Horseback Riding Lessons For Kids: 3 Physical Benefits You May Not Think Of Pt. 1

By , January 7, 2016

Horseback Riding for Kids HoustonSome parents who might bring their kids to Circle Lake Ranch for horseback riding lessons seem unsure how their children can benefit from it.

In this article series, we aim to put this straight. We’ll highlight many of these benefits, and present the scientific proof of how beneficial horseback riding is.

Certainly, there are significant physical advantages when your child participates in horseback riding.

It is not just a question of mounting the saddle and letting the horse do the work! Instead, it’s clear that horseback riding does need the rider to work, and that this is exercise.

Until quite recently, scientific evidence of such benefits was scant. Several recent studies have established exactly what these physical, psychological and like skills benefits, are.

A recent report called “The health benefits of horse riding in the UK”, produced for The British Horse Society by the University of Brighton and the Equine Department of Plumpton College highlights the strengths of horseback riding.

The first thing the study established is that horseback riding is genuine exercise at a “moderate intensity”.

Associated activities that we get the children to participate in at Circle Lake Ranch such as mucking out expend a similar amount of energy. Even more is burned when regular periods of trotting are integrated into the riding program.

The importance of exercise for children is obvious to any parent, of course. But one particularly interesting conclusion drawn by the report may not be so obvious.

It states that “physical exercise affects overall well-being, not just physical health”. It goes on to define well-being as “a positive physical, social and mental state”.

This type of physical exercise improves them physically and psychologically in an all-embracing, holistic way.

The exercise that a horseback rider participates in is both cardiovascular (aerobic) and isometric.

It’s aerobic because the UK study shows a noticeable increase in heart rate and oxygen intake when on horseback. It’s isometric because it strengthens and tones specific muscles, those needed to stay on the horse.

So, what does this actually means for your child’s health?

We’ll highlight some of the many isometric benefits in part 2 of this article.

In aerobic terms, cardiovascular exercise reduces the risk of chronic conditions such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Some of these problems are a major concern for parents in this area. With just under 20% of Texas children between 10 and 17 clinically obese in 2014, it’s a major problem that must be overcome:

Obesity Chart

Science proves that obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart problems are linked. It follows that everyone – including the children – should take part in aerobic activities. Horseback riding is a great example!

And here’s the thing.

Horseback riding is exercise that doesn’t seem like it is! Compared to so many alternatives, horseback riding is more fun than ‘work’. It’s so much easier to convince them to do it in comparison to getting them to take up ‘real’ exercise’

Of course, there is only one way to test this theory out. Call Circle Lake Ranch, to discuss horseback riding opportunities for your child or fill out our pre-registration form today.

Katy Summer Camps at Circle Lake Ranch, a Unique Experience that Every Young Person Will Love

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By , April 26, 2012

This is the time of year when parents across the country are thinking about keeping their youngsters gainfully busy during the summer holidays. Parents in Texas are no different, which is why summer camps in Katy will be very firmly on the discussion agenda in many households in the Katy area in the coming months.

Dr. Layne Spitzenberger and her equestrian team at the Circle Lake Ranch believe that when it comes to summer camps in Katy, they have something very different to offer. Dr. Spitzenberger expands on the reasons: “We’ve been running summer camps in Katy for many years now, and over the period, we’ve had literally hundreds of young guests stay with us. Throughout this time, our summer camps focus has been very firmly fixed on encouraging and teaching the children to engage with horses, which I genuinely believe to be a life changing experience”.

Warming to the topic, she goes on to explain that “Circle Lake Ranch has been successfully running summer camps Katy since 1998, and we’ve seen a lot of water flow under the bridge plus a wealth of changes. What I know for a fact is that every youngster that comes to us learns so much whilst they are with us – both about riding horses and about themselves – and they go away a slightly changed (dare I say, a slightly improved?) young person as a result”.

“This I think is the beauty of the summer camps Katy program that we offer. From my experience running summer camps in Katy every year, I am totally convinced that being near to and riding horses every day teaches the youngsters so many everyday life skills that are vital if a person is to be as ‘rounded’ and well balanced as they should be”.

Dr. Spitzenberger illustrates this point with a simple example; “A small number of children that have stayed with us have arrived with a degree of anger management difficulties, but we’ve found that being around the horses quickly helps them to understand the futility of getting angry.”

