rocky River— filled to the brim with new friendships, challenging activities and, most importantly, lots of fun! Check out our day camp and resident camp options.
In the hot summer months, we’re an all-girls camp, but the rest of the year, we offer year ‘round fun at our Great Escapes for women and Mother-Daughter weekends!
Rocky River Ranch is the perfect solution for your special event! We host family reunions, church retreats, teacher work days, company picnics, Girl Scout groups, and more with lodging for up to 150 guests.
I am still amazed and in awe of the subtle and mysterious way that simple activities and experiences weave together to leave an indelible impression of love ... confidence ... appreciation. They seem so simple there in the moment ... the singing of camp songs, Friendship Circle at the end of an evening program, the Cowpoke/Wrangler drawing, saddling a horse for the first time, scooting down the rapids ... but each song, with each tug on the halter rope, with each stroke of the canoe oar, with each ring of "Goodnight, campers!" a new brush of color is being painted on her childhood experience. From those "colors" spring forth amazing women as evidenced by the many remarkable people that now call themselves Rocky River alumni.
RRR gives young women the chance to excel in areas where they may not have ever had a chance to before … and an opportunity to gain self esteem and confidence. These are such amazing and important gifts that will stay with campers their entire lives. This is why RRR will forever be a "home" to its campers. A place where they feel accepted, and loved and special.
Attending RRR is a tradition in my family — aunts, cousins, sisters, and best friends all have great memories that we still talk about today. I am waiting for the summer that my daughter is old enough to attend and experience the same wonderful times that I had. My memories of summers at RRR are so special to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Skeet and Sandy, and all of the staff from every session, for the ten years of summertime bliss!
RRR is not just two months of SCREAMING prepubescent girls singing songs in the Grubstake, Free Swim at the river or raids on other cabins, it becomes a way of life that helps guide you through the rest of your life. Not unlike the Marines who are brothers for life, those of us who were campers and counselors are sisters for life and will do anything to help each other, no questions asked!
We still can't believe it has been 50 years since my mother, Mama Knolk, started RRR. We are so proud that it is still the same as she built it and still has the same spirit upon which it was founded. Our children and grandchildren have had the wonderful opportunity to attend camp and we all can still sing some of the songs when we get together. May the spirit of Mama Knolk stay with all that have attended RRR.
Rocky River was a HUGE part of my childhood and I cherish all of the wonderful memories I have. Sandy, Skeet, Jim, Rue, Arthur — y'all were the best extended family a kid could ever ask for. My favorite cabin, Bar K, holds fond memories as well. The stories I have would take days to repeat and the friendships I made were oh so REAL!