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.
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.
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.
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
"My absolute favorite Dana Hall memory of all time is winning the EIL Championship for tennis! Dana Hall Varsity Tennis faced our toughest rival for our last match. Everyone was watching that match; I remember the moment when I won my match and the whole team came out running and screaming onto the court. We were all hugging and smiling at each other. I was so proud to be a Dana Hall student-athlete."