“Most of these kids have left us having learned to be more calm about life to at least some degree and their parents are – not surprisingly – pleased with this improvement”.

She concludes that; “I have no doubt that this is largely down to the equestrian focus of the summer camps in Katy that we offer. It’s easy to be angry with another person but a youngster is going to think twice about getting angry with a horse that is much larger than them, irrespective of how placid that animal is. And I should emphasize that all our training horses are specifically chosen for their gentle, placid nature!”

For parents looking for a unique summer camp experience for the youngsters of the household, Circle Lake Ranch does indeed offer something very different in this part of Texas. To find out more, give Dr. Spitzenberger a call anytime.

Summer Camps In Katy When Is A Choice NOT A Choice?

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By , April 17, 2012

The staff at Circle Lake Ranch has been running summer camps in Katy for more than a decade now, and every year, the range of activities on offer expands.

But one thing never changes.

The summer camps in Katy that Dr. Layne Spitzenberger and her team manage always provide attendees with a life changing experience that they will never forget.

Dr. Spitzenberger explains; “As a working ranch, it should go without saying that we have horses. This enables us to offer a uniquely enriching summer camp in Katy experience to all our young guests.”

She continues; “All my life, I’ve loved and admired animals, not least because I genuinely believe that being around them makes us more caring, rounded individuals. Plus, every child that’s ever been here – and we’ve been running summer camps in Katy since 1998, so that’s quite a few – has had an absolute blast learning about horses and how to work with and ride them”.

“One focus of our summer camps in Katy is to introduce all the children to the idea that these big, powerful creatures can be incredibly gentle and caring as long as they are handled properly. We teach our guests exactly how to look after the horses in the right way and of course, we also train them how to ride a horse correctly too”.

Dr. Spitzenberger has long held the view that teaching children at a young age to care for animals properly is teaching them a life skill that they will call upon time and again in later years.

She explains that “Every attendee at our summer camps in Katy takes away a much clearer understanding of how important it is to treat every creature with respect, care and dignity. This is undoubtedly a skill that they can – and will – apply in their everyday dealings with other people throughout their life too”.

“Over the years, we’ve seen children from every walk of life and – being honest – not every guest that’s stayed with us has been a little angel when they first arrived! It’s to be expected – after all, they are children, right?”

“Nevertheless, even the most rebellious of kids tends to change when they are here and around the horses. Our Katy summer camps teach them that animals have a character and a personality, that horses have their own feelings, likes and dislikes in exactly the same way that we humans do”.

“For many children, this is a revelation, a concept that has never occurred to them before, and every one of them benefits from such an awakening. And of course, they have a ton of fun at the same time!”

Dr. Spitzenberger and her team are rightly proud of their achievements and they’re looking forward to inviting guests to their summer camp in Katy once again this year. If your child would benefit from an enriching, educational and fun experience this summer, check out the Circle Lake Ranch site now!

Summer camps for kids in Katy – try something different in 2012

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By , April 12, 2012

For any parent who is considering summer camps for kids in Katy TX in 2017, there are plenty of options. However, for a fun adventure that also helps youngsters learn about and enjoy nature, there is nothing quite like the summer camps for kids offered by the Circle Lake Ranch equestrian center run by Dr. Layne Spitzenberger.

Dr. Spitzenberger explains what is on offer in these terms.

“We’ve been running summer camps for kids in Katy for many years, and over that time, we helped develop many champion equestrians. However, the primary focus of our Katy summer camps for kids in Katy is firmly fixed on helping youngsters learn about horses and themselves whilst having fun”.

As emphasized on the Circle Lake Ranch website, Dr. Spitzenberger and her dedicated equestrian staff have an outstanding safety record over the years too. This is undoubtedly an extremely important consideration for any parent considering summer camps for kids in Katy later in 2017.

“We’ve been running summer camps for kids in Katy since 1998 and were extremely proud of our safety record. Of course, its vitally important that our young guests enjoy and learn from their summer camp experience with us, but we are always mindful of the importance of keeping them safe as well”.

“One of the advantages of having run summer camps for kids in Katy for so long is that we’ve learned so much over the years. As a result, were confident that our summer camps for kids provide all of our young guests with an experience that they’ll never forget.”

