Equestrian Boarding Schools

Ethel Walker School Equestrian Program
Ethel Walker School (Simsbury, CT) offers all levels of riders a place to enjoy horses.

"When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes." William Shakespeare, Henry V

For avid equestrians, going to boarding school does not mean having to give up riding. The five schools featured below offer outstanding riding programs, allowing for a very unique boarding school experience.

In Southern New England, riding has been an important part of life at Ethel Walker School since the school was established in 1911. In the decades since, thousands of riders have explored hundreds of miles of trails on campus, formed new friendships with horses and their peers, gained new skills under the watchful eyes of accomplished instructors and felt the thrill of a hard earned win. Every Walker's rider becomes a "complete rider" and is exposed to all aspects of equestrian pursuits from equitation, hunters, jumpers, dressage and combined training, to horse care and stable management. The program has gained recognition as one of the leading scholastic equestrian programs in the country. "Whatever your skill level or interest, The Ethel Walker School Riding Program offers you challenges, support and fun." The School is an active participant in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), a springboard to collegiate riding. Ethel Walker also offers an equine science class that students may take as an elective course. Students may board their own horse at Walker's or utilize the dozens of school horses available for the lesson program and for lease. We also offer volunteer work at a local equine rescue facility and a local therapeutic riding center.

On the West Coast, eighty-five miles northwest of Los Angeles, The Thacher School in Ojai, CA offers an incomparable boarding school experience for the horse lover. Thacher believes that taking on real responsibility and positive risks builds character, a philosophy that finds its practical application in their horse program. According to the school, the horse program "is a central part of every student's Thacher experience," and from the first week of school, each student is paired with a horse from Thacher's own stables and learns the basics of horsemanship, including maintenance and riding. With the mountains of Los Padres National Forest surrounding the school, camping and outdoor activities are intrinsic to the Thacher experience, and students go on at least one overnight horse-packing trip per year. For those who want to compete, the Thacher Equitation Team participates in English-style events, and in May travels to Arizona to compete in a two-day tri-gymkhana against rivals Fountain Valley and the Orme School.

Further north, near San Francisco, San Domenico School's beautiful 500 acre campus in Marin County, California, offers boarding and day students a unique opportunity to integrate riding into their high school experience. The curriculum is designed exclusively for the girl passionate about riding and includes riding three days per week during school and optional riding outside of school hours. The San Domenico Interscholastic Riding Team competes in state and national competition as well as local horse shows. As an all-girls school, San Domenico appreciates that involvement with horses enables students to develop confidence, assertiveness, and self-esteem by taking on new challenges and overcoming fears.

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The rolling hills of western Massachusetts also make for a bucolic horseback riding setting. Located in Greenfield, MA, the Stoneleigh Burnham School offers girls "one of the most extensive and challenging scholastic programs in the country." With the stables just steps away from academic buildings and dorms, girls can "ride during the day and visit the barns after class or during a free period." Also unique is the school's proximity to Mount Holyoke College, which hosts a series of horse events and shows throughout the year, giving students access to horsemanship at the collegiate level. The school owns forty horses for lease, but also offers stabling should the student prefer to bring her own. Facilities include a 100' x 200' indoor competition arena with a heated viewing lounge and a 70' x 120' warm up arena, and outdoor paddocks, sand rings, a Derby field, a cross-country course and a bridle path.

In Willoughby, OH, a suburb of Cleveland, both boy and girl horse enthusiasts can partake in the "Blue-Ribbon Program" at the Andrews Osborne Academy. A member of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, the only high school level league affiliated with the IHSA, or Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, Andrews Osborne honors riders as competitive athletes. Their indoor and outdoor facilities reflect this commitment, and even more so, the school encourages riders who want to go on the road and compete on the national scale. Andrews Osborne is "proud to offer one of the most academically supportive programs in the country", which, for the competitive rider, means never having to choose between riding and academics.

