Riding Program

The primary goal of the Riding Program is to give students an opportunity to develop their equestrian skills and knowledge through a sound instructional program, constructive competitive experiences, and recreational riding activities while at the same time pursuing a quality liberal arts degree. The modern system of riding taught at Sweet Briar involves the experience of learning to cooperate physically and emotionally with the athletic ability and temperament of the horse and learning the problem-solving skills, discipline, and clear thinking which enable women to succeed in their future careers.

The Riding Program sponsors a number of competitive opportunities for riders of all levels such as intercollegiate competitions and competitions in the hunter/jumper and equitation devisions. There are three riding teams: IHSA Team; Field Riding Team; and the ANRC/ODAC Team. In addition, opportunities for students to compete as independent competitors at hunter/jumper and equitation competitions (local and USEF/USHJA rated) as well as Fall Hunter Paces and Hunter Trials are available.

The program sponsors informal, organized, and educational recreational activities throughout the year. These opportunities include riding independently and guided trail rides. Field trips, in-house shows, and organized games such as an Easter egg hunt are also offered.

Equine Studies
A certificate is offered for students interested in a career in the equine industry and for the student/amateur who would enjoy expanding her knowledge and experience in this area. The certificate is available in a management concentration and in a teaching and schooling concentration, and may be elected by students majoring in any department of the College. See Equine Studies for more information and certificate requirements.

Riding Program Courses
There is an additional fee for riding (see College Fees).   

Instruction is provided for the beginning level through advanced levels. Areas of focus include hunter/jumpers/equitation, schooling/re-schooling projects, and field riding. These courses are offered to fulfill the General Education Physical Activity requirement (IV.3) and a maximum of five credits in physical education activity courses and/or Riding Program activity courses may be applied toward the degree. Beyond this, students who elect to continue a riding education should register each semester for a course which meets their interests and goals. A minimum of two instructional sessions per week, as well as theory/written work, is required for the successful completion of a course. Credit is given at the rate of 0.5 credits per quarter or 1 credit per semester. In addition, several special courses are offered for full academic credit. Courses are offered on a rotating basis. Please consult the Riding Program Handbook for descriptions of current courses, the five-year schedule of course offerings, and for other information about the program.

Activity courses are graded on a P/CR/NC grading option only.


RDPR 162        Pre-position
RDPR 163        Position
RDPR 164        Advanced Position
RDPR 167        Independent Riders w/Hacking I
RDPR 170        Introduction to Position and Control
RDPR 171        Position and Control I
RDPR 172        Position with Hacking
RDPR 173        Competitive Trail Riding
RDPR 175        Position with Introduction to Jumping
RDPR 181        Position and Control II
RDPR 185        Jumping Fundamentals I
RDPR 186        Jumping Fundamentals II
RDPR 188        Riding Problems
RDPR 190        Introduction to Field Riding and Hacking
RDPR 196        Introduction to Riding Courses I
RDPR 197        Introduction to Riding Courses II
RDPR 198        Introduction to Natural Horsemanship
RDPR 281        Introduction to Showing Hunters I
RDPR 285        Introduction to Field Riding and Jumping
RDPR 286        Riding Courses I
RDPR 288        Dressage Sportif
RDPR 290        Prix Caprilli
RDPR 291        Introduction to Schooling Horses
RDPR 294        Introduction to Schooling and Competing with Jumpers
RDPR 296        Introduction to Competing Jumpers
RDPR 371        ANRC Levels Prep and Performance
RDPR 381        Showing Hunters I
RDPR 382        Showing Hunters II
RDPR 385        Fall Field Riding Team
RDPR 391        Schooling Young and Problem Horses I
RDPR 393        Schooling Young and Problem Horses II
RDPR 394        Schooling and Competing with Jumpers I
RDPR 398        Show Team

Non-Credit Courses
The department offers non-activity courses and seminars in special topics relating to the Riding Program. These courses meet once per week and, in addition, include readings, laboratory assignments, and a field trip or special project. These courses will be listed on the transcript but will not be counted for credit or toward satisfying the General Education Physical Activity Requirement.

RDPR 169    (0)    Basic Horse Care
RDPR 192    (0)    Form to Function
RDPR 297    (0)    Practicum for Student Assistants

Elective Courses
These courses are graded and count toward the hours required for graduation, but as non-activity courses, they do not satisfy the General Education Physical Activity Requirement.

RDPR 161 (1, 2, or 3)–Special Study
RDPR 207 (2)–Equine Activities Management Class
RDPR 218 (2)–Horse Care and Stable Management Practicum
RDPR 295 (1)–Teaching Techniques for Student Teachers
RDPR 361 (1, 2, or 3)–Special Study
RDPR 377 (1, 2, or 3)–Internship
RDPR 390 (2)–Farm and Stable Management
RDPR 392 (3)–Theory and Practice of Schooling Horses
RDPR 396 (3)–Contemporary Riding and Teaching
RDPR 461 (1, 2, or 3)–Independent Study


Course Descriptions

RDPR 161

| Special Study

RDPR 207

| Equine Activities Management Class

RDPR 218

| Horse Care and Stable Management Practicum

RDPR 295

| Teaching Techniques for Student Teachers

RDPR 297

| Student Assistant Practicum

RDPR 361

| Special Study

RDPR 377

| Internship

RDPR 390

| Farm and Stable Management

RDPR 392

| Theory and Practice of Schooling Horses

RDPR 396

| Contemporary Riding and Teaching

RDPR 461

| Independent Study