Loudoun’s Equestrian Camps Draw Riders of All Ages

With the equestrian industry contributing $180 million to the county’s economy, it’s no wonder that there’s so many horse-themed summer camps in Loudoun.

Here’s a look at just a few of the dozens of equestrian camps that Loudoun-based farms have to offer this summer.

Camp Koda, a summer camp run by the American Academy of Equestrian Services in Leesburg, offers children ages 4 and up half- and full-day summer camps that promote healthy growth and development through mental and physical fitness activities built around world-class equestrian fundamentals. Each week features a different theme, including “The Pony Express,” “Acrobatics & Bareback Riding,” “Campfire in the Woods –Survival Skills” and “Olympic Disciplines.”

Half-day camps go from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and are $70 each day. Full-day camps go from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and are $100 each day. Camps begin the week of June 10 and stretch until Aug. 23.

For more information, go to campkoda.com.

Red Gate Farmin Bluemont offers kids ages 3-16 with four different sleepaway camps.

Campers will learn about horsemanship and will train in hunting, jumping, trail riding, cross country, dressage and mounted gamesduring the farm’s five-day, four-night adventures. Camps cost between $1,200 and $1,300 and will be held from June 10-14, June 17-21, July 15-19, July 29-Aug. 2 and Aug. 12-16.

The farm also offers a four-day, $220 afternoon preschool camp for children aged 3-6, a full- or half-day, $450 basic horse camp for kids aged 6-14 and a 4-day, $450 day camp for riders ages 10-16.

For more information, go to redgatefarmva.com.

Van Vixen Farmin Leesburg features 30 acres and 20 horses for campers to acquaint themselves with this summer.

The farm offers Summer Pony Camps that give participants age 5-17 daily riding lessons and teach them how to properly feed, groom, brush, bathe, tack, bandage and cool off the horses and perform other regular tasks. Campers also get the chance to go on trail rides, hear from guest farrier presenters and participate in a Lady Gaga pony hairstyle competition.

Farm Owner Heather Heider said that her camps are special because she’s a mother of two who knows what it takes to teach kids equestrian techniques and values in a fun, hands-on setting. “I know how to entertain kids and keep them safe and keep them having fun,” she said.

Heider said that her camp counselors are also all former campers themselves, which helps to further enhance their one-on-one relationships with the kids.

Van Vixen’s 2019 summer camps are $400 per week and are held June 10-14, June 17-21, June 24-28, July 8-12 and July 22-26.

For more information, go to vanvixenfarm.com.

Serene Acres Riding Centerin Bluemont offers children five camps this summer.

The center’s Spring Camp kicks the season off with a week of lessons from April 15-19 on horse care and riding, with an Easter Egg Hunt on the final day. Half-day camp costs $305 and goes from 9 a.m. to noon. Full-day camp costs $405 and stretches from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The center also offers a $425 full-day camp for riders ages 6-14 to learn about horse care, tack cleaning and riding technique. It will be held June 17-21 and Aug. 5-9.

Young riders can enroll in Pony Camp to interact with ponies and take riding lessons. It stretches from 9 a.m. to noon, costs $325 and is held June 10-14 and Aug. 12-16.

The center also offers a $45 P.O.N.Y camp—which stands for Providing Opportunities & Nurturing Youth—for riders who might not fit into other programs.

To learn more, go to sereneacres.com.

For adult horseback riders looking to have a little fun of their own this summer, there’s a few camps in Loudoun that offer courses for a more mature crowd.

The Tri-State Riding Clubwill offer an English Riding Camp on the weeks of June 11, June 18 and June 25 at Last Frontier Farm in Summit Point, WV. The camps will run from 5-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, giving riders a chance to get back from work. Cost for the camp is $250 per person.

The club is also working to offer a dressage-only camp later this summer at Wildfire Farm in Lovettsville.

Liz Shockley, the club’s treasurer, said that the camps are all about educating riders and helping them to get more in tune with the horses.

To register for a camp, riders must sign up to be tri-state member at $40 annually. To learn more, go to tristaterc.org.

Overlook Farmnear Purcellville offers riders two, four-day camps that feature daily horseback rides and lessons in dressage, jumping and trail riding. The camps also instruct riders on basic equine management and daily horse care, like proper tacking, first aid and barn cleaning. The camps cost $475 and will be held June 10-13 and Aug. 12-15.

To learn more, go to theoverlookfarm.com.

pszabo@loudounnow.com

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