Madeira’s equestrian program has been an important part of our school for more than 70 years and is designed to support both the beginner and the experienced rider.

With exceptional riding facilities just minutes from our classrooms, committed instructors who develop the skills of each rider, and an impressive varsity riding team, Madeira really does offer a totally stable learning environment. Come ride along!

Riding Classes

Madeira girls take two lessons per week and receive instruction in hunter seat equitation and stable management skills. Students are also encouraged to spend time at the stables and ride independently outside of class.


Riders of all levels can compete at a variety of competitions, including USEF-rated and IEA horse shows. Our varsity riding team, which provides a unique team experience in what is typically an individual sport.

Our Trophy Wall

Facilities and Horses

Madeira’s riding facilities make it possible for girls to ride rain or shine, after school and during the day, depending on a girl’s academic schedule. Facilities include:

  • School horses for beginner and advanced riders
  • Boarding for student-owned horses
  • 30-stall courtyard stable
  • 2 outdoor riding rings (140' x 280' and 66' x 132')
  • A large indoor ring (100' x 200')
  • Heated tack rooms and lounge
  • Indoor wash stall
  • Sprinkler systems for arena dust control
  • Private and group turnout
  • HorseGym USA Equine Treadmill

At Madeira, we consider our horses to be an integral part of the community. Madeira girls form strong bonds with these beautiful animals. Care of the horses is top priority and a strong part of the curriculum. Students learn to prioritize the welfare of the horse and develop strong stable management skills in addition to empathy and compassion for their equine partners.

Meet the Madeira Riding Staff

Equestrian FAQs


Boarding a Horse

Competitive Riding

Horse Donations

The equestrian program has been an important part of the athletic curriculum at Madeira for over 70 years. With a focus on teaching good horsemanship and hunter seat equitation the program serves riders of all different levels. Details below outline how to donate a horse to Madeira's equestrian program.

Our wonderful school horses, that have been donated by generous individuals, are the Equestrian Program’s backbone. All of our horses receive top-notch care including daily turnout and the highest quality feed, hay, and supplements. At times, the program will have openings for mentally and physically sound horses of all levels that are capable of being ridden once per day, 5-6 days a week in small group lessons.

Horse Donation Process

Alumnae Memories From The Barn

The first thing that visitors see when arriving at Madeira is the white fences. Commuters who zip by on Georgetown Pike may know it only as “the school with the horses,” as a number of them can be seen grazing in the paddocks on any given morning prior to the start of the school day.

Enter the stables yard and it’s another world, full of horse stalls, tack, hay bales, and adults and girls who are very knowledgeable about horses—or learning to be so. The setting has remained much the same over the past 85 years, with improvements such as the indoor riding ring, and upgrades as needed.

We got to wondering what stories could be told about those many years, many horses, and many girls who rode at Madeira. We asked our alumnae to share their experiences about riding at Madeira: what they learned that carried into their adult life, what memories they have from their time here (whether fun, challenging, or simply nostalgic), and if they are still riding.