Riding and academic excellence for more than 100 years.
Walker’s riders have a long tradition of ribboning at competitive events including Wellington, Medal and Maclay Finals, USEF Finals, CHJA Finals, NEEC Finals, Vermont, Saugerties, and Saratoga. Members of Walker’s riding team have the opportunity to compete at both the local and national level as well as in the IEA.
Riding has been part of life at Walker’s since its founding in 1911. Our Equestrian Center is on campus, so you are just steps away from your horse and your equestrian activities. Our nationally recognized program emphasizes excellence in riding and academics. We’ll support and challenge you so you can succeed competitively and academically.
Our Riding program is staffed by accomplished horsewomen who have decades of competition and training experience.
The hunter-jumper-equitation program at The Ethel Walker School is nationally recognized as one of the premier high school equestrian programs in the country. Students from all over the nation attend Walker's for the opportunity to ride in this program.
Riders at Walker's have the opportunity to compete at both the local and national level. The School hosts fall and spring USEF rated competitions as well as a series of evening shows. Walker's team members both compete and help at their home shows. Upon their return to school in the fall, competitors participate in the Medal, Maclay, and USEF Finals as well as the New England Equitation Finals. In the winter, Walker's equestrians head South to participate in the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. This gives the riders the opportunity to ride and compete consistently with the finest riders in the country. After Wellington, The Devon Horse Show, Saratoga and local competitions fill up the calendar. Riders can continue to compete throughout the summer at Lake Placid, Vermont and the Hamptons along with local shows.
Lessons are offered three times a week, and ground school is held every Wednesday. We have a few different lesson packages that can be discussed with the Director as to which one is appropriate for each student. Students are also encouraged to do a free ride (hack) on the days they are not lessoning.
Introduced to Walker's science curriculum in 2008, Equine Science, taught by licensed veterinarian Dr. Suzanne Piela, is a yearlong science elective. The intense equine biology class encompasses the anatomy and physiology of all the systems of the horse, nutrition, toxicology, parasitology, health management, neonatology, epidemiology, and sports medicine. While the curriculum is of special interest to Walker's riders, it is also beneficial to students interested in veterinary science, or careers in medicine and biology.
The course features guest speakers, current events, journal articles, field trips, case studies, and weekly labs. Walker's barn lends itself as a natural classroom, and allows students to gain hands-on experience and apply what they have learned in class to real life experiences.
Students gain a strong foundation in most of the systems in the equine body, and use this knowledge to work up different cases during the second semester. Students also learn how to ask the right questions to obtain a medical history, interpret physical exam and diagnostic test findings, and recognize signs of injury and disease in their own horses.