Garrison Forest empowers students to realize their full potential and live lives of purpose.

Garrison Forest School

Riding

Take the reins and discover how far you can go.

Are you passionate about horses? Do you love to ride? At Garrison Forest, you may choose from several equestrian programs to match your interest and skill, whether you are a beginner or a veteran competitor. Our program will teach you to push past any obstacle, in the arena, on the field and in life.

For over 100 years, GFS riders have been learning self-confidence, improving their skills, having fun and making friends through our nationally recognized equestrian programs. The program offers seamless transition from beginner to advanced levels through small classes taught by caring, nationally recognized faculty and an extended community of riders. Our riding program is based on Hunter Seat Equitation and includes Equitation and Hunters and Jumpers. Recent GFS students have been world-class Eventers. GFS riders become self-sufficient and to do all of their own tacking up, grooming and preparation for competition and daily riding.

Riders have the opportunity to be considered for the GFS Equitation Team once they have completed 6th Grade. Team members are part of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association and compete nationally. Our Upper and Middle School riders have earned national recognition by bringing home multiple wins from the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) National Finals.


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Recreational Riding

The Recreational Riding program is for students Kindergarten through 12 Grade. Designed to properly start the beginning rider, the Recreational Riding program includes lessons focusing on skill development and basic horse care, including grooming and tacking-up. Mounted and unmounted training develops a thorough base of equestrian knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as competitive edge. For continued safety and individual success of each rider, class size is limited and enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants may compete in GFS sponsored events, where appropriate.

Costs for Upper School, Middle School and Lower School:

$525 (once/week) $1,025 (twice/week) $1,525 (three times/week)

All recreational riders may choose to ride 1-3 times/week. Upper School students who ride 3 times/week may receive Physical Education credit. Costs are based on the number of lessons per week during a season/trimester (a season is fall, winter or spring).

Lower School students ride during their already-scheduled Physical Education period. Riders must participate in GFS P.E. Riding class at least once per P.E. rotation in order to participate in afterschool riding lessons. Students are scheduled according to grade and ability and take lessons with their grade during PE. Students may participate in the Lower School Horse Show during the school year. The cost for Lower School Riding is for one lesson during P.E. and one or two additional lessons/week afterschool.

Apparel and Equipment Needed: All Recreational riders must be dressed in long pants, preferably jodhpurs, boots with a heel and have an appropriate (ASTM-approved) helmet with a harness.

Questions? Contact GFS Stables at (410) 559-3450

Competition Riding Program: Equitation Team

For Middle School and Upper School students of all riding levels interested in competitive riding, the Competition Riding program allows them to take their skills and interest to the next level. Included in this program are three lessons/week, with riders assigned to lessons based on their riding level. Practices include mounted and unmounted training to develop a thorough base of equestrian knowledge, skills and abilities.

Middle School and Upper School riders compete on the GFS Equitation Team. Upper School riders are eligible to receive Athletic credit. Equitation team members are expected to be available for all team shows; the team schedule is provided to all team members at the beginning of the Equitation season. Riders who choose this package are expected to participate in all three seasons (fall, winter and spring) as a member of the Equitation team. Showing costs are in addition to the costs below.

Upper School and Middle School Cost: $1,525/season (fall, winter or spring)

Lessons are scheduled Monday – Friday, 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM.

Apparel and Equipment Needed: In addition to riding clothes, helmet, boots and grooming equipment, riders are expected to have showing clothes and equipment.

Questions? Contact GFS Stables at (410) 559-3450


Half-Lease Package

The Half-Lease Package is intended for the rider/family deciding between the Full-Lease Package or remaining in the lesson program. With this package, riders receive everything listed in the Competition Program plus preparing for competition on the rider’s leased mount and bonding, training and learning on the same animal, which provides a more consistent experience. This package is subject to availability of a mount and is only available for a total of six (6) months. Riders must be able to properly groom and tack their mount or must be accompanied by another individual with those capabilities.

