Equestrian Camps

Equestrian Summer Camps

Due to Covid guidelines, Summer Camp format has changed. We are currently under a Citywide Mask and social distancing order. We are owned by the City of Springfield therefore all ordinances include Valley Water Mill Park Premises.

2021 Equestrian Summer Camp Dates 

  • June 7-11 Beginner Camp, Session 1 
  • June 14-18 Progressive Beginner Camp, Session 1 
  • June 21-25 Intermediate Camp, Session 1 
  • June 28-July 2 Advanced Camp 
  • July 12-16 Beginner Camp, Session 2 
  • July 19-23 Progressive Beginner Camp, Session 2 
  • July 26-30 Intermediate Camp, Session 2 
  • August 2-6 Beginner Camp, Session 3 
  • August 9-13 Beginner/Intermediate Combined, Session 1 
  • August 16-20 Beginner/Intermediate Combined, Session 2 

Sessions open on February 1 for enrollment over internet or by calling the office (417-833-3291). These activities fill fast so don’t delay! 

Beginner Camp - NEW RIDER – never independently saddled/ridden, limited experience.
Progressive Beginner – Attended HorseShoe 1&2 or Beginner Summer Camp. Can lead, groom, saddle and mount with assistance/light instruction. Can start, stop and steer at walk, working on confidence in trot/jog.
Intermediate – In regular lesson program, independent rider at walk, trot and working towards canter/lope.
Advanced – In regular lesson program, cantering but needs more experience. 

Summer Camp sessions will be Mon-Fri., 8 a.m. – Noon. Kids will need to bring a snack, mask to wear in the barn, appropriate foot gear and long pants that they can get dirty. All equine equipment used will be sanitized by participants after being used for the day. There will be no sharing of equipment. All persons in the barn will wear a mask at all times including instructors. Total participants will be limited as we are restricted to a total of 15 persons in the barn at one time including staff. Summer Campers will remain down at barn for the entire camp unless inclement weather interferes. Intermediate and Advanced camps require instructor approval. Intermediate camp participants must be able to show knowledge of all barn safety rules, safely catch, halter, tie, groom, tack, mount, ride confidently at walk and trot. Must be able to have control of the horse at all times while riding in the arena. Students will be working towards gaining confidence and control loping(cantering). Advanced Campers need to be able to effectively walk trot lope(canter) with confidence and control prior to the camp. Advanced campers will be exposed to a variety of horses, riding disciplines and handling naughty horse behaviors. If not a VWMP-EC student, then their current instructor can call and make a recommendation for camp level. Students may also take one private lesson to assess their current skillset for camp placement. We encourage all parents to be on time. Drop off and pick up is at the participant area in the Indoor Arena. Parents have a 30-minute window before and after for drop off and pick up. If you are past 12:30 in picking up your child- late charges may apply. On the first day of camp, please be prepared to list all persons that may be picking up your child and your emergency contact information. Adults picking up children MUST be prepared to show a photo ID AND be on the authorized pick-up list. Campers are limited to 6 per session as it is very hands on. A minimum of two camp counselors will be with campers in the barn, indoor or at all times. 

I recommend that the kids wear blue jeans or another pant that they can get dirty. When they ride, their legs will be protected from the saddle. They will need a mask every day. One cloth mask will be provided to use in the barn for the day if they don’t bring their own. Western style boots or shoes are a great idea. I would recommend buying used or going to payless shoe store. They need to have a normal to slick sole (makes boot easier to come out of the stirrup in case they fall) and a slight heel on it (prevents the foot from going all the way through the stirrup and getting caught.) Boots don’t need to be fancy because they will be getting dirty. Rubber boots are very hot in summer. Feet sweat and they get blisters. High heels are inappropriate for being around the horses. They can wear their tennis shoes, but if a horse steps on their feet, the fabric doesn’t provide enough protection. And when riding, they will not be allowed to use the stirrups as tennis shoes tend to get stuck in the stirrups. If you buy new boots, have your child wear the boots to school (or all day) to break them in. If they are tight and made of leather, lightly pour rubbing alcohol on the tight spots then have the child wear the boots until they dry. Then apply a small amount of leather or vegetable oil to the tight areas. The alcohol allows the leather fibers to stretch, but if you remove the foot before totally dry, the fibers will rebound tighter….. So you set the new stretch by letting it totally dry then adding leather oil, or vegetable oil….. If you need more stretch, reapply more alcohol before oiling. 

ASTM riding helmets are provided, and hair should be pulled back or braided into a low ponytail so helmet can fit appropriately. Students may bring their own ASTM horse riding helmet to use at their own risk! Instructors have authority to change helmets/fit at any time if necessary. 

We will have plenty of water for the kids (N/C). The coke machine is unreliable. We recommend campers bring an insulated water bottle and light snack. There is not access to refrigeration at the barn, so please plan accordingly. Tentative daily schedule weather permitting - Student drop off, down to the Barn for morning chores, morning riding lesson, sanitize and put away all tack, quick snack, riding based outdoor activity, turn horses out/Await Pick up. During severe thunderstorms, participants are held indoors until 30 minutes after last known lightning strike. Participants may be cleaning tack, playing indoor horse games (high heat/humidity). 

From I-44 and Glenstone Ave: Go north on Glenstone to second light at Kum -N-Go. Turn right or east onto Valley Water Mill. Go 3/4 mile. At "T" intersection, turn left or north onto Farm Road 171. Go 3/4 mile. Stay to left on Farm Road 171 as you pass the pond dam. Entrance is on left side of road 1/2 way up hill. Look for white pipe fencing and a red brick house. From I-44 and Hwy 65: Go north on Hwy 65. Take the next exit - County Rd. 102. At end of exit ramp, turn left. You will pass the golf course and after the pond, turn right onto Farm Rd. 171. Entrance is on left side of road 1/2 way up hill. Look for white pipe fencing and a red brick house. Drop off and pick up is at the house. GPS doesn't always like our address so try using the zip code and bring the directions. Physical address is 4007 N. Farm Road 171, Springfield, MO 65803. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call 417-833-3291.