Beginner Camp

Join us for our award-winning horse camp at Kenilworth this summer! Come have fun, make new friends, and get immersed in the wonderful world of horses at our beautiful private barn in the Oakland hills. We strive to offer the highest quality horse camp in the bay area, prioritizing proper horsemanship, safety, and compassion. 

Camp Kenilworth provides campers with a fun and comprehensive introduction to the equestrian world both in and out of the saddle. Focusing on the hunter-jumper (English) discipline, riders learn "hunt seat," allowing them to maintain close contact with the horse through strong legs, strong core, and gentle hands. Our amazing team of horses and ponies are well-mannered older schoolmasters who love children and love their jobs. 

A Day at Camp

Morning Barn Tour

Every morning we start with a tour of the property to say good morning to the horses, feed them treats, visit the chickens and check for eggs!

Horse Grooming, Tacking up, and Barn Chores

Campers learn the responsibilities that come with riding - from grooming their horse and tacking up to cleaning their bridle and sweeping up. They learn that hard work and respect for our animals can deepen the special bond with their horse.

 

Two Riding Lessons a day

Thorough instruction with equestrian professionals gives campers a solid foundation in the saddle. Safety is our top priority, but we have lots of fun too! After a demonstration the morning of Day 1, campers learn a balanced position that allows them to pursue extra fun rides later in the week. Campers ride bareback, do balancing exercises, ride pole courses, and have a horse show on the last day to show off their new skills. 

 

Horsemanship & Classroom lessons

Safety and Handling

Grooming, Tacking Up, and Post-Ride Care

Horse Anatomy, Health, and Nutrition

Horse Breeds

Colors and Markings

Types of Riding and History of the Sport

And more!

 

Horse Show 

At the end of the week, campers take a horsemanship quiz (with assistance as needed) and ride for friends and family in a mini horse show.

Ages 7 - 10

 

Our camps offer an intimate learning experience. We limit each session to 8 campers, so they fill up fast!

Tuition $800

$400 due at registration to reserve your spot

Camp Hours

9:00 - 2:00 

Monday - Friday

Aftercare available

2:00 - 5:00 M - Th

FRIDAY HORSE SHOW 12:45

Family and friends are encouraged to come watch as riders work through a pole course and show off their hard work!

Summer 2020 Dates

June 15-19

June 22-26 

July 6-10

July 13-17

July 20-24

July 27-31

Aug 3-7

Enrollment will open the week of 1/5/2020. Campers must be ages 7 - 10 at time of camp.

What makes us different

Our horses

Unlike other camps that source their horses only for the summer then ship them away, our beloved horses are with us all year in our Riding School. They are retired show horses with lengthy impressive careers as incredible teachers in our discipline; they are impeccably trained far beyond the level of most camp horses. Thus, they are very safe to work with and are amazing "babysitters" with kids. They teach beginners through advanced riders year-round, are exercised, groomed and loved daily. We know them well and care for them for the rest of their lives. 

OUR STAFF

Like our horses, our camp staff have been with us for years and know our horses, program, and philosophy incredibly well. While many camps will outsource their staff each summer, we limit our staff to those we've known and trusted for years - all Kenilworth members. All very advanced competitive riders themselves, our camp staff bring a wealth of knowledge and are trained in all horsemanship and equitation principles to our high standards. They bring a fun, positive and sometimes silly energy to a polished program. All wonderful and experienced working with kids, our staff are also CPR/First Aid certified. Many campers find new friends in their counselors each year!

OUR APPROACH

We take things at a slower pace than other horse camps because we love the sport, our horses, and we want to teach a solid, correct foundation - both for safety and enjoyment! Sadly, it's very common for camps to prioritize an exhilarating camper experience over safety and animal welfare - letting beginners canter or even jump in just one week! This is very dangerous; cantering or jumping should never be done until riders have significant experience over many months of weekly training, even years. Not only is this approach unsafe, it is very unfair and even cruel to the horses who experience severe pain in their mouths and backs carrying an unbalanced rider. While we take it more slowly, our campers still have the time of their lives and enjoy super fun, appropriately challenging rides. 

THE FULL EXPERIENCE

In addition to our effort to build a truly correct foundation of balance and basics in the saddle, we also deeply value correct horsemanship. While many camps will have their staff groom and tack the horses, we involve the campers in the full experience of horsemanship - from haltering and leading the horse out of their stall to picking their feet and putting the girth on. Anything that might be "behind the scenes" elsewhere, the campers get to see and experience! This also means doing the "dirty work" like sweeping up, scrubbing bits, and cleaning boots - the full experience of being a true equestrian. Often campers will also get to watch our farrier at work shoeing the horses, too!