Girls learning, leading, succeeding
The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center


List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • How many stalls do you have?

    There is stabling for 45 horses at The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center. The state-of-the-art barn has spacious stalls with two indoor heated wash stalls and new feed room.
  • How many school horses are there?

    The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center currently has 16 school horses that range from beginner horses through advanced horses that attend local shows.
  • How many Dana Hall students ride?

    Approximately 75-100 Dana Hall students ride each year.
  • How many lessons does the Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center teach each week?

    The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center instructors teach approximately 150-200 lessons per week.
  • How many instructors are there?

    The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center has two full-time instructors and two part-time instructors. Cookie DeSimone is the head trainer and has been teaching at Dana Hall for more than 30 years. All our instructors are Massachusetts-licensed riding instructors.
  • What types of riding are offered?

    The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center offers a hunt-seat equitation program that focuses on equitation, hunters and jumpers.
  • What kinds of programs are offered at The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center?

    The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center offers a variety of programs suitable for students ranging from the beginner rider to the recreational rider to the highly competitive rider.

    • Riding can be taken for physical education credit in both the Middle and Upper School. Students taking riding for physical education credit take two lessons per week and attend a comprehensive horsemanship lecture series.

    • An extensive horse show program is offered for riders interested in showing their horses at the local and A-circuit level, including the Ocala, Fla. winter circuit shows.

    • Riders can also compete in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association as a member of the Dana Hall Equestrian Team. Riders do not need their own horse to compete in the IEA. The team competes throughout the year at the varsity level. Riders accumulate points both individually and as a team toward a national competition held in the spring.

    • The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center offers a great program for beginner riders. Beginners are given hands-on lessons in grooming and tacking/untacking their horses. Riders are also instructed on topics such as barn safety, horse handling and leading. The Equestrian Center has an excellent staff available to assist riders as they learn and practice these new skills.
  • What is the time commitment for each lesson?

    Our general rule of thumb is about an hour and a half to two hours. A half an hour to get ready, half an hour to ride in a private lesson and one hour to ride in a group lesson, and the last half hour is spent putting the horse away after the lesson. In special circumstances, exceptions can be made regarding the amount of time needed to get ready or put the horse away.
  • What equipment do riders need?

    Riders will need an ASTM approved helmet and a hard-soled, small-heeled boot. All other gear is optional. There is a tack shop just down the road from The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center, and all equipment is readily available there. The store information is:

    Dover Saddlery
    595 Washington St.
    Wellesley, MA 02482
    (781) 235-1411

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    "In Western Civilization, we learn the material in interesting ways and the teachers incorporate different projects that make the information easier to understand."
    -Nicole '16