Longacres Riding Camp - Same Family 1939 to 2015!

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Information & Contents Page - Contact Info click here

Check Here! 2014 Newsletter BACK to homepage - Click here

Check out the FAQ File Longacres 2014 References & E-mail Penpals

NEW! More Pics of facilities - NEW! 2015 Rates & Schedule

Scroll Down for Index of Pages on this Website!!

Tom's Articles Describing Longacres:

Welcome "Tour" of Longacres

A Typical Day at Longacres

Welcome to Longacres Tour

Is Longacres Right for You

Meet Our Horses!! (Visit here often!!) - Meet Our Horses! Pictures!

Riding: How Many Hours A Day?

Skip to article, Assigning Horses

Skip to article, What Tom Promises You

Skip to article, Are You a Serious Student

Favoritism at Longacres - Kind of


Also be sure to read:

Frequently Asked Questions

Jumping Course Article & Pictures - Pictures!

The Barn and Facilities at Longacres - Pictures!

References and E-mail Penpals

Rates, Schedules, and Sign-up Info

Article on Big Jumping at Longacres

Contact and email info

Meet Our Horses - Pictures!

MAP of East Aurora

How Many Hours a Day of Riding, REALLY?

Sometimes I tell people that even if we were the worst riding teachers in the world at Longacres, you would still makE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">

Longacres Riding Camp - Same Family 1939 to 2015!

(click on thumbnail for bigger pic)

Information & Contents Page - Contact Info click here

Check Here! 2014 Newsletter BACK to homepage - Click here

Check out the FAQ File Longacres 2014 References & E-mail Penpals

NEW! More Pics of facilities - NEW! 2015 Rates & Schedule

Scroll Down for Index of Pages on this Website!!

Tom's Articles Describing Longacres:

Welcome "Tour" of Longacres

A Typical Day at Longacres

Welcome to Longacres Tour

Is Longacres Right for You

Meet Our Horses!! (Visit here often!!) - Meet Our Horses! Pictures!

Riding: How Many Hours A Day?

Skip to article, Assigning Horses

Skip to article, What Tom Promises You

Skip to article, Are You a Serious Student

Favoritism at Longacres - Kind of


Also be sure to read:

Frequently Asked Questions

Jumping Course Article & Pictures - Pictures!

The Barn and Facilities at Longacres - Pictures!

References and E-mail Penpals

Rates, Schedules, and Sign-up Info

Article on Big Jumping at Longacres

Contact and email info

Meet Our Horses - Pictures!

MAP of East Aurora

How Many Hours a Day of Riding, REALLY?

Sometimes I tell people that even if we were the worst riding teachers in the world at Longacres, you would still make a big improvement in your riding during your stay. You can't help it; by riding so many hours every day you just about HAVE to get better!

Fortunately, we also have some pretty good teachers, but nearly all of you have chosen Longacres for your riding vacation primarily because of how much riding time we offer. Our basic schedule offers five hours of riding opportunity daily, and you often will actually spend all five of those hours in the saddle. We ride from 10 until noon (part of the 11am group until 12:30), again from 3 to 5PM and again after dinner every week day. And we keep at least one and a half and usually two or more horses for each student, so that under normal conditions there will always be a horse for everyone.

NOTE: We usually ride four hours a day during Lazy Days week in August when we get up late. The riding schedule varies during the June Clinics when it is often modified to fit in the many guest instructor clinics. You ride four to five hours a day during the June Clinic weeks.

But there are times when someone may have to "sit out" a lesson. There are a hundred things that can go wrong and put some of the horses out of action for a few days. Horses pull muscles, throw horse shoes, step on sharp rocks, get saddle sores - you name it, and sometime during the summer, it will happen to one or more of our horses! Normally, we have enough extra horses to cover these losses, but very rarely not.

"A" and "B" Riders:

NOTE: We have added so many nice horses to the barn in recent years that it is very rare to have to use the following organized system for deciding how to handle a shortage of horses in any particular hour. One of our students with four years of Longacres experience told me last summer, “You should take that whole description of the “A” and “B” riders off the website – we NEVER do that anymore.” She is pretty much correct. But we include the following policy description mostly so that you will know that we do plan for unlikely contingencies.

If we are short of horses for a lesson, we have an organized system for deciding whose turn it is to "sit-out". Every riding hour, half of you are assigned as "A" riders, and the other half as "B" riders. "A" riders always have priority - if someone has to sit out or have last choice on horses, it will be a "B" rider. Almost always, everyone gets to ride. Perhaps once every four or five lessons, someone is required to sit-out. Rarely, more than one person. This happens so rarely that after the first few days of each session, we rarely bother with the "A" and "B" rider records - but they are there in case of an unusual series of horse health or soundness issues.

Voluntary Sit-Outs:

Perhaps once a day I might see a lesson where one or more students have voluntarily decided not to ride. Five hours of riding a day is A LOT OF RIDING, especially when you first get to Longacres, and it is not uncommon for someone to simply be tired and want to take a break. As long as you are participating most of the time, we respect your decision if you ask to rest for an hour. Also, before an instructor formally asks a "B" rider to sit-out a lesson, they will ask if anyone would like to volunteer to sit-out. We also are doing more training of young horses every year, and some of you might be involved in ground work or other training certain hours.

"Meghan, Can We go to the Mall?"

The most common reason for not getting in a full five hours of riding in a day, is when you students as a group ask Tom or Meghan for permission to take the afternoon off and go to the Mall! We are a riding camp, and most of the time I expect you to work on your riding and take advantage of the opportunity that you are paying for here. But it is also your vacation, and we want you to have a good time. Once or twice a week, it is nice to take a break and go into town. Usually everyone agrees that "it is time for a road trip". About the only time we have some disagreements is during the July 8th to 22nd session. By then the long term students are getting a little stir-crazy, and eager to take occasional breaks. But the students here for only that two week session want to get in all the riding they can. We try to balance those interests evenly.