In many ways, horseback riding has everything to do with location. Foxcroft School, situated in the nation's "Horse and Hunt Capital" of Middleburg, VA, could not be better suited to the girl rider bound for secondary school. Set on 500 acres, Foxcroft offers all levels of riders a place to enjoy horses. The founder of the school, Miss Charlotte Haxall Noland, herself a rider and riding instructor, championed the endurance, decision-making and determination that characterize successful riders. To her, horseback riding built character. Foxcroft offers a classical education in equitation and balance seat, and riders compete in hunter/jumper shows, combined training events and the Tri-state Equitation League, an interscholastic association of schools in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia which Foxcroft has won numerous times. Some also participate in the hunt field. Foxcroft riders make use of three riding rings, three jump courses, a sixty-stall stable (there are 30 school horses; girls may also bring their own), and an indoor ring for yearlong competition. Advanced riders train with well-known professionals and they may take advantage of the School's Exceptional Proficiency Program to compete on the Winter Florida circuit.

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  • Is there any boarding schools in Georgia that has horses?? Megan, August 18, 2009 4:29 PM
  • Is there any boarding schools in Florida for equestrians? Keeley, October 10, 2009 12:43 AM
  • Hi my name is Sharyn, i would like to ask you a question on your boarding school....... i would like to know if your school runs an campdrafting, cutting or rodeo program. Thank You, Sharyn, October 20, 2009 3:59 AM
  • Hi i would like to know if you are a boarding school for teaching mathematics,geografy,gramar... or just equestrian? Thank you. Bella, November 15, 2009 5:29 AM
  • is there any bording schools for equestrians near like Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, or Alabama? if there is please let me know stevi, November 15, 2009 5:56 PM
  • r there skools that u can just major in horse back riding? alexis, December 2, 2009 7:03 AM
  • Is there any boarding schools in England or Australia where you can bring your horse? I have a horse and I'd love to go with him. Alba, April 16, 2010 9:24 AM
  • I want a high school that alows me to horsebackride but also still live with my family!!! Shawn Hicks, July 12, 2010 12:42 PM
  • Hi, my name is Kenzi. I want a boarding school that does barrel racing and/or hunter jumping. Makenzi Sandersfield, July 26, 2010 8:35 PM
  • Hello. I am looking for a westurn boarding school, that may give you the opotunitee to bring your own horse. Do you know of any? Kathryn Ryman, September 27, 2010 9:45 PM
  • Kathryn, Start with our list, "Boarding Schools with Equestrian Programs." It's the first link in the "Related Items" list above; it lists boarding schools with equestrian programs by state. Contact the schools the schools that interest you about boarding your own mount. Best, B. Fisher, September 28, 2010 11:17 AM
  • Eagle Creek Academy & Riding Center in Griffin,Georgia. This is a private Christian Middle School with Horses in the curriculum. Regular accademics and horsemanship classes that the students will be graded on. English and Western * with team roping, cutting classes and just about anything you would want to do with horses. Eagle Creek Academy & Riding Center 408 Ellis Dairy Rd. Griffin, Georgia. 30224 678-855-5270 Jessica Horton 770-882-8075 Melanie Copeland Academy Phone: 770-228-5822 Website* www.myeaglecreek.com click on Academy Melanie Copeland, October 14, 2010 2:33 PM
  • Hello, I'm Megan. I want a bparding school as close to Georgia without being IN Georgia. A boarding school with horses so I can do what I've always wanted to do, Show Jumping. Megan Fleming, November 24, 2010 2:56 PM
  • hello,I want to go to a bording school in florida with horse i am curently riding so i still want to ride do you know of any in florda -shelby shelby, January 1, 2011 6:52 AM
  • do u also have reining horses ?????? =)))=)) anna, January 16, 2011 6:50 AM
  • Do you know of any schools with an equestrian program near Dallas, TX? I do all-around events with Quarter Horses MaryKate C., February 14, 2011 8:43 PM
  • are there any boarding schools in florida with equestrian programs for middle school sheryl, February 28, 2011 8:00 PM
  • Do you know of any rodeo/barrel racing high schools in Georgia or Florida?? Thanks! Dianne, March 6, 2011 11:13 AM
  • I am looking for a boarding school focuses on eventing. Thank you. Lilly B, March 30, 2011 7:43 PM
  • Hi, I would like to know if your boarding schools include techniqu classes in barrel racing? and if they offer rodio? if you could please let me know that would be great. thanks Zinnia Mastel-Lipson, July 15, 2011 6:13 PM
  • Are There any equestrian boarding schools In south Africa Genevieve Hodgen, July 31, 2011 4:26 AM
  • How do you get enrolled at thos school Anonymous, August 14, 2011 3:11 PM

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