Program & Summer Camp


Riding Lessons

A charming stable with an outdoor ring and riding trails, nestled on the flank of Barrie Schoolʼs 45 acre campus, provides the perfect place for young horse enthusiasts. Our Equestrian Program offers a variety of horse-related activities and lessons in hunt seat equitation for beginner through advanced riders.

Students from Primary 3 through grade 12 are welcome to enroll in Fall and/or Spring lessons, regardless of experience.

  • Beginner-level students enrolled in the weekly lesson program will be introduced to the fundamentals of riding and basic horsemanship skills.
  • Advanced-level students will hone their skills through more intricate exercises on the flat and over fences.
Elements from hunter, jumper, equitation, and dressage disciplines are incorporated into the curriculum. All participants in the program will share some responsibility in caring for the horses, tack, and barn. Special events and opportunities to compete are offered each session.
Middle and Upper School students who are eligible can compete on the Inter-School Horse Show Series (ISHS) or Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) teams.

Barrie Camp

Horseback Riding Specialty Camp
Grades 2-8

Mini-Stirrup Riding
Grades K - 1

Horsemanship Super Camp
Grades 3-8

Meet the Team

Meet our Staff and Horses

Madelyn Garnett

Madelyn Garnett

Assistant Director Equestrian Progam
Amelia McMahon

Amelia McMahon

Lead Riding Instructor
Beryl Chafin

Beryl Chafin

Admission Officer and Associate Director of Financial Aid, Director of Equestrian Program



In stride with the philosophy of Barrie’s Athletic Program, participation in competitive equestrian sports emphasizes skill development and teamwork at all levels. As riders aspire to be in the ribbons, appreciation of one’s equine partner and demonstration of good sportsmanship are valued above all else.

Horse enthusiasts of every age have opportunities to showcase their talents in events on and off campus. For middle and high school students, participation in the equestrian program is counted as an athletic credit. Those who compete under the guidance of the Barrie instructors earn recognition as a varsity athletes. Elementary and primary students who are eager and ready for the challenge may compete in local shows.

Members of the junior varsity and varsity riding teams participate in several equitation leagues. The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) is nationally recognized. A unique aspect of IEA competitions, both at the local and national level, is the random draw for horses. Competing on unfamiliar mounts levels the playing field and tests each rider’s ability. Scores are based upon horsemanship and equitation. Barrie riders consistently advance through highly competitive post season competitions at the Regional and Zone levels. The Inter-School Horse Show Series (ISHS) provides an avenue to the show ring for those new to competition. Beginner through advance riders compete at appropriate skill levels on the flat and over fences collecting individual and team points. Since the inception of ISHS in 1994, Barrie’s Riding Team has claimed many championship tiles. Most recently, the Junior Varsity Team distinguished themselves as ISHS’s 2017 Year-End High Point Team!

Local shows, clinics, and special events are scheduled around the equitation meet dates. Depending on the event, riders of varying ages and abilities are eligible to participate. With leadline, equitation, hunter, and jumper divisions, the Washington Bridle Trails Association (WBTA) shows and the BEST Horse Show Series are favorite competitions convenient to campus. Many Barrie horses and riders have collected annual year-end awards at each organization’s respective banquet. Occasional clinics provide opportunities for riders to perfect their equitation positions, pick-up pointers on horsemanship, and glean insight from top professionals within the industry.

Featured Equestrians

Featured Equestrians

Michael Graham, class of 1992

Owner/Trainer at Volte Farms in Brighton, Colorado.

Graduated from La Roche College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a degree in Graphic Design. Served as Senior Graphic Designer and Creative Director at several agencies in Maryland and Colorado before following a dream to make horses his career.

Julie Bigham, class of 2009

Completed her undergraduate degree in 2014 and recently a masters in French Language and Literature from the University of Maryland

Julie graduated from Barrie an avid equestrian and member of the Varsity riding team, participating in ISHS and local shows. She continued riding and showing while attending the University of Maryland and competing on their Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team. Julie remains connected to Barrie, lending her pony, Chances Are, for use in the equestrian program, assisting with transportation to shows, and supporting the program through donations and volunteerism.

Karl Protil III, class of 2017

Graduated from Barrie as a Barrie "lifer," attending since he was a toddler. Karl was active in the Barrie Equestrian community competing in ISHS and IEA leagues. He attends Emory University and received their "Club Sports Male Rookie of the Year" for his involvement in the Equestrian Team. He is double majoring in History and Biology with plans to become an Equine Veterinarian.

Horse Donations

Barrie’s horses are valuable resources for both school and camp. They serve as teachers of horsemanship, partners in athletic pursuits, ambassadors for the school, creatures of comfort, and purveyors of valuable life lessons. The equestrian program has been an integral part of Barrie since Founder, Francis Seldon, purchased "The Ranch," now our main campus on Layhill Road, over 60 years ago for students and campers to enjoy and benefit from the company of horses.

As a 501(c)3 Non-Profit, Barrie accepts appropriate horses and ponies donated to the program when space is available. All horses are lovingly cared for by our Equestrian Staff, receiving top notch treatment and individual attention. Appropriate horses are physically and mentally sound and able to be ridden 3-5 times per week in small group lessons.

If you are interested in donating your horse or pony, please contact Sue Wentzel, Director of Camp and Equestrian programs.