I hope this article gives you newcomers a better idea of the time you will spend riding and how we ration that time. Almost never do we have anyone complain that they aren't getting enough riding time at Longacres.


- Tom

How We Assign Horses -:

I'll tell you in this article a little about how we assign horses in lessons. Your first few days at Longacres we do a lot of swapping horses during lessons so that you'll get to know a number of suitable horses. We also post a chart on the wall of the barn where you can list your favorite horses. Often you will add to or change that list during the first four or five days of your session. We try to get you on three or four different horses your first afternoon at Longacres!

Horses for your lessons are assigned by one of the staff at the beginning of each day. The person doing the assignments is supposed to consider several things. In the first days of a new session, they will check the schedule to see who is an "A" rider and who is a "B" in each lesson. They should also look at the list of favorites that each of you has posted in the barn. They will then do their best to assign one of your favorites or another of the most desirable horses to everyone who is an "A" rider each hour, with next choices going to "B" riders. This may sound a little complicated, and it is for the first few days of each session until the staff get to know you and the kind of horses you prefer.

In practice, the horse assignment process becomes very easy after the first week. We always have a few situations where two or three people have the SAME horse as their favorite, but most of our students find a favorite mount that is special especially to them. Once that pattern sets up, my instructors will go out of their way to assign you your favorite horse several times a day. Because all the horses need breaks, you will also ride a variety of other horses during the day.

We also have certain lessons that are designated as "greenie" lessons, where we have everyone ride the least experienced horses and work on training them. Other lessons will be designated as "show horse" lessons where you will be assigned the horse you plan to ride in the next show.

You are ALWAYS welcome to tell the assistant instructors if there is a horse you would like to ride, but haven't yet. Generally we leave horse assignments to our assistants, but if you are never assigned a horse that you think you could safely ride, I am also very open to have you tell me personally. If I agree with you, I will mention it to the girls doing the assignments.

Summary: You will often ride your very favorite horse at Longacres, but not every hour. It is important for you to communicate and let all of us on the staff KNOW who you want to ride. (The line between communicating well and being a pest is a fine one!) Go out of your way to get to know all our horses - you may be pleasantly surprised at how well you get along with some horse that no one else particularly likes - then you will be able to ride him much more.

Our Pledge:

At Longacres we try to provide you with several things. First is the amount of riding, often five hours a day as explained above. We also offer you the chance to ride a variety of horses, including many that are real show horses, much more interesting than the average school horse you will ride at many stables. We also do our best to make sure that you are supervised by responsible assistant instructors and student-leaders during the day who have good judgement on what they can allow you to do with safety, while giving you an enjoyable time riding and learning.

But there is another very important factor in the equation that makes up the Longacres Riding program, and that is my personal participation in the evaluation of your riding progress and in planning your instruction. I have been in the horse and rider training business for many years, and our horses have been consistent winners at western New York shows during that time. One of the important benefits of coming to a small riding school like Longacres is that in addition to your many hours practicing with assistant instructors, you will have direct personal attention from a very experienced professional trainer.

I will get to know some of you very well during your time here. I pledge that I will pay attention to each of you and to be familiar with your riding progress and with what you should be practicing to improve.

Most days I will either monitor one of your lessons personally or if I don't, I will be video taping one of your lessons to discuss with you later, taking pictures of you, or I will observe while one of the other instructors actually teaches the lesson. Either way, I will be very aware of your riding level, your progress, your strengths, and your weaknesses as a rider. I will discuss your riding regularly with Meghan and the assistant instructors, to be sure we all are doing the best we can to help you.

Meghan holds regular more formal twice a week staff and assistant instructor meetings evaluating all riders and what they're working on in lessons.

I will be happy to answer your questions about your riding during the day between lessons anytime. I often take a rider aside when I’m monitoring one of your lessons with an assistant instructor to give you personal suggestions that might help.

The barn manager and other instructors assign you horses in your daily lessons, but if you feel you are qualified to ride a horse that they do not let you ride, you are always welcome to speak with me about your request. I tell my assistants to be conservative and careful in letting you ride horses that are at the limit of your ability. They would not be doing their job if everyone always got to ride every horse in the barn that they requested, so I expect some of you to ask me for special permissions, and sometimes I will say yes. I pledge to hear you out if you have a special horse request.

High Standards:

Perhaps more important than anything else, I pledge to hold you to a high standard of horsemanship WHEN you ride in front of ME. I hope that some of you care enough about your riding to try to be your best and be 100% focused all the time, but we recognize that Longacres is not only a riding school, but your riding vacation, and you come here to have some fun with horses. When you are riding with assistant instructors or on trails, you will have numerous chances to ride more informally. In lessons I watch, I hope you will pay close attention, both to what I might suggest to you and to your horse and your equitation as you ride.

To give you an example from my lessons, I expect all my riders to be sitting up straight in the saddle with their legs on the horse and contact through both reins even while you are standing in line waiting your turn to ride a jump course. I am told that I have eyes in the back of my head! When you are lined up at the side of the ring waiting your turn, I want you to have your horse standing straight and square with the rest of the line, his nose even with the two horses on either side of you. Part of this is simply to keep you sharp and ready to perform well, but a big part is teaching you that a serious rider is "riding their horse even when they are standing still". A horse loses interest in and respect for a rider who is slouching and not paying close attention. You will be very aware of that when you ride with me watching.

High Standards in Return from me:

I expect a lot from you when I watch you ride. I try to give you my best in return. The staff and I haul jumps all around the fields to set up interesting challenges for you. I don't get lazy very often and simply throw a single rail on a jump for you to go over - I set solid jumps with good ground lines. And I know my course design theory backward and forwards. If I tell you a line of two fences is set carefully for a five stride official horse show distance, you can bet that it will be darn close to 72 feet.

I also care about the appearance of our farm and the jumping arenas. You'll often see me on my trusty old Ford tractor (or the shiny new Kubota - thank you, Meghan!) or with a weed trimmer in hand right before an important jumping lesson, trimming around the jumps or dragging the sand ring just so the jumps will look pretty for your lesson that day. A horse and rider doing a fine job over a jump course is a beautiful sight, and that picture deserves to be framed with well painted and maintained jumps and a well trimmed arena. I try to provide you that at Longacres!

