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 temperment 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, a lot of whom are more inexperienced, 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 place riders in lessons at a pace where every camper can excel. Our Horseback Riding classes give 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.
*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.
How It Works:
Step 1: During online registration you will choose your morning classes and then indicate if you are interested in being considered for a Horseback Riding Class.
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. 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 135 guests.
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.
Wow! I just spent ten amazing weeks at Rocky River. It was a great learning experience. My first job also! I had a wonderful time working with the counselors and the kids. I already miss it! I miss singing camp songs too!
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.
I think camp was very beneficial for my daughter last year. She came home with new experiences that she will never forget. It's something that she is able to share with her friends and schoolmates too. It made a huge impact on her and I hope by going again this year that she continues to grow and mature as a thoughtful young lady.
The experiences at camp gave me a confidence and feeling of accomplishment. First, just being able to take care of myself away from home (with the counselors help, or course) allowed me my first feelings of independence. Being able to try different activities in a non-threatening environment — things I probably never would have tried at home — was a great way of discovering who I was. Then, later on having the responsibility of caring for children by being a big sis to a younger camper and then CIT, gave me a life-long heart for children. Enough so I became a registered nurse working in the pediatric intensive care. I don't believe I would be the person I am today without those many experiences at camp.
I loved RRR from the second I saw it. The smell of the cedar trees sure was heaven compared to the pollution of Dallas. I only got to stay for two weeks that first summer, which was way too short a time. I rode the horses, shot up targets, and made stuff in the crafts hut. I know I made it down to the river a few times. It was the year that I got my red tie in the horseback department and I was sooooo proud! I got to stand in front of the campfire while the campers all went berserk over my accomplishment. I feel so lucky to have the memories that I do and those are of RRR. I don't remember much about my childhood, but I remember everything about RRR and how much I loved going there every summer. It was heaven on earth.