Dr. Spitzenberger continues “Ive been in charge of the ranch and the equestrian center since the beginning. As a consequence, its probably reasonable to say that I have more experience of running summer camps for kids in Katy than almost anyone else I know in this area. If you’re a parent looking for a summer camp experience that is both educational and rewarding, then Id suggest that our summer camps for kids in Katy are exactly what you are looking for”.

There is a ton of information about the summer camps Katy for kids offered by the Circle Lake Ranch on their website. If however you are considering sending your kids for a Katy summer camps later this year and want to discuss your requirements or plans in person, then you can speak to Dr. Spitzenberger or one of her staff by calling the number shown at the top of the homepage.

Circle Lake Ranch Summer camp spots are limited; if you’re in Katy and think you may enroll your kids in a summer camp in 2017, don’t wait any longer and contact Circle Lake Ranch today. For more information call (281) 395-4311 or visit

2017 Katy summer camps – safety, education and fun for your kids

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By , March 13, 2012

If you’re a parent in the Katy area of West Houston and you’re considering sending your kids to a Katy summer camp in 2017, then you need to know about the Equestrian Centre at the Circle Lake Ranch and what they have to offer.

We’ll let the owner of Circle Lake Ranch, Dr. Layne Sptizenberger, take up the story. “We’ve been running Katy summer camps continuously since 1998, so it’s fair to say that we’ve acquired a lot of experience over the years. I’m extremely proud to say that in all that time, we’ve maintained an outstanding safety record and we have never failed to provide our young guests with a fulfilling yet educational experience”.

Dr. Spitzenberger continues by explaining that this is no coincidence. “For starters, all of our horses are carefully selected for their calm, balanced temperaments. We also have staff with vast experience of running Katy summer camps, with a program that has been developed and expanded over the years”.

“Of course, we understand that we cannot afford to stand still because the competition in the Katy summer camp market has never been tougher. Nevertheless, I’m confident that we offer something that most of the competing Katy summer camps don’t.”

Dr. Spitzenberger continues by explaining “As it says on our website, we offer all of our young guests a summer camp experience that they’ll never forget in a safe and structured environment. Of course, we want them to enjoy their summer camp but it is crucially important that they are in a safe environment at the same time”.

“So far, I’m delighted that every one of our Katy summer camps has gone off without a hitch. Even so, we are acutely aware that this does not allow us to rest on our laurels. Instead, we continue to do everything possible to ensure that one of our Katy summer camps are 100% safe for every one of our young guests”.

With so many years of running summer camps in Katy, it’s fair to suggest that Dr. Spitzenberger and her team are amongst the most experienced in the business.

For any youngster who wants to participate in a summer camp in Katy in 2017, it’s fair to say that you will not find a safer or more enjoyable summer camp than those offered by Dr. Spitzenberger and her team at the Circle Lake Ranch. For more information call (281) 395-4311 or visit

Katy Summer Riding Camps Are A Perennial Favorite…

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By , February 1, 2012

Since the original Founding Fathers first set out to discover the rest of the country, the connection between the earliest pioneers, the State of Texas and the importance of horses has been a fundamental of American life. It’s therefore perhaps not so surprising that horse riding Texas holidays and summer riding camps are still so resoundingly popular.

At least, it’s no surprise to the owner of one of the most prominent and longest established Equestrian centers in the Katy area of Texas, Dr. Layne Spitzenberger. Dr. Spitzenberger is the 6th removed granddaughter of the famous pioneer Jessie Chisholm, who founded the famous Chisholm Trail moving Texas longhorn cattle to the Kansas market on horseback.

She’s been the boss of one of the best known horse riding schools in the area at the Circle Lake Ranch stables where they’ve been offering horse riding lessons to youngsters via summer camps for almost too many years to remember. And according to Dr. Spitzenberger, the popularity of the summer camps with eager youngsters from all over this part of Texas never seems to wane.

“In this day and age, when it seems as if young children have more distractions at their fingertips than ever before, it’s gratifying and very encouraging that the popularity of our summer horse camps never seems to pale.”

Dr Spitzenberger continues “It indicates to me that even though they have computers and consoles at home that allow them to play simulated games, young children still have an instinctive understanding that there is nothing like the real thing!”

One advantage that the Circle Lake Ranch has over many competing Equestrian centers is the range of facilities that they are able to offer, the availability of which owes a lot to how long they’ve been running horse riding summer camps in Katy.