Lots of Video:

We have many thousands of dollars invested in professional video equipment at Longacres, and we take many hours of video of you riding during each session. We frequently meet at the main house after lunch or in the evening to review and comment on those videos. This video work and evaluation is another important personal contribution I make to your riding progress at Longacres. (Nearly all Longacres video is taken with high end HD cameras and many new students are stunned when they first see themselves on HD big screen video!)


I try hard to set a standard of excellence at Longacres, and to praise and reward those who work hard towards achieving that standard. I try to create an atmosphere where people try to do their best in our more formal lessons even if they are a relatively inexperienced rider. And the better you are, the more I will expect of you! At the same time, I am realistic enough to know that this is supposed to be fun for you, and after lessons I might watch, you will have many more relaxed riding opportunities. You'll also have some FUN with me! I love to include surprise gymkhana's and mounted games and contests as part of many of our lessons. And because I have the final responsibility for safety at Longacres, you will often have a chance to jump a little bigger in lessons where I take part than the rest of the day. There are rewards for hard work.

Once last summer I was talking with a group of students about a day's lesson, where someone had been chastised by me for not paying attention. I said, "Yes, I'm kind of an old meanie."

One of the students responded, "You're strict, but you're not mean!" If you girls who are new to Longacres this year feel that way at the end of your stay with us, I will feel that I have done well.


Are you a Recreational Rider or a Serious Student?

Let me say first, that Longacres welcomes you either way! But it is important for us (and for you) to know what you really want to achieve in your riding.

I like to classify riders in three groups.

First are riders who enjoy being on a horse and riding, but really have no interest in learning more advanced technique or going on to any more serious riding. I am glad to have girls with this attitude attend Longacres and take advantage of the many hours you get to ride here. But I would have to say that you are kind of wasting your money to pay to come to a place like Longacres if that is all you want to get out of horses. Still, if that is your goal, you are welcome here. We will of course teach you and especially make sure that you learn what you need to ride safely and have fun with horses. But we will be less demanding in the way we teach and evaluate you.

Second is the group that includes many students who come to Longacres. Students who love riding and who do want to polish their technique and learn to go on to more advanced riding and do some showing. Riders who are interested in learning, but who want to show mostly for the fun of it. Riders who do not consider themselves highly competitive. Riders who like riding because they love horses and spending time with them. Riders who are interested in much of what we have to teach you, but who want to be able to relax on their horse and not have too much pressure put on them in lessons. This is a fine attitude to have about your riding. I am pleased to have students like this at Longacres. Students in this catagory will get a lot out of Longacres, and will be pushed a little harder in my lessons, but I will go a little "easy" on you!

Finally, we come to the group of students who I will call serious, competitive riders. These are the girls who are competitive by nature and who have ambitions not just to go on to more advanced horse showing opportunities, but to WIN when they do. These are the students who make a point of practicing good equitation even when they are on a casual trail ride. The students who are sitting up straight and in full control of their horse even while they are standing in a line waiting their turn to jump a course. The students who during a "free ride" session on the training field are off in a corner by themselves doing dressage exercises or practicing clean lead changes while many others are riding casually with friends chatting about the day's events.

As I read over the above paragraph, it sounds as though I think every student should be a "serious competitive student". But that's not true at all! Riding is a great recreational activity, and Longacres really does welcome students who are here more for the fun and chance to learn a little more, than to win at all cost. I do, though, want you to know which kind of student you are. If you set the highest standards for yourself, I will have those same highest standards in mind when we teach you, and I will be the most demanding of your performance when you ride.

Favoritism in the Longacres Riding Program

Favoritism - preferential treatment; these are bad words around programs for children and young people. But preferential treatment exists at most institutions, and it exists in a planned way at Longacres sometimes. By frankly discussing this here, I hope to avoid resentment and jealousy as much as possible when all of you are here riding in the summer.

Longacres is a riding school that tries hard to give all our paying students an equal chance to ride nice horses and to show at an appropriate level if they wish.

But Longacres is ALSO a competitive show stable, with a long history of fielding very successful horse and rider combinations in western New York Show Jumper competition. We have won every possible show jumper championship in western NY over the years with horses like China Heart, Yorke Springs, Deamyn, Rameses, Tip-Off, Miscellaneous, Peppermint Patti, Leather 'n Lace, and Quantum Leap. And with very fine riders like Julie Murray, Sue Bell, Linda Reading, Sarah Helmstadter, Sarah Pistone, Meghan Duthie, Tovah Abrams, and most recently, Bethany Scarlata.

Number One Rider

I think it is good for our program to have the excitement of some of our horses bringing home the blue ribbons at a show. I think it is good for our program to have one or two extremely talented riders on our team as examples to us all. Because of this, Longacres often has a student who is in the "Number 1 Rider" position, a student who sometimes receives financial help from Longacres based solely on their talent and potential as a show rider.

NOTE: We have had several very good riders in recent years, and have often not even designated a "#1 Rider". But we might at anytime! Could be YOU!

Being "Number One Rider" at Longacres is pretty nice. And any one of you reading this article might be recruited to this position. I am always on the lookout for girls with exceptional talent and ambition who might grow into this role in our program.

Whoever is our current top rider does get some very nice benefits. They will often ride our best jumper in the biggest horse shows. They will get special private training sessions from me, and may ride the top show horses extra hours in training. But heavy responsibilities come along with the rewards. If I am giving extra attention and benefits to a very fine rider, I expect a lot of them in return. I expect them to help other students in any way they can. I expect them to ride any horse that might need training or be giving someone trouble. I expect them to be always working to do the best for our horses and to assist the barn management. And I expect them to be NICE to the rest of our students and a good example as a person. Ah, that last sentence! By her very nature, a teenage girl who is a successful show jumper rider is likely to be an intense, competitive type "A" personality.

