Roughing It’s Horseback Riding Program

Roughing It’s Horseback Riding Program

Horseback riding is one of our most popular activities! 

All campers in Preschool-CILT groups participate in riding lessons. Campers ride between one and three times per week, depending on their age, and develop their riding skills through 40 minute lessons. Campers are grouped based on their ability level, and they have the same riding counselor for the whole session. We carefully select our riding counselors based on their riding skills and experience teaching children. Campers ride in bareback pads, so there is no need to wear boots or long pants. Riding helmets are provided.

Riding lessons take place at our private ranch in Moraga, in four spacious riding arenas. Our herd of more than 20 horses all have gentle dispositions, and easily win the hearts of our campers. Campers are separated by ability level in different arenas, each taught by our riding counselors and their group counselor and Jr. counselor provide extra support and help.  

Riding Activities - English Equitation skills:

  • English Lessons – for Beginner – Advance
  • Gymkhana Events: Games on Horseback-a fun part of every lesson. Examples include: Red Light Green Light (Beginner), Musical Horses (Advanced Beginner), Pole Bending (Advanced).
  • Fundamentals of Jumping (Intermediate)
  • Advanced Jumping (Advanced)
  • Pasture Trail Rides (Intro to out-of-arena riding)
  • Obstacle Course  (All Abilities)
  • Cross Country Course (Advanced)
  • Vaulting (Solo and in Pairs)
  • Dressage (Advanced)
  • Drill Team (Intermediate)
  • Riding in Pairs (All Abilities)

Riding Lesson Levels

Lessons are based on specific curriculum for beginner through advanced riders:

Horse Readiness - One-on-one instruction (for Preschoolers and Kindergarten campers). Intro to horse fundamentals and safety. 

Intro to Riding - Learn horse fundamentals and safety. Learn to walk, steer, and halt independently. 

Beginner - Learn to ride independently and basic equitation. Steer and control your horse at the walk. Intro to trotting. 

Advanced Beginner -  Master independent riding in the arena. Controlled trot, practice half-halts, and intro to jumping position.

Intermediate - Mastery of trotting, intro to cantering, intro to jumping. Mastery of jumping position at the walk, and go over 18" cross rail at walk and trot.

Advanced - Mastery of cantering, jumping skills. Mastery of jumping position at the trot and canter, go over 2' jumps at the trot and canter.     

Advanced-Teen (Jr. High & CILTs) - Advanced riding techniques including dressage, jumping, cross-country, and mastery of gait transitions.


Campers gain confidence and pride in learning to ride independently. Beginning riders learn the basics of English equitation. Campers are grouped in arenas by age & ability from beginner-advanced. Campers play games at the end of each lesson to reinforce new skills. 

Campers 5th grade and older participate in SuperChoice and can choose riding clinics every Friday.

Want to ride more? Sign up for Saddle Club, our CampPlus "after camp" program.