Going away to boarding school doesn’t have to mean that your child must leave their love of equestrian sports and their beloved horse behind. In fact, there are many boarding schools with equestrian programs. An important part of finding the right boarding school is finding a horse boarding school with great equestrian facilities.
Here are some qualities to consider as you begin your search for the top equestrian boarding schools around.
Stall Size & Maintenance
When you’re looking at boarding schools with equestrian programs, become familiar with the facilities where your horse might spend a good portion of the next several years. Is the stall space large enough to be reasonably comfortable? A typical stall size is about 12 ft. by 12 ft., but that can be smaller for ponies.
If you schedule a campus visit, either try to meet with the stable manager directly or be sure that you have access to them to ask questions at a later time about the stall maintenance as well.
Who cleans them—the student or a staff member? How often are they cleaned? What type of bedding do they use, and is that included in boarding fees beforehand? It’s important to ask if hay is stored in the barn or separate from it, as hay within the facility can cause too much excess dust to linger and seriously affect your horse.
At Wasatch Academy, we are dedicated to providing a safe, happy environment for our students and our horses. This means we work hard to offer some great facilities. In addition to 20 boarding pens, you and your horse can enjoy an indoor arena, outdoor riding pen, and a galloping track. We ensure that each horse’s stall has clean, soft bedding and is mucked out at least once a day.
How much fresh air your horse is going to get in the available boarding school facilities can have a direct effect on their health and wellbeing. Horses kept in stalls for long periods of time are at a greater risk of contracting viruses, heaves, and well as a host of performance and behavioral effects. If horses spend most of their days in the stable, it’s extremely important that the facilities turn them out to pasture at least once a day for a period of time.
If horses can remain outside for a good portion of the day, make sure that the area has shade trees or some form of a shelter where horses can be out of direct sunlight, rain, or wind. Pasture access could influence how often your child needs to exercise their horse and take care of its wellbeing.
Wasatch Academy is one of the top equestrian boarding schools and our equestrian program operates in one of the largest equine facilities in the state of Utah—including a three-mile cross country course and 100 acres of open pasture.
Food & Water
It’s wise to discuss the feed options and pricing beforehand so that you know your horse will receive the right combination of hay, grass, and grains that you’ve determined is best for them. Access to salt and water throughout the day are a given necessity. The specifics of a food regimen and your expectations overall should be discussed beforehand so that you know what you’re agreeing to, and also so that your child can know the extent of their responsibility for feeding and watering their horse each day, or whether the stable hands will take care of feeding. Horse care is an important part of Wasatch Academy’s thriving equestrian boarding school. With the help of coaches and experts, our students assist in feeding our horses twice a day.
Medical & Personal Care
Your horse is going to need access to a farrier and a veterinarian while away at boarding school with your child. Hoof trimmings help maintain overall health and prevent back strains and sensitive feet. It’s also essential that your horse receives necessary vaccinations at the correct time, and that an expert can be called to the scene to help in the event of serious illness or injury with your horse.
At Wasatch Academy, we know that boarding schools with equestrian programs should have a farrier and veterinarian on staff or easily accessible at all times.
Location & Security
Some locations of horse boarding schools pose a higher security risk than others. If your boarding school’s barn has received permission to be within the city limits of a heavily populated area, it may have a higher security threat than a barn and paddock located in a quiet rural setting.
Also, your child and their horse are going to be looking at the same bits of scenery repeatedly for months on end as they exercise and work out their event routines. Wasatch Academy’s rural location is not only safe but beautiful. Instead of ordinary houses and boring roads, horses at Wasatch enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery.
Boarding schools with equestrian programs offer a great opportunity for your child to learn. We know your child plans to make the most of their equestrian experience with their horse at their next boarding school, and the right location choice can help them do just that. These tips can steer you in the right direction for choosing the right equestrian boarding school.
Start your search with one of the top equestrian boarding schools by contacting Wasatch Academy and learn more about our equestrian program.