I think that some of our most recent successful top show riders have done very well at being supportive and good for the rest of our students while riding to win for Longacres. Sarah Pistone was the "it girl" in 1997 and 1998. She was one of the best riders I have ever coached. Meghan Duthie came to us for just two weeks in 1999 as an unpolished, but very gutsy and determined young rider. I was so impressed that I invited her to return for the big Hamburg Fair horse show at the end of that season, where she fell off once - - - and then WON a big class! Meghan returned in 2000 as my primary jumper rider, and was with me the following two years again as both a student and an instructor. She was a great help to me and to Longacres. Tovah Abrams moved smoothly into the #1 rider role and our head trainer position in 2003 and 2004. But in 2005, 2006, and for most of 2007, no one student rose to the top spot. Jenn and Robyn were both briefly #1 riders during their final seasons at Longacres. Bethany earned that position in 2010 and will be with us for a good part of the 2011 season. Kellie Hunn was #1 Rider from the end of the 2011 season through her brief stay at the beginning of the 2012 season. Great riders, all!



We try hard at Longacres to give each student an equal opportunity to learn, to ride nice horses, and to try new things. It's just that one rider is some years going to get just a little bit "more equal" opportunity!

I want all of you coming to Longacres as students this year to know that those special "top rider" benefits are not given as personal favoritism because someone is a good brown-nose or suck-up. They are earned benefits and a planned part of our program. I hope that each of our students will benefit from being part of a program where excellence and success are nurtured and rewarded. And as I teach all of you this summer, I will be wondering which one of you might be a candidate to step up to that "top rider" position that was most recently held by Bethany when she moves on to other things.

Hope this article helps you understand more about Longacres.

- Tom

Getting Along as a Group:

Just about half our students most years are returning from the previous year, and half are new to us. For 2010, more than 70% of the July and August students were returnees. That's a good combination for creating a happy camp group. But our returning students must go out of their way to make all the new people feel welcome right away. There are a couple of things we do to help make that happen.

1) I try to put two girls who come together in the same bunk. But I also make sure that new students are evenly divided between our two bunks. If five or six of our students are here for the full eight weeks - to some of their slight displeasure, I will insist that only two or three of them be in the same bunk so we do not have a "clique" of full season riders.

2) Often when you get here, you will meet someone in "the other bunk" who you buddy up with and you might ask to change bunks the first day or two. My answer will be "no". Part of going to a camp is meeting new people and fitting into a group. I rarely allow a bunk switch during a session. If I do, it will be later in the session, not during the first day or two.

3) We will have lots of "bonding" activities during the first week besides our regular riding program. It is a tradition at Longacres that someone will ask for a "Kone King ice cream stand" trip after a day or two!


A Typical Day at Longacres (return to "Tour" )

First - Though we frequently do ride five hours in a day, we sometimes ride less, at the choice of our students. It may be hard for you to believe sitting at home in the winter if I tell you that our riders often come to me and ask me if they can "take the afternoon off from riding" and go the mall for a relaxing afternoon! But it does happen - the amount of riding Longacres offers is A LOT, and if you come here, you will sometimes choose to ride less in a day than we offer you. Especially if you are here for a longer session. That sometimes creates problems for the occasional student who comes to Longacres for only one week and wants to ride every possible minute while the rest of the students here for longer stays want to ease up from time to time.

Second - I like mentioning that we do have a few other things you could do at Longacres besides ride, but in practice almost never does anyone do anything but ride and work with the horses.

So, with the above few qualifications, the following article on a "Typical Day at Longacres" will be accurate and useful to you. Read on!!

One of the most often asked questions when people talk with me about camp is "What's a typical day like?". I thought it would be helpful to write up this detailed description of a normal day and post it out for everyone who's inquired about the Longacres Riding Camp this year.

Everyone has to be at the barn to help with horse care at 7:30 AM unless it is one of our occasional popular "sleep-in mornings"! Some people get up quite a bit earlier to take a shower and relax on the way to the barn. Others fall out of bed at 5 minutes to eight and stumble up to the barn rubbing the sleep out of their eyes! During horse care everyone helps on one team or another, watering and feeding, mucking out, or cleaning up the barn. On rare, very hot days, one group of riders sometimes has an early morning ride at 7:00 AM before horsecare.

Breakfast is at 9:00 and at 9:20 you report to the dining hall patio to help with "capers" which are camp chores for everyone. Your bunk is stuck with wiping down the sinks at the showers today, while others sweep the patio or the dining hall. With a willing smile you (cheerfully ??) do your capers chores for 10 or 15 minutes. You then have some free time to clean up your bunk with your bunk mates. You have to hurry, though, because your first assigned riding lesson is at 10:00.

You ride in your assigned practice lesson from 10 to 11. Our formal lesson of the day when Tom is likely to observe or help with your ride is between 11 and 12:30 .

An important part of the riding instruction plan at Longacres has always been the promise that I will personally watch every one of you ride every day. I have high standards, and part of what you are all paying for is being exposed to those standards. (If Tom is helping with a lesson, he often looses track of time during an interesting lesson and makes a group late for lunch!)

The first 11AM group starts horsecare at noon, and the second has to get ready for lunch when they get off. It's a hot day, and if there is time, you and a couple of friends may decide to take a quick lap in the canoe or go "sneaker-creeking" down at the Cazanovia Creek!

Meghan puts together a lunch for each bunk and packs it in a wicker picnic basket after breakfast every day. You get together with the other kids in the bunk and decide each day whether you want to eat at your bunk, take a hike by the river, or have lunch on the patio next to the dining hall. You pick up your wicker basket and box of goodies from the refrigerator, have your picnic with the other kids in your bunk, and start back to your cabin for rest hour. (
Reality Note from Tom Kranz: Though Longacres these days is a riding school with no "nature walks" or other traditional summer camp stuff, I have fond memories of many years ago when we did these things as part of the program. For this reason I encourage students to take these mid-day picnics, but I don't insist, and 90% of the time everyone plops down on the patio outside the dining hall for their lunch rather than taking the picturesque picnics I'm so fondly describing here. Oh, well!)

