Western Equestrian Summer Institute

Below is information from our 2022 camps & institutes. Information on our 2023 offerings will soon be announced, so please check back!

This program is a week-long overnight summer institute that will focus on western riding instruction and horsemanship based on the gifts and needs of the participants.

This program is a week-long overnight summer institute for riders ages 14-18. Participants will have lots of fun, refine their skills and have plenty of time to get to know the horses and each other!

Sunday July 10th - Friday July 15th, 2022

The Application Deadline Has Been Extended!


Cost of Institute:
$1080 Residential; $790 Commuters
Deposit: $100

The Program:
Alfred University equestrian programs offer a wonderful opportunity for all levels of riders from beginners through advanced to define and achieve their personal riding goals during an exciting, fun-filled week. Participants can bring their own horses or use AU's great lesson horses. Participants will ride and care for the horse throughout the week as they refine their skills - with an emphasis on having fun and enjoying our beautiful natural surroundings while learning!

Our Equestrian institutes are held at AU's Bromeley-Daggett Equestrian Center. This spacious equestrian center includes classrooms, viewing areas, a 200' x 80' indoor arena, 50 stalls and two outdoor arenas - 200' x 100' and 80' x 100'.

Structure of the Institute:

  • The staff will work with participants individually to help them define realistic personal goals at the beginning of the week and their lessons are then directed toward helping them achieve those goals
  • We will have two riding sessions each day and in the evening we vary the schedule to include more riding instructions, a campfire and fun at a local lake and a selection of group recreational activities
  • A student show will be held at the end of the week to allow riders to demonstrate the skills they have learned for their families, their instructors and other University staff
  • Institute fee: $1080, which covers room and board from dinner on the first day through lunch on the last day, instruction, supervision, program materials, evening recreational activities, T-shirt and either the use of Alfred University horse or the boarding of the participant's own horse
  • Participants arrive on Sunday and check-out after lunch on Friday

We also offer an English Equestrian Institute if interested.

How to Apply: 
Participants who wish to apply must submit the online registration form (We support the current and previous major releases of Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari on a rolling basis.) along with the following:

  • The associated deposit (paid via online application form)

Camp Registration Portal (CampDoc)
CampDoc Registration Instructions

Participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. To ensure quality instruction and maximum participation, enrollment is limited. Enroll as early as possible to assure your spot!

Institute Directors: 
Mr. Stephen Shank, Director of Equestrian Studies/Director of the Equestrian Center at Alfred University serves as co-director of this program along with Peggy Shank. He has more than 40 years' experience in the horse industry. He is owner of Shank Quarter Horses, specializing in training open, youth and amateur riders for shows, and horse show management. He competes successfully on local and national levels and is a money-earning rider in NSBA, NRHA and AQHA events.

He is a nationally sanctioned horse show judge with American Paint Horse Association, Palomino Horse Breeders Association, Pinto Horse Association, Appaloosa Horse Club, Appaloosa Horse Club of Canada, American Ranch Horse Association and National Snaffle Bit Association (Category 1).

He is a clinician for various local and national organizations and presenter of "From the Judges Point of View." He has his AS degree in Math and Science from Niagara Community College, a BBA and MBA (Accounting from Niagara University, and is an IRS enrolled agent and registered tax return preparer.

Peggy Shank's credentials are Alfred University Western Instructor/Trainer/Assistant IHSA Coach. She is also Head Coach of Alfred University's Hunt Seat Interscholastic Equestrian Team. She has an AAS Degree in Equestrian Studies from University of Findlay 1988, an AAS Degree Veterinary Technology from Medaille College, 2008 and 30 years' experience as an equestrian professional with experience in training, showing, judging, coaching, breeding and barn management.

Residential Program Cancellation Policy:
Refunds, less the $100 non-refundable deposit, will be made for cancellations received by June 15th. 50% refunds will be made for cancellations received from June 16th through 24th. Sorry, no refunds can be issued after June 24th.

Once participants are accepted they will be provided a link to complete the required documents (parental permissions to attend as well as health records). Updated immunization information (including dates) is also required at that time. If you do not have updated immunization information on hand, you may want to acquire this from your physician now to avoid delays.

When participants are not in instruction sessions they are supervised by our wonderful team of specially-trained Counselors who serve as positive role models, mentors and friends. In order to ensure everyone has a safe, healthy and enjoyable time on campus, summer participants are expected to abide by the University's summer programs rules and regulations.

Participants spend most of their time at the Equestrian Center with the horses. When not in classes or riding, participants enjoy fun recreational activities. Living, dining and learning together, they have ample opportunity to get to know one another and develop lasting friendships.

Sample activities include:

  • Indoor and outdoor games
  • Movies
  • Visits to a nearby lake for a cook-out and campfire
  • Hay rides
  • Social gatherings at a local coffee house
  • Farwell party on the last night

Participants stay in secure University residence halls dedicated to summer institutes (2 per room) and must bring their own pillows and blankets. Bed/bath linens will be provided, but they can also bring their own (bed linens must fit the extra-long twin residence hall beds). Laundry facilities are available in each hall at no charge. Males and females are housed on separate floors. Our Counselors will be on-site in the residence halls at all times.

Delicious, all-you-can-eat, cafeteria-style meals are served in the campus dining hall. Our Dining Services chefs do an excellent job in accommodating participants with food allergies and other special requirements.

Commuter rate: $790 (deposit: $100). This includes breakfast and lunch on institute days. Participants who wish to commute must check in at registration on Sunday and then arrive on campus by 7:30 AM during the week for morning practice and be picked up no later than 5:00 PM. (Exception: Commuter pick-up time on Friday is 1:00 PM)

Sorry, there are no scholarships or other forms of financial aid available.

Alfred University is located in the peaceful village of Alfred in Western New York State, where summer days are warm and nights are cool and comfortable. Surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful meadows and valleys, Alfred University is the perfect place to spend an enjoyable week improving your swimming skills and meeting other students with similar interests and abilities.

The campus, a 6-hour drive from New York City, 2 hours from Buffalo and 1 1/4 hours from Rochester, is easily accessible by car or bus from all directions and is located just five miles south of Interstate 86. The nearest major airport is the Rochester International Airport (about 65 miles north). Transportation to and from that airport can be provided for an additional charge if we receive your request by June 14. After that date students should make their own arrangements with an airport limo service.

The University may cancel any course or activity at any time because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is canceled or postponed, the University will refund registration fees, but cannot be held responsible for other costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies.

Whether considering candidates for admission or financial aid, applicants for employment or the management of its policies and school-administered programs, Alfred University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, or disability. Alfred University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.