Rock Creek Park Horse Center summer camps offer youth and young teens an active, healthy, and safe place to develop their horsemanship skills, including fundamentals of balance, harmony, rhythm and style. Through interaction with horses, on the ground and in the saddle, campers learn subtleties of communication and ways to work in a team – with people and horses. The camp experience also includes activities that take advantage of RCPHC’s location in Rock Creek Park.
The overall experience fosters physical fitness, empathy, responsibility and self-control, as well as creativity and a sense of adventure.
Campers at Rock Creek Park Horse Center learn in a safe, relaxed, and fun atmosphere through demonstrations, hands-on barn activities, and riding lessons. Campers are instructed from the first day on safety skills around a horse. They learn essentials about horse behavior and also experience important lessons in horse care through grooming, tacking, and specially-designed games and practices. Instruction includes lessons on anatomy, color/breed, and markings. Learning is reinforced through creative craft projects and activities taking advantage of Rock Creek Park’s natural beauty.
We welcome campers from 5 and 1/2 years old to 14 years old in our two camp venues, Day Camp and Ponies and Friends Half-Day Camp. The groupings reflect physical and emotional development levels, as well as the mental discipline to focus and recall information, all of which combine to form the foundation of a safe and constructive riding experience. The camp age distinction aligns with our year-round instructional program. If you have any questions about age requirements or programs, please call 202-362-0117 or email [email protected] Students need to meet the age requirement by the start date of their camp session. (See FAQs for more discussion of camp ages.)
Ponies & Friends Half-Day Camp, ages 5 and 1/2 to 8 years old, runs from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. There is no extended care for P&F Camp.
Day Camp, ages 9-14 years old, begins at 9:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm. Extended care is available for Day Campers until 5:30 pm.
Horseback riding is a daily part of the camp programs. Day Campers receive a morning lesson in a skill-level appropriate group and an afternoon activity involving horses, totaling appropriately two hours of horse related activity. Ponies & Friends Half-Day campers receive a daily group lesson in addition to ground activities that develop a young rider’s understanding of horse care and psychology.