Collegebound Network

Since 1987, America's Trusted Resource on Higher Education

Boarding Schools Offer Horse Riding Programs

If you're considering boarding school, but can't imagine leaving your horse behind or losing out on riding, some boarding schools offer horse riding programs. 

You can be challenged by the boarding school's college preparatory curriculum and spend hours in the riding ring or on trails through the National Forest and other scenic land.

Here's what three boarding schools offer, whether you want to be involved in equestrian competitions or just ride for fun.

Oldfields School

History: Oldfields School was founded in 1867 by Anna Austen McCulloch, and it is situated on more than 200 acres in Baltimore County, MD. It motto is "Courage, Humility, and Largeness of Heart."

Student makeup: Girls in grades 6-12 in boarding or day school programs. Boarding tuition ranges from $41,700-$43,400, depending on the number of days.

In the saddle: Oldfields in 1878 developed one of the first riding programs in the country. About one-fourth of students at Oldfields ride, with some boarding their own horses at the school's stable. Oldfields' program offers mounted lessons and instruction in stable management. Oldfields' facilities include an indoor riding arena, two outdoor rings, a cross-country course, 30 stalls and trails through fox-hunting country.

The Orme School

History: The Orme School was established in 1929 in Mayer, AZ, north of Phoenix. The Orme School embraces its rustic setting - it is surrounded by a working cattle ranch and hundreds of square miles of public land and views of mesas and mountains - with its horse riding and other programs.

Student makeup: Boys and girls in grades K-12, in boarding or day school programs. Boarding tuition ranges from $26,290-$39,100, depending on the age and number of days.

In the saddle: The Orme School's horsemanship program welcomes everyone from beginning riders to equestrian competitors. Students can board their horse on campus or ride school horses. Beginner students learn the basics of riding and horse management, and more experienced riders can take lessons in Western riding and English riding. Students can compete in junior rodeos, horse shows, and gymkhanas.

Verde Valley School

Verde Valley School is an International Baccaulerate boarding school founded in 1948 by Hamilton and Barbara Warren in Sedona, AZ, surrounded by National Forest Service land.

Student makeup: More than 120 students, with 38 percent from Arizona, 37 percent from international countries (representing 17 nations), and 25 percent from other U.S. states, in boarding and day school programs. Annual boarding school tuition is $41,400.

In the saddle: Verde Valley School's equestrian program allows students to ride English or Western, or both, and also offers bareback riding. Verde Valley School focuses on safety, developing communication between rider and mount, and horse care. Its new equestrian center for its 25 horses will be home to features include a riding arena. Verde Valley School offers up to 2 ½ hours of riding each weekday afternoon, half-day and all-day rides on the weekends, and moonlight rides. Special events include a 25-mile pasture ride, and Arizona's Land of the Sun Endurance Ride, with students often placing in the competition.

So saddle up and get prepared for a boarding school environment with rigorous academics and the opportunity to continue to enjoy riding horses and equestrian experiences.