​Camp Hours

Day Camp runs from 9:00 am - 12:00pm.  Drop off times are between 8:45am – 8:55 am (Unless enrolled in Extended Care, we ask that you come no earlier please or you will be asked to wait in your car) and Pick Up is 12:00 pm. 

 We offer before and after camp programs with morning care available at 8:00 am and late after noon pick ups between

12:30-6:30pm, with the understanding that Extended Care kiddos may be doing a quiet activity, assisting with barn chores or watching client riding lessons. Extended care kiddos will not be riding horses. 

What to wear to camp

  • T-Shirt.
  • Jeans, long pants, leggings or sweatpants.
  • Tennis Shoes. No sandals, please!
  • Campers can wear hoodies over a T-shirt & shorts on cool mornings. When the sun comes out, they can take off the hoodies and put them in their cubby.
  • Clothing needs to be modest and appropriate for horseback riding. The fit should be neither too loose nor too tight for normal participation in camp activities. Clothing that exposes cleavage, midriff or buttocks when bending, running, etc., is unacceptable.
  • No personal items, including watches or jewelry, other than the above. We do have a Lost and Found every day at Closing Circle. Help us to return your camper’s belongings by clearly marking all personal items.
  • We provide helmets for campers to wear while riding, but if campers have a horse riding helmet, they are welcome to bring it. Please make sure all personal helmets have duct tape on the back with the camper's name.

2020 Summer Day Camp


Sample Schedule

9:30-10:20 Campers groom and saddle horses, Snack & bathroom break

10:20-11:00 Riding Class

11:00-11:40 Barn chores

11:40-12:20 Lunch 

12:20-1:00 Riding Class

1:00-1:25 Untack, brush, put away horses & tack

1:25-2:00 Clean up site, Bathroom break & goodbye

What NOT to Bring to Camp

  • Anything Electronic: including cell phones, ipods, video games,ipads, tablets…
  • Toys or Stuffed Animals.
  • Trading Cards or Games.
  • Pets or any other living animal.
  • Weapons, knives, contraband of any kind.

We are here for the horses!

True Heart Equine's Horse Day Camp grew out of the unique and successful horseback riding program that is the essential part of our facility. We are very proud to be bringing it back to the Cedar Rapids area this year. 
Campers get firsthand experience with western riding, outdoor scenic trail riding, grooming, saddling, and games. Campers will not only learn about horses, but will also learn how horses think and how horses can teach the camper. Having fun and being safe while leading, saddling and riding a horse are top priorities. 

The full day camps are suited for youth ages 8 to 18. The Littles Day camps are suited for youth ages 4 to 7.

Camp Weeks

PEEWEE WEEK: July 13-15/ Ages 4-8 / 9am-12pm / $200
July 20-24: Ages 5-7 & 8-18 /9am-12pm/ $200
SCOUTS WEEK: July 27-31: Ages 5-7 & 8-18 /9am-12pm / $200
August 3-7; Ages 8-18 / 9am-12pm / $200
August 17-21: Ages 8-18​ /9am-12pm / $200

What Makes us Stand Out?

  • Experienced and Nurturing Staff. All True Heart Equine programs are known for our exceptional staff. Our Horse Day Camp staff members are adults who are great role models who know how to make camp a fun and successful experience for every child. 
  • Teen Counselors. We offer teens the opportunity to volunteer, which also gives the campers a goal to achieve if they want to continue riding and doing camps. 
  • Camper Grouping. Campers’ abilities are assessed the first day and they are placed in a group that fits their skill level: Beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Littles (age 4-7) are in their own group and do shorter activities than the big kids.
  • Two Riding Periods Each Day. Campers have two formal riding lessons each day where they learn basic western riding, obstacle course, horsemanship, in-hand activities, and more.
  • Additional Horse Activities. Campers also participate in additional horse activities such as: Horse Yoga (simple stretching excersices on horseback), mounted games, horsemanship, horse care, barn chores, and horse crafts (like making horse fly spray and a horse shoe picture frame!).
  • Facilities. Campers ride in our large arena, and when ready they ride our obstacle course and trail ride down the road at our farm in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • Horse Show. Parents can see their camper ride on Friday of the last week of each session!
  • Parents are welcome to volunteer for their week of camp in order to earn a discounted camp session.

Lunch Guidelines

We recommend parents pack lunches nutritious. Include enough lunch so that your youngster has something extra for a mid-morning snack. Natural juices that come in containers or boxes are the easiest beverage to bring. Juices that come in boxes can be frozen the night before, wrapped in foil, and put in the lunch to keep food cool as it defrosts. We suggest parents send lunches in a thermosack with an ice pack. We do have a refrigerator available but prefer that campers keep all their belongings in their assigned cubby during the day.

The following safety procedures have been developed to prevent any possible contamination of food brought to camp by campers. We have never had a case of food poisoning at Roughing It because our parents have adhered to these basic food safety rules.

