Horsing around is typically forbidden at summer camp. But at these six equestrian centers, that’s the name of the game. Campers are encouraged to saddle up to confidence-building activities, including horse care, barn work, and riding, all while meeting new friends and staying active. But you have to giddy up, mom and dad; equestrian camp’s are typically quaint in size and sessions fill up faster than you can say, “horseshoe.”

horse-stable-girls

Meadowbrook Riding Stables
This beautiful 11 acre stable tucked into Rock Creek Park offers a range of fun for kids. The Young Horsemanship Program for kids ages six and up offers half-hour of riding instruction twined with a half-hour of in-barn horsemanship instruction. P.S. If you know a grown-up who has always wanted to ride—eh-hmm—Meadowbrook offers a one-week camp for adults.

Cost: $560/ one week, half-day mini-camp (ages 6-9); $695/full-day camp (ages 9-14)
8200 Meadowbrook Ln (Chevy Chase, Md)
301-589-9026
Online: www.meadowbrookstables.com/

little-burgundy-farm

Little Burgundy Farm Stables
Located a stone’s throw from Old Town Alexandria, this stable offers lessons and camps that place a huge emphasis on the joy of riding. The Horsemanship Camp for kids as young as six is designed for newbies and experienced riders alike. During the week-long sessions kids also spend time working in the stable and caring for the horses.

Cost: $525/week-long session
5715 Sable Dr. (Alexandria, Va)
571-357-4330
Online: www.littleburgundyfarm.com/

horse-stable

Reddemeade Equestrian Center
Campers at this camp—held in a 240-foot indoor arena—take part in one morning activity and one afternoon activity that could include anything from horsemanship lessons to arts and crafts. The Reddemeade facilities also include outdoor rings and a cool Camp Clubhouse. Working parents will appreciate this camp’s extended hours program.

Cost: $825/two-week session
1701 Ednor Rd. (Silver Spring, Md)
301-421-4481
Online: www.reddemeade.com/

horse-grooming

Rock Creek Park Horse Center
Located next to Rock Creek Park Nature Center in the heart of the city, this stable is a great resource for urban parents. Camp gives kids ages six and up access to top-notch riding instruction tailored to their specific interests and ability. Weekday 15-minute pony rides for tots are anytime fun activity for families love at this center.

Cost: $560/one week, half-day mini-camp (ages 6-9); $695/full-day (ages 9-14); $20/pony ride (online reservations required)
5100 Glover Rd. (Rock Creek Park)
202-362-0117
Online: www.rockcreekhorsecenter.com/

boy-on-horse

Twin Oaks Riding Academy
Twin Oaks’ 2014 Summer Young Rider Camps for kids five and up focuses on English-style riding, horse care, and barn work. Kiddo isn’t quite ready for camp, but is obsessed with horse back riding? Kids six through nine with no experience can get in the saddle with special 30-minute horseback riding lessons limited to three riders max, so that they get plenty of one on one time with the instructor.

Cost: $199/one-week session
22761 Evergreen Mills Rd. (Leesburg, Va)
703-723-3200
Online: www.twinoaksriding.com/

Where do you take your kids horseback riding? Tell us in the comments section below.

—Katherine Gustafson

Photos courtesy of ZanyShani via Flickr, Twin Oaks Riding Academy via Facebook, Reddemeade via Facebook