Athletics

Equestrian

Fountain Valley School’s riding program caters to all riders—from competitive and experienced to never-ridden—and the facilities for both horse and rider are first rate. You can ride five days a week, English or Western, and earn varsity letters. Bring your horse to school with you or ride one of FVS’s 60 horses!

English Riding Program

The English program is designed around the American forward seat riding system as supported by the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA). Riders can participate with their own horse or ride one of the School’s 30-plus horses that are capable of taking them all the way from their first jump through the 3’6”. Fountain Valley offers three class groups with qualified instructors to support riders at any level. In addition to participating in local and A-rated shows, the English riding program also sponsors a highly competitive and successful IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association) team that has qualified for and won multiple years at zones, regionals and nationals. 

Riding Director Ann Hanna brought English riding to Fountain Valley School in 2003 and has led the winning program since. All FVS instructors are accomplished riders certified by the USHJA

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to be schooled by talented equestrian coaches such as Bernie Traurig, Joanne Warring, Julie Winkel and Nick Karazissis who hold clinics on campus for FVS riders. 

Many Fountain Valley alumni have gone on to ride in NCAA and IHSA college programs, and have also become professional riders, trainers and veterinarians in the equine industry.

Michaela Edwards ’19

The cornerstone of both programs is good horsemanship," says Michaela Edwards ’19 who now rides for Stanford University. "Fountain Valley program is not just about riding. You learn how to take care of the horse and become thoroughly well rounded. We run the barn, feed the horses, blanket them, clean their stalls. We learn how to take care of a horse’s medical needs like wrapping their legs, giving them their vaccines and doing their deworming. There are so many opportunities to improve yourself as a rider, a horseman and a person.

Riding Facilities

Indoors and out, the accommodations for horse and rider—which include one of the biggest indoor arenas in the state—are extensive.

  • 150' by 250' indoor arena
  • 28 stalls with runs, auto waterers and rubber mats
  • Four large outdoor arenas
  • A covered arena
  • 1,100 acres of rolling prairie with miles of trails
  • Paddocks with run-in sheds and pasture board

Western Riding Program

You’ll also find yourself riding the trails on 1,100 acres of prairie, having fun learning barrels and poles, and heading to the mountains on overnight pack trips. “Cowboy skills” is how Western Riding Director Spencer Bruce describes his program, teaching both horsemanship and stockmanship to riders. Working from the ground up, you begin by learning basic horsemanship—grooming methods, how to tack up a horse and how to handle a horse. Bruce teaches you to see things from the horse’s point of view and how to be fair to the horse. 
 
Next up is cow work! The School has a small herd of cows and you’ll learn about efficient and safe methods in the handling of cattle on horseback and training your ride to be a cow horse. Learn ranch-roping techniques that working cowboys use, how to take care of livestock and how to move a herd.  

Fun Fact

Riding has always been a part of Fountain Valley School, making Western riding the oldest athletic program on campus. When FVS was founded in 1930, the School still had a working cattle ranch, and the riding program helped with daily chores, focusing on ranch horses and teaching students to work with the horses to complete ranch jobs.

Equestrian Program FAQ

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

Meet Our Riding Coaches

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Ann Hanna

    Ann Hanna 

    Director of Riding Program, English Riding Head Coach
    (719) 391-5378
  • Photo of Elizabeth Bjorklund

    Elizabeth Bjorklund 

    Barn Manager; English Riding Coach
  • Photo of Laura Lynch

    Laura Lynch 

    English Riding Coach
  • Photo of Spencer Bruce

    Spencer Bruce 

    Western Riding Head Coach
    (719) 390-7035
FVS is a private, college-preparatory, co-ed, day and boarding school for grades 9-12 in Colorado Springs.
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