Butler Equestrian Program

Butler Equestrian Program





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The Butler Equestrian Center is riding school in Darnestown, MD. We provide year-round horseback rid

Our goal is to help each rider reach his or her individual goals, while fostering a trusting relationship between the horse and it's rider in a fun and safe environment. We accomplish this by focusing on horsemanship, encouraging responsibility, and instilling the value of teamwork. The Butler Equestrian program began as part of the Butler Camp. But since 1987, our program expanded by offering the

Operating as usual


The Main Barn got a makeover! Just in time for the Fall Session to start!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 08/12/2022

Our second intermediate camp had so many great learning opportunities! We had special visits from a vet/chiropractor and farrier. We even got to visit a draft horse rescue!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/29/2022

Session 3 has come to an end 😭 They all made so much progress in 2 weeks!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/23/2022

Another week of Equestrian Camp in the books! This week we had a special guest, an equine dentist!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/15/2022

Successful first Intermediate Camp! We were busy with mane pulling, making treats, creating jump courses, practicing polo wrapping, and of course riding!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/11/2022

We did a little something this weekend 😊 some of our girls competed in a small schooling show and even placed! So thankful to have Paige working with our students to keep showing fun! Our girls and school ponies rock!!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/01/2022

The first session of our equestrian camp is over and oh my, did we have fun!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 06/27/2022

Great start to camp!


Don't forget to be adventurous today!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 02/22/2022

This past Sunday, our Pony Club had a wonderful opportunity to visit the Marlborough Hunt Club kennels and watch some of the hunt! Thank you to everyone who helped make it happen!


Toffee sprinting

Our mascot, Mr. Toffee, is hyped with this windy weather!


Had to share the cute moment of siblings getting along ❀️ 😺. We are so lucky to have such sweet barn cats!


Happy Thanksgiving from Butler Equestrian!! πŸ΄πŸ¦ƒ


Butler Equestrian is excited to introduce two new instructors, Erin Sweeney and Paige Dunn! Erin is our head dressage instructor and Paige is the head jump instructor. We look forward to seeing how they help our students grow in not just their riding, but with their horse management skills as well!


The basics are so important! Don't you agree?


Annual Giving has begun! Please consider donating to the barn to help with barn maintenance and upgrades!

The Friends & Family Annual Giving campaign is the cornerstone of Butler Montessori’s fundraising efforts. It closes the gap between tuition revenue and operating expenses, and contributes to and enhances many features of the school: field trips and on-site programs, facilities improvements, professional development, competitive salaries for our teachers, and more.

Annual Giving runs from October 25 – December 31, 2021.
All contributions, regardless of size, are gratefully received.
Make your gift @ www.ButlerSchool.org/giving

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 10/31/2021

Why do horses love Halloween? Because they get to be extra spooky!! 🀣 Happy Halloween from Butler Equestrian!! πŸŽƒπŸ‘»πŸ΄

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/31/2021

Some snap shots from our Summer Clinics! Two down, one to go! Summer is going by too fast 😭

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/22/2021

Wow what an experience for our Pony Clubbers and their families!πŸ˜πŸ’— Friendships were forged and memories made here at the Horse Park. My heart is so full, I can not say enough how proud I am of all of what our girls accomplished! Our Novice Scramble Team placed second overall and our Junior Scramble team placed 9th πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸ™ŒπŸ’“πŸ†πŸ‘πŸ‘β£ A huge thank you to our Pony Club families who give our members such support, they couldn't do this without you behind them! And for the hometeam keeping the wheels turning for all that is Butler Equestrian!πŸ˜‰πŸ‘Š I couldn't be away without you❣

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/21/2021

Phew! First day of Quiz competition downπŸ‘ Today was spent in the Classroom phase followed by the Written Test. Everyone did their best and learned alot! Scoring will be finalized tomarrow a.m. and once posted officially I can share. We followed up on our hours questioning for a "quick" cross-country walk and then Opening Ceremonies! What a turnout! It makes me so excited to be a part of such an organization. I am so proud of our members to be a part of this gathering and to be able to experience something like thisπŸ‘πŸ™ŒπŸŽ‰πŸ’—

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/20/2021

First day of competition! Meeting up at Rolex Stadium. Super energy, meeting new people, connecting to clubs near and far, this is what Pony Club is all about. I'm so excited for our girls! Wish us luckπŸ€πŸ€πŸ™Œβ£

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/20/2021

Last minute Quiz prep and greet and meet for our scramble teams. A good time was had by all! Good luck everyone!πŸ€ We got thisπŸ‘ŠπŸ€œπŸ™Œ

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/19/2021

We're here! We're here! Posting some opening day pics. This is so exciting for me as over 20 years ago it was me as a participant here at this venue! I am over moon that now some of my students can make their own memories here πŸ’–πŸ’—πŸ’“πŸ’–πŸ’—πŸ’“


Well we made it! I am happy to say that I, my mom, and Butler Equestrian's unofficial-official mascots, Duncan and Bearin, have arrived safely in Lexington KY! So excited for this week's events and ready to cheer on our Pony Clubbers as they compete in Quiz. But for right now I think I'll take a que from Bearin and rest up!