Dr. Spitzenberger again: “When we first started back in the 1990’s, we didn’t have the facilities we have now of course, but over the years, we’ve focused on upgrading what we can offer one step at a time. And of course, staying ahead of the curve – not to mention the competition – is a never ending job.”

“For example, we’ve had a fantastic indoor classroom equipped with a full size horse for some time now, but this has been significantly upgraded this year with the addition of an overhead projector which greatly enhances the indoor riding experience.  We also have a horse riding simulator – students can sit on the mechanical device and it simulates the movement of the horse at the walk, trot and canter.”

The Katy summer camps offered by Circle Lake Ranch are open to youngsters between the ages of 6 and 14 and there is something for everyone, no matter what their experience level.

Every camp runs for 5 days from 8am to 12 noon with the primary focus always being on teaching every student to ride properly.

There is some involvement in other fun activities like feeding the horses, tacking, grooming and generally learning more about these beautiful creatures (of which there are more than 20), but the primary focus is always on learning to ride.

Leaving the last few words to Dr. Spitzenberger, “Five days is often all that is needed to create lifelong horse enthusiasts and as horse people ourselves, what could be more satisfying and rewarding than that?”

The fact that the next pioneer generation might be taking horse riding lessons at the Circle Lake Ranch stables right now is another thing entirely!  For more information visit or call (281) 395-4311

Horse Riding Lessons Teach The Next Generation To Be Responsible Citizens Suggests Katy Horseback Riding School Owner…

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By , January 19, 2012

As explained by the owner and President of the Circle Lake Ranch, Inc. horseback riding school, Dr. Layne Spitzenberger, there are many things to be gained from horse riding lessons that may not be immediately apparent.

Dr. Spitzenberger suggests that “Most students that attend the Circle Lake Ranch riding stables understand that horse riding lessons have benefits such as being out in the fresh air and getting closer to nature, but there is far more to it than this.”

Expanding on the subject further, Dr. Spitzenberger continues; “For starters, horseback riding lessons are a fantastic stress breaker! No matter how difficult or tough life seems to be, being on horseback makes the stresses and strains of everyday life disappear.”

“In addition, horse riding is great cardiovascular exercise too. Although it may not be so obvious because it appears that your mount is doing most of the work, the rider also enjoys a very thorough work out when taking horse riding lessons.”

Dr. Spitzenberger – who is a widely recognized horse riding expert and world champion equestrian herself – also suggests that there is one additional benefit that is especially important for and relevant to youngsters.

“At the Circle Lake Ranch stables, we firmly believe that an integral element of our horse riding lessons programs is teaching the rider to look after and care for their horse properly. If anything, this has become an increasingly important part of what we teach our horse riding students as life seems to present decreasing opportunities to interact with animals and nature nowadays.”

“We find that for many youngsters who come for horse riding lessons the very first time, the idea of taking responsibility for the horse they are riding is quite alien. It’s something that they quickly pick up, this idea that the horse relies on them and expects them to be in control, but it’s still a concept that many find a bit challenging at first.”

“Of course, for many of our younger students, the horse riding lessons they take here represent the very first time they’ve ever been in charge of anything, so it’s quite an eye opener for them. Fortunately, they usually take to it like a duck to water and it’s great to watch students develop a real sense of responsibility as they do so.”

Clearly, anything that helps teach people – young or not quite so young – to have a greater sense of responsibility is to be welcomed, and as Dr. Spitzenberger makes clear, horse riding lessons provide a very positive reinforcement in this respect. To learn more about the benefits of horse riding lessons, contact Dr. Spitzenberger at Circle Lake Ranch today.

Christina riding in Costa Rica

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By , July 8, 2011

2009 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Champions

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By , November 9, 2009
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2009 HOUSTON LIVESTOCK SHOW AND RODEO CHAMPION! Jolene Wagner and “Jack” win the Open Palomino Reining Class!


CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2009 PIN OAK CHAMPION! Samantha Elliot & Laura in Andalusian Youth Equitation!

2009 SHOT Rosenberg Tara on Cattle

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By , November 9, 2009

Tara winning Reserve Champion on Cattle at SHOT – this is her first time to show on cattle with HA Steady Gold.
Tara has ridden at Circle Lake Ranch since she was 8 years old.

We are very proud of you.