Our 10 Favorite Horse Camp Activities

Thinking of hosting a summer camp at your barn? Throwing a horse-themed birthday party? Or maybe you want to send your kid to a summer horse camp and want to learn what to expect! At my barn, we host up to 15 day camps per year, most of which being in summer! These are our 10 favorite horse camp activities by far!

Here is a photo of my sweet half-Arab mare Jazz after she was painted by students at one of our camps!

If you have a well behaved horse who can stand tied nicely, this is such a fun activity to do! This is one of the most popular activities we do at our camps! It lets the kids be creative while also letting them do something they don’t get to do every day!

Things to Remember When Doing this Activity:

  • Be sure all camp attendees know where they can and can’t paint their horse! The last thing you want to do is try to scrub dried paint off of a horse’s ears or nose, or try to get paint out of a tail! Make sure this is known before you begin!
  • Make sure the paint you are using is washable and non-toxic! I recommend finger paints or face paints! These are skin-safe washable options! I often have used these paints and haven’t experienced any issues when they are washed off soon after!
  • Using a grey/pinto/light colored horse is the best option as the paint shows up the best on these horses! The washable paints are often less pigmented so using a horse that is a ‘lighter canvas’ will help those colors to show up better! If you don’t have a light colored horse, try to find bright colors or even very dark colors that will stand out on your horse’s coat!
  • Wash the paint off as soon as you are able! To prevent any staining, wash the paint off as soon as possible! We often pair the pony painting activity with a horse bathing activity. This way, you have two activities planned and your cleanup time after the camp is greatly reduced!

Supplies Needed:

  • Horse(s) (obviously!)
  • Paint

We hope you have fun painting your ponies! See how creative you can get! Spice things up by challenging campers to paint certain pictures, patterns, etc.

Here I am reading off a jeopardy question at one of my day camps

Horse themed jeopardy is always a big hit! Not only does it get everyones brains working, but it also helps campers learn to work together as a team to come up with the correct answers to all the trivia questions!

How to Play:

If you have never played jeopardy before, here is how the game works!

  • Campers are broken up into 2 teams! (They always have a blast choosing team names!)
  • Determine which team is going first to begin!
  • The team going first will decide on which category they want to choose their question from as well as a question of a certain point value (we do points from 100-500. Questions worth 500 points are significantly harder than questions worth 100 points)
  • Once they choose their category and point value, the question they chose will be read aloud for that team to try to answer. If they answer it correctly, they get the points! If they answer it incorrectly, the other team gets a chance to answer the question! Whoever gets the question right gets the points!
  • The teams alternate whose turn it is to pick a question regardless of who got the answer correct from the question before.
  • The game is played until no more questions remain and a winner is determined!


In the game Jeopardy, there are several questions all under different categories. Some ideas for horse-related categories are:

  • Coat Colors
  • Tack and Equipment
  • Our Horses (all questions in this category are about the horses at your barn!)
  • Horse Trivia
  • Disciplines
  • Horse Breeds
  • Parts of a Horse
  • Horse Health
  • Face & Leg Markings

Supplies Needed:

  • A scoreboard of sorts! (We always use a whiteboard, but anything you can write on will work!)
  • Pre-written questions for each category and point value
  • A whiteboard, poster, or wall to hang all the categories and questions on. (This way, campers can see which questions/categories/point values are remaining)

Sample Q & A’s you can use!

How many inches are in a hand? (Four)

What breed of horse is most commonly used in the racing industry? (Thoroughbred)

What is a white marking on a horse’s forehead called? (Star)

What is the triangular thing seen on the underside of a hoof called? (Frog)

Spice up your next game of jeopardy with some prizes! Offer candy, raffle tickets, or other goodies to the winning team to up the competition!

Here are some campers making these horse treats!

Kids love feeding horses! Why not involve them further in the fun of feeding and have them make their very own no-bake treats for the horses! My favorite no-bake recipe to use is the one I found here!

