Sweet Briar's Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center ranks among the best in the country on a college campus.
The Robin S. Cramer Hall is one of the largest indoor college arenas in the nation at 120' x 300'. It is large enough to accommodate classes simultaneously with independent riders. Other amenities include a public address system for shows and demonstrations, and a quality sound system that provides music for recreational riding.
Three spacious outdoor rings complement the indoor facilities, along with an enclosed lunging ring, more than seven teaching and schooling fields, and miles of trails and other fields on the 3,250-acre campus. Recently the footing in the lighted outdoor ring was replaced with Airfoot footing. Riders also enjoy a hunter trials course, fence lines with coops, and a complete inventory of hunter-jumper fences suitable for USEF competitions.
The Riding Center is set on 100 acres of rolling hills, just a mile from the main quad. It is within walking distance along a beautiful country lane or a wooded trail. A shuttle bus is also provided for students' convenience.
Stable Management and Horse Care
Stable management and horse care are first-rate and professional at Sweet Briar.
The Riding Center stables about 40 college-owned horses and 28 student-owned boarders in large box stalls. Horses are turned out in abundant spaces, including more than 20 individual paddocks, 10 large fields ranging from three to 25 acres.
Stables in the east and west wings of the Riding Center are constructed with safety, care, and convenience in mind. Each wing houses six fully equipped grooming stations. The east wing includes a stable manager's office and veterinary room. Two isolation stalls separate incoming horses or those that may have a cold or other illness.
Amie Chenault, Stable Manager, is an Amherst native and was promoted to her position in July 2004. She received her BS in Equine Careers and Industry Management in 2002 and her Master of Arts in Education specializing in Equine Studies from Salem International University in 2006.
Elizabeth Gerhard, Stable Management Fellow, lives in a cottage on the Riding Center grounds. This proximity allows her to check the horses each evening, care for sick horses more easily, meet vans arriving and departing, and support the SBC campus security staff.
In addition to the stable manager and fellow, the College has four full-time stable staff plus a stall cleaning crew. Students are employed part-time to clean tack, and to turn out, groom and to perform, under supervision, therapeutic treatments to horses. Qualified students may become management assistants.
Veterinarians are on call as needed. Farriers come two times per week. The equine chiropractor visits frequently, and the equine dentist visits biannually.
Room Enough to Roam
Sweet Briar commands a spectacular 3,250 acres, including miles of trails through wooded countryside, foothills, dells, and open fields. Riders enjoy Virginia's long, mild falls and springs for outdoor riding.
The College strives to make the campus - the land - part of the learning experience at Sweet Briar, in both the formal academic curriculum and co-curricular programming. The courses and activities offered through the Riding Program mesh perfectly with this goal.
Courses in trail riding, riding to hounds, hacking, independent riding, and cross country make extensive use of Sweet Briar's vast network of trails. Students also appreciate seasonal outdoor activities such as the Halloween ride and Easter egg hunt. And, on a campus where young women strive to "do it all," riders can count on Sweet Briar's remarkable natural landscape to help them refocus and renew the soul.