Just as you are ready to head back to your bunk for rest period, there’s a surprise announcement to meet at the RV in five minutes for a trip to KONE KING for ice cream. Surprises come often at Longacres!

Yesterday you took a regular rest hour, sleeping in your cabin, but Tom took video's of your riding lesson this morning, and he's asked your riding group and your instructor to go up to the main house and review your videos after Kone King during rest hour today. (We take about 20 solid hours of video tape every summer, and all of it gets reviewed while our students are here at Longacres.)

At 2:45 you go up to the barn to tack up for afternoon riding. You have horses assigned for both riding periods. If you hadn't already ridden two hours, you might ride straight through, from 3 to 5, but the three o'clock ride is an informal trail ride, it's hot, and the horse you're signed up for wasn't your first choice today. You are looking forward to your second formal lesson at four and one of our frequent guest instructors is teaching, so you decide to pass up the ride this hour and go back to the canoeing pond and snooze in the sun on the dock for a little bit! On your way you meet a friend who asks you to come with her to take a “sneeker-dreeking” walk in the big creek. You go with her for fun, and come back to the barn in time to be ready for your 4PM lesson.

You ride from 4 to 5, working in the ring most of the hour, and taking a fifteen minute trail ride to cool out at the end of the period. You help put the horses away at 5.

After dinner you go back to the barn and work on drill team practice. Other evenings, groups may have a lesson, go on a trail, work with green horses, or take a longeing lesson. You've just ridden your fourth hour today, and you could have ridden five if you'd felt more eager at 3PM. You help put the horses out to pasture for the night, and go back to your bunk to get ready for bed. Your bunk counselor asks you about your day, but right after everyone's in bed she has to leave for a staff meeting to help make horse show plans for this weekend. Some of you take this time for a shower and others go right to bed. After lights out you whisper with your cabin mates about the different horse you rode today. By the time your own counselor comes in from a riding staff meeting at 10:30, you're all asleep. (Maybe!!! - tsk)


Return to "Tour"

Is Longacres Right for You?
I wish that Longacres was the perfect place for every girl who loves horses to spend her summer, but unfortunately, we can't be all things to all people. What we ARE is a place where you can spend more time actually riding than perhaps any other summer riding school or camp in the United States! You're probably reading this because of our slogan, "Where else can you ride five hours a day?"

What we ARE NOT, is a well rounded summer camp that happens to include horses. There are camps like that, good ones. Places where you can ride an hour or two every day while still doing waterfront sports, crafts, drama, etc.

Longacres has NONE of that other stuff. We keep approximately two horses for each of our students, and you will ride and ride and RIDE some more, every day but Sunday.
Read the article on A Typical Day at Longacres to get a better idea of what it is like here.


Family Farm, Close Personal Attention:

Next to the five hours a day of riding, the best thing about Longacres is the personalized service you get in an intimate program like ours at Longacres. Both of us, and especially Meghan, are glad to spend many hours on the phone with you before the season or if something comes up during your stay. During the season, with only nine students and our assistant instructors, we know each girl here very well. You are not just a name or a number on a list. You will be part of the family - often for the rest of your life!

Choices to Make:
You have to be pretty sure that total immersion in horses will make you happy before you decide to sign up for a session at Longacres. You should also know in advance that we take only a very small group. We try to have between eight and ten riders here at a time so that we have plenty of good horses to go around. That small group works pretty well for us. It is like a family farm, with the older riders helping the younger. You have very personalized instruction, and our many professional guest instructors work closely with each and every one of you. Every time we video tape, ALL of you are taped! Those are some of the advantages of a small group.

But a small group is not to everyone's taste. Some people looking for a summer riding camp program will prefer a larger program that offers more opportunities for big group activities and the chance to make more new friends. And I can't promise you that there won't be somebody in our small group that you simply don't like. That is part of life. In a larger group setting, you can simply choose to be around a different group of people and stay away from someone you don't hit it off with. At Longacres we are forced to confront personality conflicts and deal with them. That's not ALL BAD, but it is something that you should consider before choosing a small group program like the one we offer at the Longacres Riding Camp.

Will You Like Longacres? The odds are very much in favor of you enjoying your Longacres stay. During a time when young people have many different summer vacation opportunities, nearly 70% of our 2009 students returned for 2010. Half of those returnees came back for longer sessions than they were here for the previous year. To get a space in our traditional July and August camp sessions, you often have to sign up almost a year in advance. We filled those sessions in October for the 2008 season. We must be doing something right. (In the recession year of 2009 - 2010 Longacres had space in most sessions as of January 1, but filled all July and August sessions by May. July sessions are essentially full for 2011 as of early February.)


BUT NOT EVERYONE returns. The most frequently observed reason for a girl not returning to Longacres or not liking their stay here is if they have a nice horse of their own at home and they live too far away to bring their horse to Longacres with them. Of eleven 2006 students who did not return for 2007, an impressive 82% either already had their own horses or bought their own that fall. Of these girls, most had good stays at Longacres in 2006 and enjoyed themselves, but stayed home to ride and show their own horses the next summer. One girl did very well here that summer, but when asked by a friend if she was coming back again answered, "No way - it's way too much work at Longacres taking care of all the horses. They do all that for me at my home barn and I just ride." For most of our horse loving students, the chance to work around the barn and actually take care of the horses is a bonus that they enjoy. But if you have your own horse at home at a professional barn and don't have to do any of your own work, ask yourself if a program like ours is really what you're looking for.

Two other teenage students in 2006 just flat out did not like Longacres, and left for home early. Their reasons were numerous, but significantly, they both had horses at home at a stable where all the work was done for them. We have many students with their own horses who love Longacres. But if you are considering coming here for your first time and have your own horse and trainer at home, and ESPECIALLY if you are used to having a groom do all your horse care work, be sure you know why you want to come to Longacres and be prepared for all that horse care work! We had one two week student in 2010 who didn’t like the program and left a week early.

