Rocky River Ranch has a long tradition of horseback riding and our current leadership focuses on a high safety standard. Our program is certified and our horses are chosen for their calm temperments and experience with young riders. 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 Horseback Riding classes give 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, as well as games in order to practice each new technique as they learn. 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 only after passing a strict test.
Summer 2023 Update
If your camper is interested in Horseback Riding, you need to know that the process is a little different this year. We are trying to make choosing the correct class as easy as possible for the families, and the staff. New for this year:
Step 1: During registration, in the activity choices please click on the 'Horseback Riding - YES' option. This will be in addition to choosing three morning classes.
Step 2: Everyone who indicates interest will be sent an updated 'Horseback Program Information Form' to complete that will have an important due date. Please follow the instructions and complete the online form in a timely manner in order to be considered for a spot.
Step 3: The barn director will review the forms and you will be sent an email offering you a spot at either the 9:00, 10:00 or 11:00 class hour, or letting you know you are on the wait list. Please respond to the email and either accept or decline the class spot (your camper may choose to keep her already scheduled class if it's something she is really excited about) right away.
Step 4: Once the class is accepted, you will be given instructions on how to pay the $35 fee as well as additional details about your riding class, the barn, and what to pack and how to prepare for for the best horseback experience possible!
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 love Rocky River Ranch. It was a place I could go and feel accepted for the person I was — not the person I was expected to be. When we passed under that arch, the playing field was leveled and I was free to be myself, or even to reinvent myself! If I could ride, if I could swim, if I could do crafts or even if my only talent was spitting watermelon seeds, I was accepted!
I loved performing on stage and modeling in the fashion show. I learned how to shoot a bow and arrow, and how to do synchronized swimming. I wrote a 'Snoopy' column for the newspaper. In fact, a lot of the things I loved then are things I still love today.
Oh how I wish I could still be a young girl and go to RRR every summer! I truly miss those wonderful weeks of absolute fun and excitement. This camp holds a very special place in my heart and will always throughout my life. I cannot wait until the day that my newborn little girl will be able to drive through the gate and live the summer days that not only her mother lived, but her grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother enjoyed. I cannot wait until the day that I can tell her all about her special great-great-grandmother (we called her GG, but most knew her as Mama Knolk) that opened beautiful Rocky River Ranch and created a place for many girls to create memories from. I am truly happy to see Mama Knolk's spirit still living on. May it continue to live on the dream that she always wanted.
The truth is I would not have become the person I am today without RRR! Making decisions for classes at 7 years old (with the help of a big sister and Rue as my counselor), remembering to wear your bathing suit under your jeans so you could go from the barn to the pool without the dreaded trip back to your cabin, remembering not to sign up for your pool class right before horseback … I could go on and on. The mistakes we made there were safe and there was a support system to catch you if you fell. Later I enjoyed working with the campers younger than me. First in WE as a big sister myself and later as a CIT Mom. In 14 years I grew and strengthened my commitment to myself. I felt loved unconditionally and I formed everlasting friendships. Some of them recently re-kindled after a 15-20 year gap as if no time had passed at all. In the last year I received a letter from a former CIT that spoke of my influence on her life. How it made her a better mother and a better woman. I have saved that letter for my children to read one day. I will always feel like Skeet and Sandy helped raise me and they always saw the person I could be! I can never thank them enough for that.
Picture a Spot … My years at Rocky River mean more to me than can be written down in a little note. There's probably not a day that goes by that I don't think about an experience, a laugh, a friendship, a struggle, a success, etc. that I experienced at camp. I love that I can go back and find the same "safe haven" that I experienced as a 7-year-old girl in Circle B through several years as a Counselor! Driving across that cattle guard at the front gate, my heart beat calms to a familiar and comforting beat again, like nothing else I've experienced.
My summers at RRR were the most special times of my childhood. I have so many great memories that I'll never forget. Thanks to Rocky River, I found my true calling in life … teaching children! And, I fell in love with Wimberley so much, that I live here now!