A horse's birthday

Today we celebrate one of our top lesson ponies! Happy Birthday Scouty! πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‰

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 07/02/2021

So another week of summer programing in the books for Butler Equestrian! Job well done to our Senior and Junior Councelors! You guys make our day with your bright smiles and kind πŸ’•! We had a great group of students, with new and returning faces 😁 I hope we have encouraged all of you to further your interest in horses and gave great memories for years to come πŸ˜‰πŸ€—

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 06/29/2021

A day behind but . . . Butler Equestrian Summer Clinic 1 has begun! Today on our second day our farrier Hunter Fabrey made a presentation about farrier/blacksmith work and how it is important to the care of the horse. Annalise was our model and she seemed quite happy with it all. πŸ˜πŸ’“

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 06/07/2021

We did it!!!!!!! Butler Equestrian Pony Club Center completed our first full Rally of 2021! I can not say enough how proud I am of these girls. All exemplified the values that Pony Club espouses, sportsmanship, leadership, and horsemanship. It was a hot day but everyone pitched in to keep the workload easy. And it wasn't just those that went, the team at home gets a loud round of applause as well! We couldn't leave home without youπŸ˜‰πŸ€œ Final scores/placings will go out later this week and praise will go along with that. But honestly as a coach and Co-Director I don't place a high value on those outcomes. Our girls came together, made a team, overcame fears and nerves, rode well, thought of horses, and learned from their experience. I couldn't ask for more or better. You all rocked❣❣❣❣❣❣❣❣❣❣❣❣


This week our Pony Club Center was informed that our older D Quiz team has qualified for National Championships in Lexington Kentucky!!!!πŸŽˆπŸ‘πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰
I can not express how proud of both of our teams! It's an honor to coach you all and I am so excited for this opportunity. Kentucky here we come!


Caption this!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 04/11/2021

Welcome to Butler Sorbet!
Butler Equestrian has added a new pony to our program. We extend a huge thank you to the Norman family for deciding to donate this lovely mare to our program.
Sorbet is a 13.3h liver chestnut Welsh cross mare. She has previously been in the Hunter/Jumper disiplines.
This past week some our students put their Pony Club knowledge to use and selected a saddle for Sorbet. And they did great! Sorbet now has a saddle of her own!
At Butler Equestrian we teach our students to be well rounded equestrians by teaching both mounted and unmounted lessons. From these lessons our students were able to properly fit a saddle for Sorbet. Now with this experience those students can be better prepared for other horses that come into their lives.


Big Happenings in itty-bitty packages! Welcome to Butler Equestrian Toffee❣❣❣

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 02/28/2021

Yay! We did it! Our Junior D team completed their first Virtual Pony Club Quiz!!!πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽŠ πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
A job well done ladies! Super proud of all of you! You were patient and polite with all of the technical difficulties and kept your mental game going😁 It was an absolute delight to watch you bond as a team and as friends! Now on to next weekend as our Novice D's put their best HOOF🀣 forward ❀


And so it begins! . . . The first ever Virtual USPC Quiz Rally! Junior D's are at the ready. Wishing all our members good luck and most importantly HAVE FUN!!!
And as always, a HUGE thank you and virtual hug to all of our parents who give of their time to support our Center to provide the best Pony Club Center ever❣

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 02/22/2021

We had a very successful Mock Quiz day today! A big shout out to our parents and their willingness to be on hand for any job, big or small. We could not do these presentations without your help! πŸ˜πŸ™Œ Our members did a great job going through each phase. We are very proud of all their hard work studying! Very excited about our teams going forward with Virtual Quiz.