Talk to us. If you have questions about our program, our teaching and training style, the amount of horse care work, or anything else, please talk with us about your concerns before signing up. You will find us very straight forward and open about discussing reasons you might not like Longacres. We would rather that you not choose Longacres in the first place than have you come and turn out to be one of those few customers who do not enjoy their stay with us!

- Tom & Meghan Kranz

 Return to "Tour"




2015 Schedule & Tuition - Return to "Tour"
Office Phone – 716-652-9495

Meghan Kranz’s cell – 716-380-6088

2015 Enrollments: (scroll down for 2015 session dates)

If you are exploring the Longacres website for the first time, we welcome you and hope you will contact us with questions and stay in touch. Most years Longacres fills some sessions a year in advance. If you are flexible on dates, there will be some vacancies available into early 2015.

Tuition at Longacres is $1975 per week. Nearly all our students show each week and pay extra to cover show costs. We list details of our extra charges below, but you should plan on a little over $350 per week in extra expenses on average to cover shows, field trips, and incidentals. (some increase is likely for 2015)

Longacres is one of the more expensive riding camps in the country. You are paying for:

* the unique opportunity to ride five hours a day

* a ratio of more than two horses for every student

* the 24/7 close personal attention of owners Meghan & Tom to just 9 students

* “concierge” customer service – we will answer our cell phone calls

or text messages from parents anytime day or night

* easily the best horse jumps at any camp or riding school in North America

* everyone shows every week

* “lesson horses” that would be show horses at most barns

* Staff Ratio: Meghan & Tom, three riding counselors, and 2 CIT’s for nine students




Children’s Riding Camps & All Ages Sessions:

With occasional exceptions, our 8 “traditional camp” weeks between June 28th and August 22nd are reserved for young riders from age 10 through age 14. Unusually mature 8 or 9 year olds or very eager 15 to 18 year olds are sometimes considered.

NOTE:  Older teens with prior Longacres experience are welcome as CIT's with full riding & showing.  Girls age 15 to 17 applying to Longacres for the first time will be considered in our CIT (counselor in training) program with full riding opportunties, but will need to submit excellent references showing a strong work ethic and suitability for the demanding physical program at Longacres.  Call if interested.

The LAZY DAYS / LA Intro week is a little less expensive, has a less expensive horse show, and a more relaxed schedule, but still gives the full flavor of the Longacres program.  It is an excellent way to "try us out" before committing to a longer session the following year.  Older teens are welcome in this week.  Mother - Daughter pairs may make special arrangements for this week.  Occasionally during this Intro to Longacres week, students may enroll by the day to get a feel for what we offer.

2015 Sessions and Dates:

(Availability ) - NOTE: As of April 4, 2015, some sessions are sold out for certain ages and most are nearly full - check below or call for availability. NOTE:  2 week special session now available in July.  Check back here frequently - at this time of the season, people's plans change.  If we have a cancellation, it is likely to come about now, when final tuition payments are due.

Office Phone – 716-652-9495

Meghan Kranz’s cell – 716-380-6088

(NOTE: Although summer camp tuition in New York State has never been subject to sales tax and we have heard nothing indicating it will be, anything is possible in this economy, and such a tax would be passed on to our customers.)

June 1  to June 6th – Early Bird Clinic – Teens & Adults - $1425 (reduced cost, more casual meal service – call for details) - available

June 8 to June 13 – All Ages Pro Clinic Week - $1975 available

June 8 to June 28 – Three Weeks - $5925 – wait list only

June 14 to June 28 – Two Weeks - $3950 wait list only

June 22 to July 26 – Five Weeks - $9875 - wait list only

June 28 to August 22 - Traditional 8 Week Camp Session - $15,800 one spot open

June 28 to July 12 – Two Weeks - $3950 two spots open

July 12 to July 25 – Two Weeks - $3950 two spots open

June 28 to July 26 - Four Weeks - $7900 two spots open

NOTE:  Above four week session is our traditional camp session concluding with the annual Longacres Jumper Derby.  It is popular with returning 2nd and 3rd year Longacres students and some newcomers.

July 29 to August 22 - August Camp Session - $6900 - one spot available

NOTE:  Above 3 ½ week session concludes with the traditional 3 day show at the Erie County Fair. 

July 29 to August 9 – Ten Day Special - $3100 one spot left, any age

August 9 to August 22nd – Two week EC Fair Special - $3950 5 spots left, any age

August 24 to August 29 - Lazy Days / LA Intro Week - $1425 available

(* All-Everything Session, 12 weeks, June 8 to August 29, in case you are totally horse Crazy and a Multi-Millionaire! - $22,600 plus LOTS of horse show expense money!)

 CIT Program: We accept girls for our Counselor in Training program in all sessions. You must be age 14 to 18 and interested in spending part of your time working with senior counselors observing teaching technique and stable management planning. CIT’s ride nearly a full schedule and have full showing options. You are invited to take part in most staff meetings and CIT’s are often asked to take regular counselor positions in future years. Tuition is the same as for regular students.  (If you have not been to Longacres previously as a younger student, you must apply for this position and submit excellent references.)

Wait List: Return to "Tour"

People do change their plans when they have to make reservations many months in advance, so let us know if you are interested in being on our long term wait list even if your first choice session is listed as "full – wait list".

Details of various sessions listed Below: Scroll down.

To Reserve a Space:

Reservations are CONFIRMED when we receive your registration check in our office. We often fill early, especially the regular July summer camp sessions.

Deposits and payment schedule for 2015:

Registration fee for 2015 is $400, and is NON-REFUNDABLE. It is deductible from total tuition.

40% of tuition is due on January 15th, and is refundable ONLY if we fill all spots in the session you wish to cancel. AFTER January 15, new registrations must include 40% of full tuition. (Deposit is not refundable in any case.)

Tuition is due IN FULL on April 1st, and is refundable ONLY if we fill all spots in the session you wish to cancel. AFTER April 1st, new registrations must include full tuition.