Upper School, Middle School and Lower School Cost: $600/month plus lesson package

Includes:

  • Half lease of a horse
  • 3 lessons/week, scheduled in advance. Lessons are scheduled
  • Monday – Friday, 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM during the school year.
  • Lesson schedule flexibility is offered during the Summer.
  • 1 independent ride/week, scheduled in advance; Riders must
  • be accompanied by an adult on all independent rides unless
  • otherwise explicitly stated by GFS instructors
  • 1 horse show per month
  • All tack and equipment for the animal

Additional charges may include horse transportation, student transportation, lodging, boarding of horse and show entry fees. Coaching fees will be charged for all competitions. Half-Lease Package riders are responsible for monthly farrier bills and routine veterinary care (vaccinations, worming, coggins, etc.)

Apparel and Equipment Needed: In addition to riding clothes, helmet, boots and grooming equipment, riders are expected to have show clothes and equipment.

Questions? Contact GFS Stables at riding@gfs.


Full-Lease/Ownership Package

The Full-Lease/Ownership Package is designed for the rider who is seeking the ultimate equestrian experience—the freedom to ride as desired and a horse meeting specific criteria. This package includes board, staff care and the Competition program, plus identification and acquisition of the ideal horse for the rider, all-encompassing development of horsemanship and bond between rider and horse, and exclusive access to the horse (within barn hours).

Clients are required to use GFS vendors (vet, farrier, etc.), to be scheduled by the GFS barn manager and billed separately. Riders must read, sign and return GFS Stables Boarding Contract.

Upper School, Middle School and Lower School Cost:

$1,375/month with a six-month minimum commitment

Includes:

  • 3 lessons per week (schedule set by GFS staff with flexibility offered in summer months) plus one training ride by GFS staff.
  • Lessons are scheduled Monday – Friday, 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM during the school year.
  • Board of horse
  • Staff labor and care (turn-out, feeding, blanketing, stall cleaning and maintenance)
  • Billed monthly for the upcoming month
  • Lease and/or acquisition fees not included
  • Additional charges may include horse transportation, student transportation, lodging, boarding of horse and show entry fees.
  • Coaching fees will be charged for all competitions.

Apparel and Equipment Needed:

In addition to riding clothes, helmet, boots and grooming equipment, riders are expected to have show clothes and all tack and equipment for their animal.

Missed Lesson Policy

Missed lessons must be made up within the calendar month or may be substituted for an additional training ride with 24 hours’ notice.

Questions?

Contact GFS Stables at riding@gfs.org

Polo

One of two girls’ schools in the country to offer Polo, Garrison Forest’s program includes team and introductory (or recreational) options.

Team Polo

For the player who wants to compete on the GFS Varsity, JV and Third-Team levels of play, the Team Polo program is for new and experienced players. A solid riding base is required. Players will learn and/or improve their hitting skills, horsemanship, game sense and teamwork. Unmounted lessons and game tape review may be utilized. Players are expected to tack up and care for their mount before and after practices and games as well as working together before, during and after games to see that games run smoothly and mounts are taken care of.

Games for all teams will begin in late September and continue through the year with some travel expected. Players may plan for one, two or all three seasons (fall, winter and spring). Games may be during some evenings and weekends. Teams may also compete in tournaments, during the year, including but not limited to the USPA Girls’ Interscholastic Tournament. Participation in tournaments may require an additional entry fee. Practice is four days/week. There are no additional coaching fees for games, but Polo players who travel to a competition will share the cost of transportation and hotel costs. Enrollment is limited.

Upper School and Middle School Cost: $1,550/season

Apparel and Equipment Needed: Polo players need long pants and either paddock boots or tall boots. All polo equipment is provided.

