The Ashford Farm day camp in suburban Philadelphia is for children ages 7 to 17 who love horses and are interested in learning the correct basics of horsemanship while riding in an atmosphere designed for both safety and fun.
How many campers are there?
Our enrollment is limited to 30. Beginner, intermediate and advanced groups are formed according to riding ability.
What do they do at camp?
In addition to daily riding and horse care instruction, camp activities include arts and crafts, swimming and outdoor games. The program also features a camp picnic, field trips, a sleepover, a camp horse show and Parents Day.
What should my child bring to camp?
A water bottle
A packed lunch
a sweatshirt for chilly days
a bathing suit, towel, and sneakers
Is there anything she/he shouldn’t bring?
Campers are asked not to bring cell phones, portable music players or jewelry. The office phone is checked regularly for messages from parents and can be used by campers to make necessary calls.
Campers may leave their helmets, boots and crops at camp. Please be sure that your child’s name is on all of her/his belongings.
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What riding equipment will my child need?
Campers are asked to have the following items for riding:
jeans or riding pants
hard-soled shoes with a small heel or English riding boots
an ASTM/SEI-certified helmet that has been fitted to your child
an inexpensive crop
a shirt with sleeves that covers the skin to the waist (no midriff tops)
For safety reasons, we must forbid tank tops and sneakers for riding attire.
What about eating and drinking at camp?
Your child’s lunch should be packed in a lunch bag, not a lunch box. All lunches are refrigerated. It is easy to become dehydrated while riding in the ring on hot summer days and access to water is important to your child’s comfort and health. The barn has a soda machine that dispenses bottled water ($1.25) and a water keg for everyone’s use is kept near the picnic tables, but your child is encouraged to bring a filled water bottle each day.
What happens during the camp day?
Campers arrive by 9:00 a.m., place their lunches in the refrigerator and take their belongings to the changing room. The campers then assemble at the picnic tables behind the barn to hear announcements and meet with their partners. Each team grooms and tacks their horse and leaves with their group for the ring. While one partner rides, the other takes part in arts and crafts, and after an hour they switch. The partners meet again when riding is over to cool off and put away their horse. After lunch each group participates in an afternoon activity that helps them learn more about horsemanship and horse care, followed by swimming at the Miquon School.
What if my child takes medication?
If your child takes medication for school, she/he also needs it for camp. We need the campers’ complete attention while they ride and handle the horses. Therefore, we ask you to keep your child on her/his prescribed dosage.
How are horses matched with riders?
Every week your child will be assigned a new horse and partner. A great deal of thought goes into choosing the appropriate horses for the campers and their particular needs. To become a skilled rider, it is essential to be accomplished on many different horses. If the instructor feels that your child is over mounted or in any danger, be assured that your child will be remounted immediately. Campers are encouraged to express their feelings to their instructor if they feel nervous or tentative in any way — this enables us to help them deal with their fears first hand.
Are there any special events during camp?
A field trip takes place during each session of camp. Traditionally our trip to Dorney Park, followed by a sleepover at the barn, takes place during the first session. Second session field trips have included seeing horses in other settings such as a racetrack or a polo match. Permission slips are sent home a week in advance with detailed information about the trip. Campers are transported by a bus driven by a licensed driver and are accompanied by the Ashford staff as well as parent chaperones. Spending money and admission fees for field trips are additional costs that are not covered in camp tuition.
Do you have a program for more advanced riders?
Yes! Ashford Farm teaches riders of all levels, but those who are looking for a more intensive program should look into our Show Team Camp. Campers must be at least 12 years old and riding at the intermediate level to be eligible to participate. The Show Team campers will ride an additional 2-3 times per week and instead of going to arts & crafts, they will have extra hand on time in the barn and with the horses. They will also have the opportunity to compete at a horse show at the Bucks County Horse Park during their session of camp.
Before & After Care is available from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The cost is $20 per day or $100 per week - Parents must sign up and pre-pay, though it can be added on the day needed.
How does camp transportation work?
Campers may provide their own transportation to/from camp, or, choose to take transportation provided by Ashford.
Parents who provide their own transportation or car pool are asked to drop their children off no earlier than 9:00 a.m. in front of the stable. Pickup is at 3:45 in the same location. There will be a charge of $20 per day for children who arrive before 9:00 a.m. or stay later than 4 p.m. as part of our Before & After Camp plan.
Transportation provided by Ashford
Door-to-door transportation is available for the Chestnut Hill area and the Eastern Main Line from Bala Cynwyd to Villanova. If your child is signed up for transportation, we will call you with a pickup schedule one week before camp begins. Campers will be picked up and dropped off at the end of your driveway. If your child is sick or not riding the bus on a given day, please notify the driver ahead of time.
Payment can be made with cash, check, electronic bank deposit, or credit cards (3% convenience fee added).
Tuition Insurance (optional)
Optional camp tuition insurance through Travmark.
If your child is unable to attend camp due to a medical reason Travmark offers tuition protection. This is an optional service, please follow the links below for more information or to sign up.
click HERE to enroll
Tuition includes daily riding lessons, arts & crafts supplies, swimming, and a camp t-shirt. Tuition does not include medical insurance, optional field trips, or lunch.
A $400 deposit is required with the camp application, and the balance is due on April 1.
No refunds for cancellations after April 1.