Riding & Horsemanship Lessons


Horsemanship & Riding Camps

*Registration is now open!*

Where kids connect with animals!

We foster a safe, positive, and fun environment for campers to better their riding skills and learn about horsemanship. Riding time includes standard group lessons and mounted games. Hands-on-horsemanship experience will allow campers to delve into the care and keeping of the horses, safe practices, and the care and management of equipment. In addition, every camp week will feature a different artistic and hands-on activity for campers to engage in. With the variety of activities available, we would love to have your kid for more than one week of camp!

If you have questions or need financial assistance information, please email: equine@ncal.com

See all Horsemanship camps below ↓


North Country Animal League Central Vermont

Horsemanship & Riding Camps

Ages: 12-15*

June 19 – June 23 Waitlist

9:00am – 3:00pm

*Prerequisite: Must have attended a previous NCAL Horsemanship camp or participated in the NCAL lesson program at the Novice level or above.

Price: $495

(Max 10 participants)

NCAL’s Counselor in Training (CIT) Camp is for kids ages 12+ who are looking for more hands-on experience and want to contribute in a positive way to North Country Animal League, while also honing their horsemanship skills and animal welfare knowledge. The CIT Camp is for those who have previously taken part in NCAL camps or lesson programs and wish to become Junior Counselors (16+), or Counselors (17+) in our summer camp program in the future.

CIT Camp is a full-day camp, where CITs take part in caring for the North Country Animal League’s animals at both the Equine Center and Pet Adoption Center. Participants in our CIT camp will be asked to attend 2 additional weeks of summer camp (at no additional charge), where they will work alongside our experienced staff to facilitate camp activities and lessons. Our CIT camp is a great way to take a deeper dive into all of NCAL’s operations and activities while spending time at both centers. CIT’s will be able to practice using their knowledge and experience while working with younger students and helping them advance their skills, confidence, and understanding of animal care.

Daily Schedule

  • 9-9:30am – Fence meeting
  • 9:30-10:45am – Group A-Daily animal care/Group B-Group Lesson
  • 10:45-12:00pm – Group B-Daily animal care/Group A-Group Lesson
  • 12-12:30 pm – Lunch
  • 12:30-2:30pm – Daily activity to promote leadership skills & confidence in horsemanship; and a variety of advanced skill development opportunities
  • 2:30-3pm – Daily wrap up & Prepare for tomorrow

Ages: 8-12

June 26 – June 30 Waitlist
July 17 – July 21 Waitlist

9:00am – 3:00pm

Price: $495

(Max 12 campers per week)

Horsemanship Camp is a week-long experience that fosters a safe, positive, and fun environment for kids to learn about horses and improve their riding skills. Daily activities and games focus on horse care and horsemanship, while emphasizing safety both on the ground and in the saddle. Campers learn to groom and tack up their horses as well as general day-to-day equine care. Campers ride daily in small group lessons taught by our experienced instructors, who meet each rider where they are at with their skill level. Horsemanship camp is just right for Beginner through Novice level riders (View Rider Ability Guide).

Ages: 5-7

July 5 – July 7 Waitlist
August 22 – August 24 Waitlist

9:00am – 1:00pm

Price: $295

(Max 12 campers per week)

Pony Camp is a three-day program for our youngest horse enthusiasts who want to learn more about horses and riding. In this half-day camp, activities focus on safety and movement around the stable while spending time with horses, and participating in horsemanship activities and daily care. By the end of the program, campers will have the chance to learn about different kinds of horses and their markings, understand basic skills to groom and tack a horse, and the feed and care necessary for their equine companions. Daily activities include yoga and stretching for young riders, and horse art and games.

Campers ride daily in small group lessons taught by our experienced instructors, who meet each rider where they are at with their skill level.

Ages: 8-12*

July 24 – July 28 Waitlist

9:00am – 3:00pm

*Prerequisite: Must have attended a previous NCAL Horsemanship camp or have participated in the NCAL lesson program.

