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 2020 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 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.
I have said for years that RRR made me the person that I am today. Actually it wasn’t just RRR, but also the counselors that shaped my experiences and helped me be the best I could be. I learned to problem solve, lead others and to be a leader others wanted to follow. I learned to do my part and that I can do anything I decided to do. I learned to say 'I can' a lot more than 'I cannot.' I learned to co-exist with others which helps me to this day. As a young girl I learned what others around me now in their 30s still do not know. I learned to take care of and respect myself, respect others and the world around me.
Rocky River Ranch is like my second home. It is such a comfortable, fun place to be! I am planning to be here as long as possible, and want my future daughters and granddaughters to experience this camp. Rocky River has a special place in my heart, and is a big part of my life.
My years at Rocky River were some of the most wonderful times in my life. My sister (Laura) and I still spend hours talking about our fun times there. We still remember our days of swimming in the river, riding horses and water skiing. I can't wait until my little girl can experience all the joy and fun I had as a child for herself.
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.