For more than 60 years, our equestrian program has been an integral part of The Oakland Way. As the only independent school in the area with a built-in equestrian program, we pride ourselves in teaching children not just how to ride, show, and care for our horses but also developing students’ confidence, showmanship, responsibility, and empathy along the way.
All students at Oakland have the opportunity to ride at no additional cost to families. Approximately 60 to 75 percent of all students include riding in their schedule.
Oakland has a 16-stall barn, approximately 40 acres of fenced pasture, and several beautiful trails throughout our 450-acre property. Horses and riders are matched by size, experience, and personality. Typically, students will ride a particular horse for the duration of the year. This personalized approach encourages a special bond between horse and rider.
Riding fundamentals are the primary focus for beginner riders at Oakland. It is important for students to understand terminology, riding equipment and use, safety procedures, and general horse care. Students learn how to groom and tack their horse correctly first, then practice how to walk, trot, and canter as appropriate to their riding level.
For more skilled riders, Oakland offers advanced classes. These students have mastered the prior levels and begin to practice cantering and jumping. The year culminates with a drill performance in which horse and rider participate in an intricately choreographed show. All riders participate in the show at their level of expertise which takes place at the end of the summer term.
Barn work ensures that our horses receive special care they need after lessons; it also builds character and underscores the important responsibility of caring for animals. Students participating in barn work have a variety of responsibilities including grooming, cleaning stalls, and general horse care. All barn workers are recognized and rewarded for their contributions at annual spring and summer award banquets.