Day Camp FAQ


Q: What are the ages of the children attending Day Camp?

Our Day Camp program is for girls who are 7-12 years of age and boys ages 7-9.  Only 60 campers are registered for each week.  The staff-to-camper ratio is 5 to 1.  Some sessions are for girls  only; some are co-ed.


Q: What is a typical day like?

Campers arrive about 9:00 a.m. The day is divided into six activity sessions which are approximately 45 minutes long.  Campers are assigned into groups of 10, and groups rotate activities throughout the day.

Three activities are held in the morning and three in the afternoon.  These activities may include: riding, horse science, horse fun, sports, nature, arts & crafts, group games, and water games. Campers depart about 3:30 p.m. daily.

Campers generally have trail rides on Thursday (weather-permitting).  Friday activities pertain to the week’s theme, and we often have out-of-camp trips on Friday afternoons.


Q: How much riding will we do?

Campers will ride Western for approximately 45 minutes (Monday through Thursday).  There is an additional 45-minute session for un-mounted horse care classes.  Fridays are special with activities pertaining to the theme of the week.


Q: I have no riding experience – can I still attend Day Camp?

Many campers have little or no riding experience.  All of the children attending Day Camp will enjoy learning new skills with horses.


Q: Do I need special equipment to ride?

Riding helmets – The SEI logo must appear inside each camper’s helmet to be acceptable for riding, and the helmet must have a manufacturer’s date of less then five years ago.  We have helmets for at $10/week or $18 for two or more weeks.  SEI approved helmets may be purchased through tack shops; we also have them available in our camp store for $35. Please write your camper’s name inside her helmet.

Boots – When campers are riding or working around horses, boots with a raised heel and smooth sole are required.  We have boots that they may use for no additional cost.  If you prefer to have your own, you can purchase boots at tack shops and can often find them at resale stores such as Goodwill or St. Vincent’s for reasonable prices.


Q: What will I need to bring to camp?

Each day, campers should bring a sack lunch and two drinks that do not require refrigeration.  They also need to bring: a pair of jeans or long pants (NOT capris) to wear while riding, shorts, swimsuit, jacket, hat for the sun, sunscreen, water bottle, towel, and sneakers.  It’s important to label your camper’s belongings in case they are forgotten or get misplaced.


Q: Can I be grouped with a friend?

You may list your friend’s name on your application, and we will do our best to group you together.  We cannot guarantee that you will be grouped with your friend.  Several factors are taken into consideration including: age of camper, total number of children in each age group, and medical concerns.


Q: Will I be able to buy snacks and souvenirs at camp?

The camp store will be open on Fridays.  Campers can purchase snacks, drinks, T-shirts, and souvenirs.


Q: Is transportation to camp available?

Bus transportation is provided from four Madison area locations (see the Day Camp application for times and locations).  Our staff will ride the bus; however, they will not be getting on or off at all locations.  Parents should supervise their campers until the bus arrives and should be there at drop-off times.  Any change in pick-up or drop-off locations must be in writing at least two days prior to the change.


Q: Can I bring my child to camp?

The bus will arrive shortly before 9 a.m., so please don’t arrive at camp before 8:45.  Take the camp’s first driveway and park in the parking lot on the left.  The Day Camp building is located on the right side of the driveway.

A counselor will meet you and assign your camper to a group.  After that, you may leave, knowing your child is in good hands.


Q: What if the weather is bad?

Sometimes extreme heat or rain may adversely affect riding activities.  Program changes may eed to be made in the event of inclement weather.  The health and safety of our campers, staff, and horses is our top priority. 


Q: How are your counselors selected?

Many of our staff are former Hoofbeat campers.  Prior to the opening of camp, our staff attend a comprehensive week-long training program.  All riding staff must pass a 40-hour Horsemanship Safety Association clinic also.


Q: What are your facilities?

We have an indoor riding arena, large day camp building, miles of hiking and riding trails, nature cabins, and an outdoor riding ring.


Q: Can we visit camp before we come?

Each May we host an Open House where the whole family can tour the camp, meet the staff, learn more about our programs, and watch riding demonstrations.  Individual tours may be scheduled prior to camp by appointment only.

*During the summer, Hoofbeat Ridge is a “closed” camp, which means that we do not allow visitors due to the volume of campers, our schedule, and the safety of campers and staff. Our no-visitors policy helps us to maintain a high level of security. 


Q: How soon do I need to register?

Many weeks are often full by mid-March.  If you register late, we recommend indicating a 1st and 2nd choice of desired weeks.  To register, mail in your application with your deposit.  We also have registration available online.  After you are registered, a confirmation letter, medical form, and receipt will be sent to you.  If sessions are full when you register, we will gladly put you on a wait list.  Sorry, we are unable to take phone or FAX registrations, and we do not accept credit cards.