  • Do not send perishable food items (cream based products and egg products besides hard boiled eggs.)
  • If you send any semi-perishable food products (meats, cheeses, mayonnaise, etc.) you need to freeze your camper’s beverage or water bottle and place it next to the semi-perishable food or freeze the food product.
  • Beverages – Send water or natural juice boxes.
  • It is always a good idea to freeze your camper’s water bottle and beverage.
  • Small insulated containers and non-breakable thermoses (small) may be used for semi-perishable foods.
  • During extremely hot weather it is best to use only processed/packaged food products.
  • Please alert the camp to any special dietary needs your child has.
  • Due to food allergies and dietary needs of our campers, there is no food sharing. Campers can bring a watermelon or fresh fruit to share with their group.
  • For your camper’s safety, our counselors will screen lunches and will dispose of perishable foods that appear to be spoiled.

Counselors will check campers’ lunches and will dispose of perishable foods and foods that appear to be spoiled. It is our sincere desire to protect our campers from an unnecessary bout with food poisoning. On very hot days, we use coolers with blue ice to keep lunches fresh.

Helping Your Child Adjust to Camp

A major reason for sending your child to camp is for them to grow as an individual. At our horse summer camp, your child will learn to become resilient, independent and confident.

Growth comes with some struggle and perhaps some pain, but hopefully a lot of fun. Our goal is to help your child see these challenges as opportunities and not to fear them.

When a child is confronted with challenges, they may often say things that can be decoded as “I am having trouble with this situation.” They may say things like:

  • “I don’t want to ride, do crafts, etc.”
  • “I don’t like my counselor, riding, camp, etc.”
  • “Camp is boring, too exhausting, kids are mean, it's too hot, too cold, etc.”

How, as a parent, can you respond to this?

Acknowledge their concerns. Whether it is real or imaginary, it is real to them.
Ask for specifics.

  • “What do you mean the camp horses aren't what you want?”
  • “What makes you feel that way?”
  • “What happened and when and who was there?”

Brainstorm options for solving the problem. Remember not to over-rationalize with your child or let them make excuses.
Provide encouragement and belief in your child to work through the challenge.

“You can do this!” “I believe in you!” “We are here to help.”

If you need additional help: Contact our camp director, Kel, as soon as possible. An administrative staff member member will look into your situation and speak to you before your child returns to camp the next day.
Our goal is to help your child see challenges as opportunities and not to fear the uncertainty of new situations.

What not to do – Please, do not try to bribe your child into staying in camp by:

  • Writing a note saying that he/she does not have to participate in an activity. Such a note ties our hands in trying to assist your child in solving the problem.
  • Letting you child stay home from camp. We once had two Junior High girls who talked their parents into letting them stay home and go shopping on the day of the horse yoga and crafts. They certainly missed out on a great experience!
  • Offering material rewards or money to get your child to do what they are afraid to try. This subtly undermines you child’s self-confidence.

We ask for your support as we help your child through any challenges of camp. Your expectation and encouragement that they try their best is so important.

As Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.  This holds so true at camp.

Learning to ride a horse is not always feasible option for some families, income-levels, or situations.If you or someone you know is applicable for low-income sponsorship, we offer parents/guardians/older siblings to volunteer as camp counselors in order to get a discounted week of camp for a camper! You must attend all days of camp and attend orientation. Please email or call us if this applies to you. 

What to Bring to Camp

All that is needed is:

  • A love for horses! 
  • Sunscreen/Bug Spray.
  • Closed toe and heel shoes. (boots or shoes with a heel are preferred but not required)
  • A bag lunch and a water bottle! (Half days just a snack)

We supply the horses and the equipment!

What do Campers do all day?

Kids who attend one of our Horse Camps can expect 2-3 hours of  time each day, as well as crafts, horse science, barn chores, and the opportunity to ride in our closing Rodeo! NO EXPERIENCE is necessary to attend our horse camp! We teach all campers everything they need to know. 

Our camps are designed to provide a "hands on" experience for youth wanting to learn more about horses, horse care, and riding techniques. Although we offer a variety of activities, the majority of the camper's time is spent working with horses and improving riding skills. 

 Whether the camper is a first time rider, or looking to enhance current riding skills, True Heart Equine's Camp has the facilities and faculty to meet individual needs.


1. Go here: https://forms.gle/8H9LtFhgz2cZ42th8
and fill out this reservation form. You will get a confirmation email from us in a few days detailing what forms we will have for you to sign on the first day of camp.
2. Make sure if you have selected a digital payment option that you check your email for an invoice. If you elect to mail payment or pay cash on the first day, we will still accept the reservation as long as payment is cleared before the first day of camp.
3. Bring your camper to camp!
Volunteer Requirements:
(Our website has not been updated yet to show the changes but this shows basic requirements and FAQs)