What do you do if it is too cold and icy to ride? You practice your horse management skills!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 02/08/2021

What crazy weather day yesterday was!! My first class got to be out in the beauty of yesterday. I thought I'd share a few pics. Love to all of ya!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 01/31/2021

So how are you waiting out the storm? Post some of the crazy or cozy ways you and your family ( both 2-legged and 4-legged) are weathering the snow storm πŸ˜‰

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 12/17/2020

Good morning everyone? How did everyone fair in our first Winter storm of 2020? I thought that I would share some pictures of how we prepare and take care of our horses during severe winter weather here at Butler.

One of the biggest concerns for horse owners during Winter is making sure horses are drinking enough water. Why you may ask? Because all living things need water to make sure the digestion of food keeps going. Horses can be finicky about their water intake when it's cold so . . . We begin to give electrolytes in their meals up to 2 days before severe weather to prepare their bodies and induce more water intake. We also put water heaters in troughs so that ice does not form and keeps the water between 42 and 45 degrees, temperatures that science says is optimal to keep livestock drinking.

On the day the weather hits, our horses get special warm meals with added bran. Along with the electrolytes this is a salty/sweet mix with added fiber to keep things moving! For horses turned out during the storm, we put hay closer to water and shelter to prevent horses journeying in slippery conditions.

The next day is spent unfreezing gate snaps and stall doors. And cautiously bringing in to check legs for any lumps or bumps or scrapes that may have happened in the night. We also have to pick out the dreaded "snowballs" that can pack into horses' hooves. This happens when snow packs into the hoof, melts alittle from body heat and then refreezes. It's a wobbly situation!

While horses are noshing warm meals in stalls, hay is put out in sunny spots a distance from water. Why? Because we need to keep those systems moving. After a night of hunkering down against the weather, all of a horse's body parts need to keep moving! It is more natural for horses to move from food source to water sources throughout the day, keeping joints muscles and digestive activity up.

That's about it my friends! I hope you enjoy the pictures and I enjoyed sharing the ins and outs of taking care of horses during winter weather😁

Camp-in-a-Box: Winter Edition 12/16/2020

Camp-in-a-Box: Winter Edition

What a great way to support an amazing organization and help your child learn more about horses!

Camp-in-a-Box: Winter Edition During the summer, you joined us for 6 weeks of adventure while learning about horses and how we impact the environment. Now, we are back with our Winter Edition! In our Winter Edition of Camp-in-a-Box, you'll learn what horses do in colder months, how they stay warm and learn more about other anima...

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 11/28/2020

Last weekend our Pony Clubbers put their hard work into practice and rode in a dressage mock rally. It was such an amazing day to see our members bond as a team, have fun, and learn so much!

Photos from Butler Equestrian Program's post 10/25/2020

How do our Pony Clubbers spend a cold, damp, rainy day? Practicing our jog out skills for Mock Rally of course! A good day for comraderie and learning as our Pony Clubbers learned how to set up their tackroom spaces under a canopy and jogging out for the judges. Good job everyone!

Our Story

Our goal is to help each rider reach his or her individual goals and foster relationships between horse and rider in a fun and safe environment.

We accomplish this through teaching horsemanship, encouraging responsibility, and instilling the value of teamwork and good sportsmanship.

The Butler Equestrian program began as part of the Butler Camp. But since 1987 we have offered the public premier riding lessons in Darnestown, Maryland.

We have classes for all abilities, and start with children as young a 6. We match the child to a horse that fits his/her abilities and then quickly watch them grow.

The equestrian program fits the Montessori philosophy of self-directed and hands on learning. There is nothing that compares to the experience of learning horsemanship. From basic care to learning how to understand the horse, from learning to ride to reaching goals and competing, students learn to look outside of themselves as well as reaching for the very best within.

Our Campus:
We are located on the campus of the Butler Montessori school. We have 22 acres that include well maintained Indoor and Outdoor Riding rings, several barns with tack rooms, several paddocks, a wash stall, and all of that space for the pasturing and caring for our horses and students.

If you are looking for riding lessons in the Darnestown, Maryland area - contact Butler Equestrian

Videos (show all)

Blake is the bobbing for apples champion!
Toffee sprinting
A horse's birthday
Butler Equestrian Distance Learning Episode 3
We hope you studied! Here is your quiz on the saddle parts! We will comment later this week with the answers. Good luck!
Butler Equestrian-Distance Learning- Saddle Parts
What We Feed Our Horse: The Basics
Start of the Spring 2018 Lesson Session
No Stirrup November started early for Abby!
Natiri at 4ft
Rocky and Emily





15951 Germantown Road
Darnestown, MD

Opening Hours

Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 5pm
Sunday 9am - 5pm

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Darnestown Swim & Racquet Club is a family-oriented community club, offering swim, tennis programs,