Supplies Needed:

Things to Know Before Doing this Activity:

  • Your hands will get sticky and stinky! Apple cider vinegar doesn’t have a very pleasant smell and molasses/honey is a very sticky ingredient! Not only this, but coconut oil causes the hands to be a little greasy too! Have some dish soap on hand to help the campers clean their hands thoroughly after they are done with this activity!
  • Use a disposable table cloth on your table! Kids are messy and these ingredients are messy as well! The last thing you want is to have your table full of coconut oil and molasses. Buy some disposable table cloths to make cleanup quick and easy!


Recipe credits are due for these treats! I found this recipe here, and have used it several times! It is quick, easy, and horse approved!

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chia/flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp molasses/honey
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Up to 2 Tbsp water (depending on consistency)

Mix all the ingredients, roll into balls, place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Once chilled, your horses can enjoy!

2 riders can be seen carefully holding their cups of water as they perform various maneuvers with their horses

This fun riding game is a great activity to do with more competent riders! If you have beginner level riders, doing this game while leading them on a horse is a great way to make it a game for all!

Supplies Needed:

  • Horses (of course!)
  • Cups
  • Water

How to Play:

  • Each rider is assigned a horse
  • Once mounted, riders are handed a cup of water that is filled to the brim
  • An instructor in the middle will ask the riders to perform different exercises
  • The rider who has the most water at the end of the game wins!

Things to Know Before Doing this Activity:

  • Be sure the horses you are using won’t be startled if water is suddenly spilled on them! Some horses can be a bit more sensitive or reactive to water, so making sure you have a solid selection of horses for this game is important!
  • Change this game up a bit! Once we played it like Simon Says and the riders thought it was the most exciting thing ever!

This game was such a big hit at one of my ‘big kids’ camps! Since that camp, this game has been HIGHLY requested by my students!

All the campers get so invested in this activity. Everyone wants their stall to be the best!

This activity is one we mainly do at our annual Christmas Party, but I couldn’t help but include it because the kids absolutely LOVED it!

If you have a barn with solid walls and doors like mine, this is the perfect activity to get campers excited, working as a team, and thinking creatively!

Whenever we deck the stalls, we always make it a challenge. Campers have a certain amount of time to work on their stall. Once the time is up, everyone votes on which stall door is the best! This incentivizes kids to not just work together, but also to do their best work! The end results are always so fun to see!

Things to Know Before Doing this Activity:

  • Horses can spook at wrapping paper, streamers, ribbons, bows, or just the crowd of people frantically working outside their stall doors. Horses who are more nervous might be better if not kept in the barn during this activity just so they don’t get so wound up!
  • Try to break up teams into groups of kids who you know can work together. Siblings often need to be split up because of conflicts/power struggles
  • There is a LOT of cleanup afterwards! Yes, of course some of the decorations can be left up for a few days, but for the most part, you must be prepared for a big cleanup!

Supplies Needed:

Students of mine talk all year about this activity! Add it to your list of horse camp activities for loads of fun!

Here are a few of our students just hanging out with the horses after participating in a water balloon and spoon relay race

Egg and spoon races are such a popular game not only at horse camps but also at parties! Horseback egg & spoon relay races are always such a fun way to test rider’s coordination, balance, and steadiness!

Sometimes, at our summer camps, we like to do water balloons on large serving spoons instead of the traditional egg and spoon! This way, it still tests the same skills as egg and spoon, but the game has a fun summer twist!

Supplies Needed:

  • Eggs or Water balloons (we use fake eggs so there isn’t such a mess!)
  • Spoons
  • Horses

Things to Know Before Doing this Activity:

  • Kids don’t pay good attention to where they’re going! They are so focused on their egg that they have a hard time correctly and safely guiding their horse around! This game we almost always play when the horses are being led to make sure everyone is as safe as possible
  • It is messy! If you are using real eggs or water balloons, be prepared to walk all around the arena picking up broken balloons and egg shells!
2 students running as fast as they can to get as much water to their team’s bucket as possible

The water bucket relay race is a super fun game we play all through summer time at our camps. Though it isn’t necessarily horse-related, it’s a super fun game to play when you just want to beat the heat!