Introductory Polo

Offered to those players (Middle School and Upper School and Lower School with instructor approval), the Introductory Polo program is for those who would like to learn the game or continue their polo with less time commitment. This program includes some game experience outside of the GFS Polo teams. Practices are Monday and Thursday afternoons or by arrangement with instructor. Enrollment is limited.

Cost: $575 (1/week/season) $1,075 (2/week/season)

Introductory Polo for Grades 4-5

Open to younger girls with coach’s approval, the introductory program for Grades 4-5 is offered once/week on Wednesdays from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM, with a game is held at the end of trimester.

Lower School Cost: $550/season

Apparel and Equipment Needed: Polo players need long pants and either paddock boots or tall boots. All polo equipment is provided.

Questions? Contact Cindy Halle, Polo Coach, at 410-559-3452 or cindyhalle@gfs.org.


Horse Shows and Events

Garrison Forest hosts several shows annually at the school’s collegiate-level D. & J. Smith Equestrian Center. Nearly every weekend GFS takes riders to a competition, including:

  • United State Equestrian Federation competitions
  • MHSA, VHSA and “A” shows
  • HITS shows in Florida, New York and New England
  • Washington International Horse Show
  • MCTA and USEA events
  • Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) shows
  • Gittings Finals
  • Baltimore County Horse Show Association series

Participating in local and/or away horse shows incur additional costs, listed below. (Prices are subject to change):

  • Coaching at Shows: $60/show (rate will increase if less than 3 students attending show)
  • Daily Care/Grooming: $50/day
  • Trainer per Diem: To be split among participating clientele
  • Tack and Feed Stall: To be split among participating clientele
  • Medications: Billed per show
  • Schooling/Showing of Horse: $45
  • Tack and Feed Room: To be split among participating clientele
  • Vanning: Dependent on location
  • Entries: Dependent on the show
  • Other fees may include trainer/coach travel and lodging.



Forms

Riding and Polo Policies

Students enrolled in the GFS Riding Program are required to attend the Opening Riding Meeting at the beginning of the school year.

Students boarding horses at the stables must ride in the Garrison Forest School Riding Program. No outside instructors are permitted to teach students or train horses at GFS unless they have special permission from the Director of Riding.

The Director of Riding and Barn Manager must be notified if an owner takes his/her horse off of the property for any period of time.

Students must ride within barn hours. Turnout rotations and feeding occur daily at predetermined times. Riders must plan independent rides accordingly.

If there are extenuating circumstances, it is the student’s responsibility to coordinate riding times or obtain special permission from the Director of Riding for riding outside of barn hours and ensure that there is an adult on premises with them.

Students are not permitted to jump without a Garrison Forest instructor present.

Every riding student is required to own some basic clothing and equipment. All students must have their own grooming supplies, properly fitting ASTM-approved riding helmet, long pants and boots with a heel. Riders are also required to have grooming equipment, available for purchase from the school. Competition riders are required to have show attire as well. All of these items can be purchased at a local tack shop with the help of GFS riding instructors if necessary.

Clients with full leased or owned animals are required to outfit their horses with all necessary tack and supplies.

Riding students are expected to be available for two hours on scheduled lesson days in order to care for horses and equipment in addition to their riding time.

Students must attend scheduled lessons. School year lessons run in accordance with the GFS calendar. Instructors must be notified with greater than 24 hour notice of any cancellations in order for make-up lessons to be considered. Make up lessons granted to students must be scheduled within the calendar month.

Forest Facts

Garrison Forest is one of a handful of Mid-Atlantic schools with two indoor rings.

GFS Equitation teams have won numerous regional and national IEA titles and Varsity Polo has won 13 national championships.

Facilities include the D. & J. Smith Equestrian Center, two fully equipped barns with heated wash stalls, the Sheridan riding Center for Polo, two large outdoor rings, a dressage ring, more than 15 private paddocks for private and group turn-out and two school-owned rigs and van service for shows and events.

GFS is one of two girls’ schools in the country to offer Polo.

Riding and Polo count for P.E. credit.


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