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Pre-Collegiate Summer Program

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.

Dates for our 2022 Pre-Collegiate Program:

  • June 6-10
  • June 13-17
  • June 20-24


The Pre-Collegiate Summer 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 be able to show off their equitation and bring out the best on horses regardless of the horse’s size, disposition, or background. In addition, competing in the IHSA and NCEA presents a different show format than USHJA and USEF shows, and gives athletes a chance to be part of a team. 

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. Over the five days at the Red Barn, 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, with the experience listed in the application section above. As with any catch riding program, safety and the growth and education of riders is our top priority. 

horse jumping over a jump
  • A welcome talk on Monday 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 and focus 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 with a flat and over fences phase.

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.