Price: $495

(Max 12 campers per week)

What does it really take to care for a horse of your own? In Horse Around the Barn, campers have the opportunity to experience horse ownership as they are matched with their very own horse for a week! They learn to care for and build a bond with their horse through daily care and exercise. Campers work through mock scenarios and will need to make decisions on issues that may arise when you own your own horse, such as veterinary care, emergencies, nutrition, exercise and training, hoof care, etc. What does being a responsible and humane horse owner mean? How much does it cost to own a horse? What issues are facing the equine industry? These are the types of questions campers thoughtfully explore with their peers and instructors while they build a meaningful connection with a horse through riding and care. Horse Around the Barn Camp is just right for Kimberwick through Intermediate level riders.

Ages: 8-12*

August 7 – August 11 Waitlist

9:00am – 3:00pm

*Prerequisite: Must have attended a previous NCAL Horsemanship camp or have participated in the NCAL lesson program.

Price: $495

(Max 12 campers per week)

Hurrah for summer and horses! There is no better time to immerse yourself in horse activities, and experience as much as possible. During our Everything Horses camp, campers will spend time in daily activities to build their horsemanship skills and knowledge in a diversity of equine-related topics such as veterinary care, feeding, and the almost endless ways in which we can enjoy our equine partners.  Campers will participate in daily group lessons in the saddle to improve their riding skills under the instruction of our experienced instructors. In addition to riding, we will explore a multitude of activities including mounted and unmounted games, in-hand work, ground driving, and riding outside the ring.

Summer Camp FAQ

Our camps cater to the following age groups: 5-7 (*Campers must be able to use the restroom confidently and on their own); 8-12; 12+.

As a working animal welfare organization, we provide care for animals with a wide variety of personalities, behavioral and medical needs. Campers will see and interact with appropriate animals directly while keeping safety our number one priority.

Please provide your child with a snack, lunch (*NUT-FREE only) and a water bottle each day. We will be in touch with you prior to camp with more details about planning and preparation to make sure you and your child are all set for camp.

For safety purposes we do not release children at pick up time to anyone not listed on the “authorized to pick up” list. We check ID daily at checkout time. To add someone to the authorized list, you must include their name, contacts and any other relevant information during registration. If you are adding someone to the list after registration has been submitted, please email lusana@ncal.com.

Please be sure to provide their allergy/medical information during the registration process. Kindly note that we will have daily exposure to common allergens such as hay, pollen and pet dander. If your camper has strong reactions to any of these, please reconsider enrolling them in our program.

All of NCAL’s COVID-19 safety protocols are updated in accordance with local CDC recommendations as they come. Masking is currently optional during any outdoor NCAL programming (if you would like your child to wear a mask during outdoor activities, please inform their camp counselors during drop-off). While inside NCAL premises, all campers, staff and visitors are required to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status.

Horsemanship Camps take place at NCAL’s Equine Center. Humane Heroes takes place at both the Pet Adoption Center and the Equine Center.

All our camps are led by qualified teams consisting of NCAL staff members and camp counselors.

During registration there is an ‘additional comments’ section. Please make a note of who you want your child to be in the same camp with – include their friend’s first and last names, as well as parent contacts. We are unable to guarantee group placements as your child’s friends may be registered with a different camp. For Horsemanship Camps, children are grouped according to their skills and riding levels, so this option may not be feasible.

Camp staff or counselors are unable to administer medication to a child (besides first aid approved by parents/legal guardians). If your child needs medication during their camp hours, a parent or authorized guardian will have to be present and administer it for them.

Rider Ability Guide

To understand which group is appropriate for you or your child please refer to the following chart. If you or your child seem to be falling in between program levels it’s best to choose the lower level.

Level Description of Level
Yearling Riders ages 5-7 years old
Level 1 New riders, ages 8+, working on foundational skills at the walk and trot
Level 2 Must be able to groom independently; walk/trot independently while demonstrating solid fundamental skills and control; learning how to canter
Level 3 Must be able to tack up independently; walk/trot/canter independently while demonstrating solid fundamental skills and control; comfortable trotting without stirrups; learning how to jump

*Students are responsible for arriving 30 minutes prior to lesson start time to independently groom & tack their assigned mount.