If you're high school equestrian — competitively, or for fun —Connecticut offers a group of boarding schools that offer the opportunity to combine a boarding school education and your equestrian pursuits.

You'll find schools with the equestrian program deeply woven into the school's life and as well as extra curricular program for beginning and leisure riders.

Ethel Walker School

Ethel Walker School Equestrian Program

Equestrian programs are deeply woven into Ethel Walker School's fabric. The school offers three paths to competition as well as an equine science program for students interested in the animal care and husbandry piece of equestrian competition.

The EWS Hunter-Jumper-Equitation Program, offers students the opportunity to participate in a nationally known program with the school hosting fall and spring USEF rated competitions and shows.

EWS students participate in their home shows and travel to events throughout the academic year. A few selected events in which EWS students compete:

Fall — Medal, Maclay, and USEF Finals, the New England Equitation Finals

Winter — Winter Equestrian Festival, The Devon Horse Show, and Saratoga.

Many EWS riders also compete throughout the summer.

The EWS Eventing or Combined Training program hosts two on-campus USEA recognized competitions — a Spring Combined Test and a Fall Horse Trials. EWS Eventing traditionally begin their season with a Spring Break trip to Southern Pines, NC.

The EWS Interscholastic Equestrian Program presents students the opportunity to improve their riding skills in preparation for collegiate competition as well providing riding opportunities for students who may not own their own horse.

In 2008, EWS started an Equine Science Program under the direction of Dr. Suzanne Piela.

The Equine Science Program introduces students to "anatomy and physiology of all the systems of the horse, nutrition, toxicology, parasitology, health management, neonatology, epidemiology, and sports medicine."

Moving from classroom to practicum, EWS equine students apply their knowledge as they care for animals — working-up histories, practicing hands-on exams, and recognizing signs of injury, animal stress and disease.

Hyde School Woodstock, CT

Hyde School Equestrian Program

Hyde's equestrian program is operated in conjunction with Bramble Hill farm. The Hyde Equestrian Program presents opportunities to students anywhere on the equestrian ability and experience scale. Much of the Hyde program focuses on fundamentals.

Hyde states goals for its equestrian students:

• to be safe and effective riders who push themselves to positively influence their horses;

• to have good balance and equitation and learn how to be attentive to the needs and limits of their horses;

• to care for their mounts and learn basic equine anatomy and first aid.

Hyde's Equestrian season runs from November through March and culminating with a horse show at Bramble Hill to display the growth of students over the course of the term.

"Advanced riders have the opportunity to compete off the grounds of Bramble Farm."

The Forman School

Forman School Equestrian Program

Forman's equestrian program — in conjunction with Lee's Riding Stable (Litchfield, CT) — centers on the individual rider with opportunities for the beginning rider up through competition.

Advanced Forman riders have the opportunity to participate in two shows over the course of the academic year.