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Boarding high school with solid Dressage program

Horsemom22Horsemom22 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
My DD has expressed an interest in attending boarding high school. She is currently enrolled in an IB MYP at a private day school. She is passionate about horses, rides year-round, and participates in Dressage shows during the summer. She is dyslexic but performs well with very little assistance from the school's learning center. She enjoys writing creatively, loves the arts, and plays an instrument. She hopes to find a school where she can continue to ride (Dressage). The IB approach to academics has been working well, but we would consider other approaches. Small class size is very important. We are just starting to research schools. Would anyone have some recommendations?

Replies to: Boarding high school with solid Dressage program

  • waterbug2waterbug2 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    There are not a lot of schools that have riding programs, and I dont know of any that have dressage (but we werent looking for it). Most compete under the IEA team format. Look at Dana Hall, Ethel Walkers, Loomis Chaffee, Kent, Madeira, Stoneleigh Burnham. Im sure there are a few others Im not aware of!
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,912 Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    George School (PA) offers IB and has a barn on campus. (Riding is a varsity sport, but it is hunter jumper.) As @WaterBug2 notes, IEA format.

    Also very strong in the arts. Definitely worth a look!
  • houndmomhoundmom Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    Dressage is a very different discipline from Hunter/Jumper. Have you asked her current coach if he/she has any idea? Maybe check USEF website, or ask coaches at some of the boarding schools that have riding programs or combined training. My kids are jumpers, but have taken a few dressage clinics - cool stuff! Good luck
  • Hopeful0304Hopeful0304 Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    I agree w/ @gardenstategal that George would be a fabulous choice to consider. My feeling is that in order to continue competing in the dressage discipline, you may need to look for a school which offers riding as an intramural sport. That is, consider a school which allows students to ride for credit at a barn which is not affiliated with the school formally, thus allowing for the freedom to find a nearby dressage barn for whom you could ride and compete.
  • dramakid2dramakid2 Registered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    Garrison Forest School in MD has a strong riding program. I don’t know the differences between riding styles, but I know their riding program is competitive and a draw for many riders. From what I am told they are flexible with girls going to outside competitions as well. They also have an amazing polo team. Year after year they win polo championships against all male and co-ed high school AND college teams. Obviously polo is not dressage, but it is worth noting to emphasize how big riding is there.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,912 Senior Member
    Btw, Kent is heavily focused on 3 day (or has been) but that would mean they have someone doing the dressage training part of it.
  • CavsFan2003CavsFan2003 Registered User Posts: 874 Member
    Culver Academies in Indiana has a great riding team and facilities- I don't know much about the riding styles, but I do know Culver is known for their horses.
  • CaliMexCaliMex Registered User Posts: 1,509 Senior Member
    Chatham Hall, Ethel Walker, Foxcroft?
  • Horsemom22Horsemom22 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I wish my daughter was interested in 3 day; there are many more options. I noticed that a number of schools have affiliated barns if they do not have their own. This is what I came up with so far:

    New Hampton
    St. Timothy's
    Stoneleigh Burnham
    Kimball Union
    Vermont Academy

  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,912 Senior Member
    Not to complicate the search, but some programs are designed around kids with their own horses vs. kids who want/need to ride school horses. The latter have become rarer over time, especially at barns with a competition focus.

    Not sure where you are on this, but definitely worth investigating at the options you are considering.
  • Horsemom22Horsemom22 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    That is a very good point. We haven't decided whether our horse would move to school; we are in the Western part of the country.
  • houndmomhoundmom Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    This might help - it includes list of places that host dressage competitions at the secondary school level.
  • Horsemom22Horsemom22 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Great find! Thank you.
  • PiratesmomPiratesmom Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    Stevenson school in Pebble Beach California is just up the road from Pebble Beach equestrian center which offers dressage. The kids can easily walk there and it counts towards their sport requirement. Love this school!
  • SouthLouisianaSouthLouisiana Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    The Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau, LA has a strong dressage program as well as small personalized classes and strong academic support. https://sshcoteau.org/
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