Summer Camp Spotlight: An Equestrian Experience at Chatfield Stables

Find out why we — and our kids! — love horse camp at Chatfield Stables

By Christen Reiner, Macaroni KID Lakewood-Littleton & Macaroni KID Denver Editor and Publisher January 30, 2023

Would your child enjoy learning real horsemanship skills, like grooming and feeding their partner horse? Does the idea of riding every day out on the trail or in the arena appeal to your summer camper? Do you love the idea of your kiddo bonding with one horse for a whole week?

Chatfield Stables, nestled into a pleasant corner of Chatfield State Park, offers an authentic western experience for campers of all skill levels during their summer horse camps. 

Trained, knowledgeable wranglers offer experiences tailored to meet your child's personal needs. Offering lessons and safety helmets for first-timers to extended round-trip excursions for those riders who yearn for a bit more of a challenge, Chatfield Stables is only a phone call away. BUT... you definitely shouldn't wait to secure your child's spot. Chatfield Stables Horse Camps fill up quickly!

Our kids have pegged a week-long horse camp session at Chatfield Stables as one of their favorite must-do activities of the summer.

Here's why kids (and parents!) love Chatfield Stables Horse Camp so much:

  • Each camper is assigned a partner horse for the week, which allows them to bond with and learn the personality of the horse that they will be working with.
  • The staff at Chatfield Stables is keenly aware of the temperaments of each of their 40 horses and matches the strengths of the rider to the horse that best fits.
  • After arriving in boots, jeans, sunscreen, and a wide-brimmed hat, they immediately get to work! Each camper grooms, feeds, waters, and cleans up after their assigned horse, then prepares to saddle up under the watchful supervision of one of the trained wranglers in attendance. 
  • Knowledge is the key to safety! Each camper undergoes detailed training to learn how to buckle, strap, and blanket that saddle so that it is solid on the back of their assigned horse, so rides are safe and the campers are confident. 
  • The staff adjusts their expectations of the campers daily based on what skills they have learned and mastered, almost like a classroom tutor. The campers then notice that they have earned differentiated horse care and rider responsibilities from the staff. They end up trying harder each day to meet and exceed expectations.
  • Our youngest son begged us to bring him along and enroll him in a week of lessons at age 8. Thanks to the thorough and immersive-style teachings of the staff at Chatfield Stables, he was convinced that if his older sister could control a horse, he could too, even as a novice. And he was right.
  • Not only did my kids have fun each day, but they were also learning and appreciating the seriousness of caring for a horse.
  • We were impressed at how professional our kids had become over a six-hour day, then the span of a week.
  • At the end of the week-long camp, the staff at Chatfield Stables has an informal celebration where personalized certificates featuring each rider proudly mounted on "their" horse are handed out to each child after the final closing activities are done for the day.

Would your camper love extra riding time?

Extend their camp day with the Pony Pals program! Pony Pals is a riding club for kids who just want to ride and have fun! Kids get to explore the trails in Chatfield State Park on horseback and see lots of wildlife! Parents are welcome to ride along. There are five rides each week, with a total of 6½ hours of riding time.

Pony Pals and Horse Camps can be combined. Ask for discounted rates!

NOTE: Although the program is called Pony Pals, the kids ride full-sized horses, not ponies.

A Word from Bob, Chatfield Stables Owner...

We have operated Horse Camps for over thirty years. It all began in 1987 when a guest told us about the camps her child had attended in California. What a great idea!  

We started with three weeks of horse camp, and the response was so great that we expanded the camp to eight weeks the following year. We continued to have more requests than we had space for, so the camp grew to include all twelve weeks of summer! 

Our camp is the longest continuously running horse camp in the area, and we are convinced that it is because our camp is all about the kids and horses. For over thirty years, thousands of children have gotten a really great hands-on experience with horses here at Chatfield Stables! We have been flattered that many other horse operations have followed in our footsteps and tried to emulate our concept. 

Chatfield Stables offers everything from horse camp to rides, lessons to birthday parties, and even hayrides! Don't miss the opportunity for your child to spend a week immersed in caring for and enjoying their "very own horse" for the week. Give Chatfield Stables a call today at (303) 933-3636 to set up your own equestrian experience!