Our budget is set early and much of it spent based on our prepaid enrollments. There is no refund for canceled sessions or early withdrawal unless all spaces are subsequently filled. (Deposit is not refunded in any case.)

"Lazy Days / LA Intro Week" - August 24 to August 29 – “Try us out for 2016”!

We offer our special “Lazy Days Week” at the end of each season as a one week option to the longer sessions we require most of the summer. Lazy Days is an excellent way to “try out” Longacres if you are thinking of enrolling in 2016 and would like a taste of our program first! We also often have girls who are here for one of our earlier sessions return for “just one more week of Longacres” during Lazy Days.

The title, "Lazy Days of August Clinic" says it all! Lazy Days? Every day will be a "sleep in" day, much beloved by all our riding friends at the end of a summer of 7:30 AM horse care. We'll start the days after breakfast. There will be formal lessons every day, with several very nice guest clinics, and we'll ride in the evening as we do all summer. There will often be only four instead of five hours a day of riding with the late start and casual schedule, but still as much saddle time as most of you would want.

We welcome any of our regular season students who might like to stay on and unwind with a very fun and relaxed extra week in August.

And Lazy Days is tailor made as a “trial week” before enrolling for a full session the following year.

Let us know if you're interested. (August 24 to August 29- $1425)

JUNE CAMPs - Any early bird "Clinic Week" student may enroll for a combination of Clinic Week and June camp session weeks so they can get as long as a three or four week stay at Longacres during June. Any combination of these weeks is especially attractive to private school students or students from southern states who get out of school early. We often have students from California, Texas, Florida and other southern states during June.


Early Bird Adult/College Student/mature teen Riding Week: June 1 – June 6

Our season opens in 2015 with a special week for older teens and college students, much like the “Clinic Week” described below. Monday, June 1 through Friday, June 6. Relaxed atmosphere, casual riding opportunities, and instruction. Tuition: $1425 (NOTES: This week is discounted because we have an informal food service during the week and more casual teaching schedule. LOTS of riding!!! )

Early Bird "Pro-Clinic Week" - June 8 - June 13

We offer a special Clinic from June 8 to June 13th , for responsible, independent young riders to come for a unique riding program at Longacres. You may enroll for this session along with the June camp session for an exciting three week riding opportunity at Longacres! You will ride most of the day, though each day’s schedule may vary to accommodate the schedules of guest instructors. The special feature of this week will be visits from several very qualified professional trainers from well known horse farms in western New York. This will be a special opportunity for motivated riders to get several independent evaluations of your riding from successful professional trainers. ALTHOUGH we have some very experienced trainers coming as guest instructors, outside of these formal guest lessons, this week has a more flexible schedule and atmosphere with lots of time to just have fun with horses. We'll video some of your Clinic lessons and have a seminar at the end of the week to pull together the different points of view you've been exposed to. Call if you are interested.

"Clinic Weeks" students may extend their stay so they can get as long as a three or four week stay at Longacres during June. This, or any combination including the "Early Bird" weeks is especially attractive to private school students or students from southern states who get out of school early. Tuition is $1975 for the Clinic week ($1425 for June 1 to 6)

Nearly all our students show each week and pay extra to cover show costs.  We list details of our extra charges below, but you should plan on a little over $350 per week in extra expenses on average to cover shows, field trips, and incidentals.


EXTRA's: Spending Money: In addition to regular tuition, you will be making a separate payment for your student's spending money, horse show, and incidental expenses. This will be held in a separate account in trust for the student. We'll send you an accounting at the end of the season, and a refund of any unused funds. Although showing here in Western NY is cheaper than in many parts of the country, showing costs do add up quickly, and our "extra's" are a substantial addition to your cost of attending Longacres. They are not "hidden extra's" - read the details below.

Incidental expenses (laundry, eating out, field trips) averages about $80 - 90 per week. Horse show costs average about $260 for away horse shows and average $190 for home shows at Longacres. These costs include a basic $75 showing fee plus your entry fees and horse vanning cost for away shows. Although participation in horse shows is optional, nearly all of our students take part. We expect to attend away shows about four times during the summer, and home shows on alternate weeks. "Home" shows here at Longacres are very competitive open horse shows with riders from other stables competing with our students on western New York's "South Towns Summer Series".

The three day show at Erie County Fair is Aug. 19, 20, and 21st, and costs between $550 and as much as $800 to $1000 for riders showing many events or multiple horses.

Other costs include about $100 for students going on our midterm break field trip and airport pick-up and drop-off, $70 each way at regularly scheduled times. Fee for meeting unaccompanied minors at the airport is $90 .

Field Trips and eating out:
In addition to out of camp trips to horse shows, several times a week we go out either in the evening to town for ice cream or pizza, or on hot days during the afternoon to the mall and a movie. Students are expected to buy their own dinner at the mall or if we go out after a horse show, if we are going to be out past dinnertime, which is usually three times a week.

Health Clinic trips, etc:

Parents are billed extra for our actual costs in case your child has to go to a doctor or needs other special attention. We have qualified adults on call who provide this kind of service. It is hard for us to drop everything in the middle of our program and spend an evening at the health Clinic if a child needs to see a doctor, which is why we often have extra costs in this kind of situation. Typically, costs will be about $75 for a chaperoned routine clinic visit, in addition to actual medical costs billed to you. In an emergency, of course we drop everything and take care of your child.

How to Sign Up:
Well, I'll be quite happy if after just browsing through these Website pages, you decide to put a $400 check in the mail to me and ask me to save you a space! But I'm sure that most of you will have talked to me on the telephone by that time and had me answer more detailed questions you might have had and sent you a regular enrollment form via US Mail! Remember, MANY SESSIONS filled by mid September last season. Check the Schedule for details. Click Here to go to downloadable enrollment form.

Following is the 2015 enrollment procedure:


Enrollment Priorities:

1) No 2015 enrollments will be considered confirmed until after September 1, 2014, this fall, but we will confirm 2015 registrations immediately after that date. Don’t be late for the most popular sessions!