How to Play:

  • Break your campers up into 2 teams. Try to think about age, height, athletic ability, etc. when creating your teams
  • Have each team create a line so the runner is clear on who goes next after their turn
  • Determine who your first runner is and give them a bucket (the bucket should be full of holes all over the bottom)
  • 3, 2, 1, GO!
  • Runners must fill up their holy bucket from a water trough and run down to their team’s bucket at the end of their lane. Once they dump the water from their holy bucket into their teams bucket, they will run back to their team and hand the holy bucket to the next runner in line
  • The team whose bucket get filled up first wins!

Things to Know Before Doing this Activity:

  • You will get SOAKED! Not only will your campers pants get soaked from running with a water bucket full of holes, but the ground will turn into a muddy mess in no time! Warn your campers in advance that they will get wet and muddy so they can wear clothes appropriate for these activities!

Supplies Needed:

  • 2 water buckets full of holes (1-2 gallon buckets are perfect! Don’t make them too big so kids can’t carry them!)
  • A water trough full of water (this is your main water source for this game. This is where your campers will get all their water from)
  • 2 big buckets (these will go at the end of the lane for each team. If you want the game to last longer or if you have a large group of campers, 25 gallon muck buckets are perfect! If you are looking to just play a couple fast rounds, a 5 gallon bucket is all you need!)
  • Cones or ground poles to mark out lanes for each team

Kids always have a great time with this game! Not only is it a great way to beat the heat, but it’s also a super fun way to get the campers working together in teams! You can even spice this game up by adding small obstacles such as ground poles to step over or cones to weave through! Get creative!

At every day camp I do, I like to do a raffle basket! In my raffle basket are things like water bottles, gift cards, candy, toys, games, and more! But of course you can put in whatever you want to!

Through the duration of this camp, students have several opportunities to win extra raffle tickets to increase their chances of winning! Some ways to get raffle tickets include:

  • Attending the camp! This might seem like an obvious one! But all camp attendees start with one raffle ticket
  • Wearing a special color or matching the camp’s theme. In the fine print of my camp invitations I hide something like “wear red to earn an extra raffle ticket.” This way, they have an extra chance to earn an extra ticket if they read the whole invitation thoroughly!
  • Winning a game or relay race! Sometimes I have prizes for winning certain games, but if I don’t kids usually have a choice between earning a piece of candy or an extra raffle ticket!

At the end of each camp before anyone leaves, we do our raffle drawing! It is always so exciting when someone gets their name called!

Whenever we near the end of one of our horse camps, everyone starts asking about the raffle! It is such a fun thing to do!

These campers put so much effort into perfecting every detail of their shoe! It’s so fun to see how creative they get!

Next time your farrier is out, ask him for a bucket of used horse shoes! Most farriers are happy to just give them away as most farriers throw old shoes out anyway!

Using used horse shoes sometimes requires a little bit of work to clean them up, punch out old nails, and whatnot, but they become the cutest craft ever for campers to work on!

If using used shoes isn’t your thing, most feed stores sell new shoes!

Supplies Needed:

Not only do the campers have loads of fun painting their shoes, but I also have a blast decorating shoes with them! This activity is so fun for all ages any time of year!

Not only do we do a raffle at the end of our camps, but we also do a candy guessing jar!

We basically just have a jar of candy and all the students go around and guess how many pieces of candy are in the jar! The closest guesser wins!

The correct guesser is always so surprised when they get the jar! It is such a fun activity to do at the end of each camp.

I hope that all of our horse camp activity ideas come in handy! Camps are one of my favorite things to do, so coming up with ideas is always so fun!

Hailey Sipila

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

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