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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 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.

Verde Valley School's equestrian program boasts some of the most stunning riding terrain in the nation. Located in Sedona, Arizona, and surrounded by thousands of acres of national forest, the school's "backyard" has unlimited potential for learning and adventure. VVS also has a very diverse recreational riding program for the high school level. There are opportunities for bareback riding, jumping, horse camping, playing pato and horse soccer, swimming horses, going on moonlight rides, and galloping endless miles of stunning trails. VVS competes in a local gymkhana circuit, in English schooling shows, and on the national AERC Endurance racing circuit. At the heart of its program is the belief that horses are amazing teachers and master communicators. The program aims to create a strong connection between horse and rider, and to expose students to a variety of riding disciplines, events and terrain with an emphasis on natural horsemanship. VVS has over 25 horses available for its students and boarding a student's personal horse is available as well.

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.

For those who are looking for a serious level of equestrianism, the International Riding Academy in Hilton Head, South Carolina, offers a more traditional sports academy setting where the students train daily for local, regional and national competitions, in addition to completing rigorous academic studies. Set in the family-friendly and secure resort setting of Hilton Head Island, SC, home of world-famous golf and tennis academies, the iRiding Academy's mission is to seek highly motivated and talented riders and develop them to their full potential as competitors at the top junior levels, while upholding excellent academic standards and promoting exceptional characters, focusing on five key components: education, character, riding, mental training and motivation. Specializing in hunters and jumpers, iRiding's head trainer, Sandra McCarthy, has a proven record of training her students at the national levels, and she personally works with each student individually and in groups daily. Limited to only 12 riders and integrated into a college preparatory school of 450 students, the International Riding Academy offers a unique opportunity for dedicated riders.

Related Items


  • 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* 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

  • If you go to a boarding school do you have to bring your own horse or do they have horses their Grace L, October 4, 2011 12:49 AM

  • Do the schools include all riding disciplines? Grace L, October 4, 2011 12:55 AM

  • Grace, The answer is the same for both your questions; you'll need to check with each school that interests you. Here's the background: Many/most schools have horses for students to ride as part of their program. As well, some schools allow students to bring their own horses to board. Schools do not include all riding disciplines. If you're interested in western riding, check with the equestrian schools out west. Best wishes in the school search, B. Fisher, October 4, 2011 3:09 PM

  • Hey I am looking for a borading school in or near Texas.p.s.I just read canterwood creast series and I want some place like that;)! Lilyana, October 15, 2011 1:13 PM

  • We are an international riding academy offering boarding for middle and high school riders. Please let us know how we can be listed on your site! Thanks. Didi, October 21, 2011 6:39 AM

  • are there any boarding schools in Texas that offer barrel racing and jumping???????? Sarah, November 1, 2011 11:06 AM

  • hey is there a boarding school in Texas that offers rodeo and jumping and dressage i just read the canter wood crest series and i want a place like that Sarah, November 1, 2011 11:11 AM

  • i am looking for a boarding school in Texas that offers jumping, dressage and rodeo Sarah, November 1, 2011 11:20 AM

  • Hi, im Katie x] Im looking for a boarding school in Washington, near Seattle. Are there any that are at a high school level? It must have Eventing, Dressage, and Showjumping. Katie, November 17, 2011 6:20 PM

  • Are there any horse boarding school in Ireland ? Zoe, December 18, 2011 9:58 AM

  • i really want a bording school that wont cost a fortune and a nice stables and safe. read canter wood crest an amazing school great behaivor and not crazy acidemicly. Is there such a awsome place my family can afford. Haley, February 18, 2012 8:22 PM

  • hi im just asking the same question, are their any boarding schools in ireland that offer horse riding as a subject? and can you bring your horse with you? thanks! Amy, March 6, 2012 1:13 PM

  • Hi! My name is Filippa, I'm 16 years old and I live in Sweden. My greatest interest is trot. I want to study a year abroad, as an exchange student, in an English speaking country, and I'm wondering if there's any school that teaches(or what you call it) trot instead of riding? As far I can see, there's only boarding schools with riding not trot, on this webbpage. Would be so happy if anyone knows! :) Filippa Carlsson, March 21, 2012 4:34 AM

  • Is there any horse schools in Missouri? I would like to have a school where you can board your horse and ride and go to school at the same time!!!!!!! :) I mean who would not want that? Catherine, April 11, 2012 6:02 PM

  • Hi can you tell me how much the price is for boarding school thank you :) Nina, May 4, 2012 4:12 PM

  • Nina, thanks for taking the time to ask your question. Your best bet to assess boarding school tuition costs is to view this page on our site. It's a list of every school's tuition in the US & Canada and it's update annually. Let us know if you need anything else. Best of luck with your search! Peter Baron, May 5, 2012 9:07 AM

  • Hi is there any boarding schools with horses in Canada for 4 th grade and up? Thanks Cassidy, April 21, 2013 8:33 PM

  • Cassidy, Several Canadian boarding schools offer equestrian programs although I'm not certain of their grade levels off the top of my head. You might start with our Equestrian Boarding Schools list; it includes several Canadian schools: B. fisher, April 22, 2013 1:59 PM

  • I am wondering if there are any private schools near Dallas that offer horseback riding? Cheri Campo, October 20, 2013 8:47 AM

  • Are there any equestrian boarding schools in Texas? Sarah, January 1, 2014 8:36 PM

  • Hi, I was just wondering if there are any equestrian boarding schools in British Columbia? Thanks ;) Grace, January 2, 2014 11:15 PM

  • Hi, I was wondering if there are any boarding schools that are very competitive in dressage. Possibly in or near Colorado! :) Thanks Anonymous, January 13, 2014 11:14 PM

  • Do you have a price Amaya, January 19, 2014 12:10 PM

  • Is there a competitive rodeo program/team? If there us do they travel? Ryleigh, February 4, 2014 8:15 PM

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