2) On September 1st we will consider and honor registration requests accompanied by deposit checks that are in our hands, with preference to those with the earliest post marks, with the following special considerations.

3) Four spots during the first four week session from June 28 through July 26 will be open only to girls who will be age ten through 12 when they are at camp in 2015. That will leave only five spots for older teens during that session, plus CIT spots. Spots in all other 2015 sessions will be available regardless of a student’s age.

4) Students who attended Longacres in 2014 will have first choice  so long as they fit the above age guidelines. This preference will be honored only for enrollment deposits received prior to September 1st, 2014. After that time, first time students will have an equal opportunity to sign up.

5) If your family is not in a position to make a commitment almost a year in advance for summer camp, we will be glad to put you on a “second chance” wait list and inform you if there is a cancellation during the winter, which is certainly possible. We are sorry in a way that we have to put you in a position of having to make reservations so early. But it is a nice tribute to our program and the work we do here! 

 Return to "Tour"


Big Jumping at Camp Longacres

NOTE: The following is a reprint of an article I wrote for the Longacres Log newsletter late last year. Although this article is more concerned with advanced riders, our basic attitude towards teaching outlined here applies to all levels of riding at Longacres. Campers and parents considering Longacres may find it an interesting look at our concern for providing excitement and opportunities for advanced riding to individuals, while maintaining a safe program. It's more complicated than you might think sometimes. Read on!

Fairness, Excitement, & Safety

I've wanted to write to all of you for some time about something that has bothered me from time to time - how upset some of you sometimes get when we jump bigger than usual and you have problems. I hope you all can show this article to your parents and talk with them. I think it will be helpful to you and to your parents in understanding how we try to balance your fun, your advanced instruction, and your safety at Longacres.

I think we do a good job at Longacres of giving you all a lot of jumping and lots of variety in jumping conditions, courses, grids, etc. But I have to set standards in regular riding classes that will keep you as safe as possible. That means that some of you always have an itch to jump a little higher than you do in most of your lessons. I think that jumping bigger jumps is good training for those riders who are properly prepared and who are on a suitable horse. Obviously, jumping higher is also exciting and fun. Riding and camp should be fun, so long as you are still safe. To give you this kind of opportunity at camp, from time to time I personally hold a special "bigger jumping" opportunity, either in one of my classes, or as a special event. We sometimes do this on the last day of a session when I let many of you jump one of our more powerful horses. Whenever I do this, some of you have wonderful experiences - it is very good for you. But a few always are disappointed; some very much so. This is not good; not good that you are unhappy, and certainly not good if it really lowers your self esteem.

For parents who don't know how I hold these special jumping sessions, let me explain. I will usually set up several carefully spaced jumps that help set the horse's striding to make the bigger jumping as predictable and safe as possible. Then I gradually raise the height of the jumps as the riders take turns jumping. Using my knowledge and experience with horses, I set limits on the height each individual rider can attempt, depending on many factors, not all of them at all related to that rider's personal ability. And that's where we get some unhappiness and disappointment. As long as any particular horse and rider combination looks safe and in control, I'll let them jump. But when I see the rider having trouble controlling the horse, or even if I sense any fear or insecurity that could result in an unsafe jump, I say, "That's enough for you today." Because some riders jump higher than others, it's easy to see that there is potential for disappointment and unhappiness. What is VERY IMPORTANT for you campers to understand, is that it is NOT a reflection on you when I tell you that you can't jump higher. My decision is based on many things. Obviously the horse you're riding has a lot to do with it. Someone riding a very talented horse like Brody or Whitley will usually be safe jumping higher than, let's say, someone riding a new, green horse. The same horse may even be going in a safer more reliable way one day than another. Sometimes it's obvious that you should stop, say when your horse begins to try to refuse the jump, or knocks the jump down. Other times, you may feel you're doing wonderfully, but I think the horse is nearing it's limit. You sometimes just have to accept a decision when my years of experience with the horse you're riding tell me that he has done about as much as he safely can.

The easiest way to keep you all from having your feelings hurt or getting depressed by thinking that, "Tom doesn't think I'm good enough to jump as high as "so and so did", would be never to jump higher than you do in day to day lessons. Keep all jumping to the lowest common level of the group, so everyone could do the same thing. But that wouldn't be Longacres. Longacres' riding program is great partly because we do have the horses, the jumps, and the teaching experience to take each and every one of you as far as you are capable of going as an individual. I want to challenge you - safely. I want to hold out an exciting reward for your hard work - a safe reward. And I want to send you home with stories to tell about that day at Longacres when you jumped a bigger and more exciting jump than ever before! - - - But I don't want you to be telling that story with a cast on your broken leg!

By no means do all of our campers ever try special bigger jumps. We teach both equitation and hunter style riding here, where the height of the jump is not important. But I have a lot of personal training and lots of interest in "Jumper" riding, where quick turns and the bigger jumps are the challenge. Longacres will always offer that kind of training and that kind of challenge to those who are interested and ready. But you have to understand that for safety's sake, eventually all of you will hear me say, "that's enough for you today." It will often come after you've had a less than perfect jump, when it's clear that you are reaching your limit for that particular day on that particular horse". Your job is to do your best not to take that event as a put-down of you and your ability. You should be proud that I think enough of your riding ability to let you attempt the bigger jumps. You should be aware that the horse you've chosen for the day has a lot to do with how high you can safely jump.

There's one more thing to say about this. I have to make judgments on how much you can do safely, and then stop you BEFORE you do something you can't handle, not JUST AFTER you do something you can't handle. Although I have many years of experience at this, I'm not always right. There are many times I've stopped riders from jumping higher, when they probably could have gone on and done more. Unfortunately, there are a few times when I haven't stopped someone, and they've had a crash. I'd rather be wrong fifty times and have you a little disappointed, than wrong once and have you hurt. Please understand that!


Office Phone – 716-652-9495

Meghan Kranz’s cell – 716-380-6088

Longacres Riding Camp

1529 Mill RoadEast Aurora, NY14052