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Pre-Collegiate Summer

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The goal of the Program is to immerse high school students in the world of collegiate riding at the beautiful Red Barn Equestrian Center, located on the campus of Stanford University.

We are excited for our Pre-Collegiate Program in 2024! We are excited to continue to offer two of our classic five-day sessions (now called Pre-Collegiate Select sessions). This year, for riders with a busy show schedule who can’t make a five-day session, we are introducing a compressed three-day session (Pre-Collegiate Elite session). Both the Pre-Collegiate Select and Elite sessions will include lessons with Stanford Equestrian Team coaches, educational discussions, and riding multiple team horses throughout the session. Dates, pricing, the application process, as well as other information on our program is provided below.

Please find more information below and email Tina Davey at tdavey@stanford.edu for an application.

Overview:

The Pre-Collegiate Program gives riders the opportunity to learn about the world of competitive collegiate riding in both the IHSA and NCEA formats. Collegiate riding is founded on catch riding: the ability to effectively ride many different types of horses, from school mounts to seasoned show horses. Collegiate riders are expected to show off their equitation and bring out the best in horses regardless of the horse’s size, disposition, or background. Competing in the IHSA and NCEA presents a different show format than USHJA and USEF shows, giving athletes a chance to be part of a team. We strive to keep group sizes small for our Pre-Collegiate Program, generally with no more than 8-12 athletes, so that our coaching staff gets a chance to know each athlete. We often find that an added ‘bonus’ to the week is the bond that the students form with each other, with many keeping in touch after the program.

The goal of our Pre-Collegiate Program is to give students a look at the various collegiate formats, and to share what they should look for in a college riding program, as well as what to expect once they’re at college. During each session, we will give riders a taste of the collegiate riding experience to help them decide the right fit for their college riding experience, as well as to help them feel more prepared for try-outs, practices, and competition. 

Our program is constructed to allow participants chances to ride with a breadth of our collegiate coaching staff, interact with current and former student athletes, and (when time allows) even try new disciplines. It is also a time for independence and the chance to explore, try new things, and address personal strengths and weaknesses including how to work with horses that may be larger or smaller, faster or slower, or simply of a different discipline than the horse(s) you ride and show. We begin the week with an introduction and Q & A that is open to riders and their families, and we wrap up the week with sessions open for observation on Friday. But, for the majority of the program we ask parents, guardians, and coaches/trainers, to plan their own adventures on Campus or in the Bay Area, allowing students to participate independently.  

While all levels of riders are encouraged to apply, our program is best suited for riders with experience in the hunters, jumpers, equitation, and/or eventing whether in USEF, USEA, FEI, IEA, or local competitions. All applicants should be comfortable at 3’ (or above) on their own horse and/or at least 2’6" on an unknown horse. We encourage those applying to our Pre-Collegiate Elite session to be currently competing at 3’3 and up.

horse jumping over a jump

Dates:   For 2024 we are excited to offer three sessions for hunt seat riders: 

  • Elite Session: Monday to Wednesday, June 3-5
  • Select Session One: Monday to Friday, June 10-14
  • Select Session Two: Monday to Friday, June 17-21

A Sample Schedule: 

  • A welcome talk on the first day for riders and parents/guardians with the coaching staff giving a summary of collegiate riding, the week’s activities, and a brief Q and A.
  • Daily mounted practices with Stanford’s coaches and clinicians. Flat and fences practices are on Stanford horses, focusing on fundamentals, show ring preparations, and fitness to best prepare riders to lesson and compete on many different horses. During over fences work, jump height is reflective of the height of fences in collegiate shows (in IHSA competition, Novice is 2’-2’6”, Intermediate is 2’6”-2’9”, and Open is 2’9”-3’).
  • Fitness sessions geared towards collegiate riders.
  • Lunch discussions covering different aspects of collegiate riding, such as, the differences between IHSA and NCAA, balancing riding and school, collegiate competitions, and the unique opportunities and challenges associated with collegiate equestrian activities.
  • A mock show at the conclusion of the session.

As a note, participants will need to find their own accommodations and bring their own lunch each day as we are unable to provide housing.


How to Apply:

The Pre-Collegiate Summer Program is open to riders entering grades 9-12. For more information on pricing and how to apply, please contact Tina Davey.