Sweet Briar has the best equestrian program of any liberal arts college in the country.  Whether you are a national competitor, a weekend rider, or a first-timer, you can ride here.

Renowned for Excellence

Welcome to the best equestrian program of any liberal arts college in the country. We offer exceptional indoor and outdoor riding facilities and quality horses that partner with riders at every level.

We value each rider equally—from novice to advanced. Students develop into competent and well-rounded horsewomen who are skilled and knowledgeable in the hunter/jumper discipline.

Learn more about our extraordinary facilities

A Community of Riders

At Sweet Briar, you’ll share a love for horses that unites you in ways you never thought possible, whether it’s something you’ve always wanted to try or you’ve been riding all your life. We believe equestrians become exemplary leaders, in any field. They have remarkable tenacity and discipline, they understand what great teamwork demands, and they’re passionate about empowering and mentoring others.
It’s the kind of community that’s hard to keep to yourself. In fact, it’s not unusual for the roommates of riders to tag along on a practice day — and end up on one of our riding teams.


Partnership between Horse and Rider

Our program focuses on the hunter/jumper discipline, heavily influenced by the modern forward system of riding. More than 20 different courses of instruction are offered, with three to six riders per class. Small classes allow for personalized instruction that fosters partnership between rider and mount.


Our equestrian athletes continue to develop their mental focus and refine and strengthen their position, all while setting and achieving goals. Whether competing in a collegiate setting, where the horse is unknown, or on a familiar mount, students learn to assess the situation and use their aids to create a winning performance from each horse they ride.

Sweet Briar has much to offer students who wish to ride primarily for enjoyment, recreation or fitness. Riders can improve their partnership with the horse by refining their aids in the ring, enjoying a quiet hack across campus or donning a costume for a Halloween-themed show of fun and games.
Training/Schooling Horses
We offer schooling-oriented classes for riders interested in training concepts. Classes start with groundwork and natural horsemanship, then progress using a systematic approach to developing skills applicable to a range of horses and specialties.
Field Riding
From relaxing walk-and-talks to exhilarating fox hunting, field riding has always been integral to Sweet Briar’s program. Riders develop confidence as they explore Sweet Briar’s campus and trails, which provide ample opportunities to hack out. Advanced riders may have the chance to experience an actual hunt with a local club.
Equine Studies Certificate
The certificate program requires 22 to 24 credits of course work. It offers concentrations in management and teaching and schooling. The program combines a strong liberal arts foundation with preparation for a potential career in equine-related enterprises.
Student with horse in stables
NCEA Scrimmage

Sweet Briar Riders Know How to Win

In 2021, the Vixens won the first-ever NCEA Single Discipline National Championship.

Our championship-level teams compete in National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) and Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) events. Qualified Sweet Briar riders also have the opportunity to compete in local and rated shows off-campus in the USHJA Zone 3 region.

Learn more about our winning riders

Room to Roam

Sweet Briar’s 2,840-acre campus provides uneven terrain and unforgettable views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Such a beautiful setting is an advantage to both horse and rider.
Riders of every level develop confidence as they explore Sweet Briar’s spectacular trails and campus — our outdoor classroom of nature sanctuaries, dells, lakes and mountain tops.

Check out our trail map

Students riding on one of the many campus trails

Aerial View of Harriet Howard Rogers Riding Center

View of trail leading to the Harriet Howell Rodgers Riding Center


Extraordinary Facilities

Stable management and professional horse care are a priority at Sweet Briar.

  • Our newly-renovated facility is located a little more than a mile from the center of campus and includes:
  • 80 large box stalls with rubber mats
  • 45 well-mannered College-owned horses
  • Five tack rooms
  • 20 individual paddocks and 10 large pastures for turnout

Indoor and outdoor facilities provide an optimum riding and educational experience.

The Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center includes:

  • One of the largest indoor college arenas in the nation: The Robin S. Cramer Hall measures 120 x 300 feet and features a climate-controlled viewing area and sound system.
  • Three spacious outdoor rings, one with sprinklers and lights
  • Covered lunging area
  • Several teaching and schooling fields with a variety of natural obstacles
  • Hunter/jumper fences suitable for USEF competitions

Two boarding options allow students to bring privately-owned horses with them to college.

Want a Sneak Peek?

Enter your email address below to receive an exclusive sneak peek at the newly renovated barns at Sweet Briar – just one of the ways that we work to support your riding experience at Sweet Briar College.



Speak to the Equestrian Program Liaison

Complete this form to learn more about Riding at Sweet Briar College and to schedule an in person or virtual tour.