is a complete Eventing facility geared toward producing
successful riders and horses, owned and operated by International rider
Phyllis Dawson. We have an
excellent Eventing working student program. Activities here at Windchase include competition
horses, a boarding stable, horses in training, instruction for
riders, horses for sale, a breeding operation, and more.
We have ICP Instructors, and a great education program for
students. The facility is in a lovely location on 247 acres in the
Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Virginia.
It includes top class stabling for 46 horses, large indoor
and outdoor arenas with excellent footing, large pastures, and
schooling cross country courses for all levels. The working students share a
house on the farm.
working student program offers instruction, riding experience and
learning opportunities in exchange for working in the stable. Our program is designed to allow everyone the chance to
fulfill their own goals with their riding, including ample
opportunities to compete their own horse.
Lessons on an almost daily basis offer the riders
individual attention on a variety of horses. The lessons are
all with highly qualified Instructors and Trainers.
Riders come from all over the country, and indeed, all over
the world, to participate in Phyllis Dawson's Working Student
Program. Many former
Windchase working students have gone on to successful careers
training, competing, managing stables, and running their own
you are interested in a career with horses or just wanting to
spend some time pursuing your riding before college or career, if
you are serious about learning, there is no better way to receive
an education in riding, training, Eventing, horse care, and stable
STUDENT POSITIONS AVAILABLE
Windchase has working
student positions coming available at various times of the
Please contact Phyllis if you are interested in applying
for a position.
Phyllis competed at the
highest levels of Three-day Eventing for over thirty years. She
has had success on many different horses, most all of whom
she trained herself. She
successfully represented the United States in the Olympic Games in
Seoul, Korea, riding Albany II in
1988, finishing tenth overall, the best
of the Americans Eventers. She
also rode for the United States Equestrian Team in 1997,
successfully competing Snowy River in the Open European
Championships at Burghley, England. Learn more about
Phyllis's competitive career and the horses she rode on the Eventing
with Phyllis and the Competition
is a participant in the United States Eventing Association's
excellent Instructor's Certification Program.
She is certified as a Level IV instructor, the highest
rating offered, and is also a member of the ICP Faculty.
Other Windchase Instructors include Dressage trainer Jineen
Reed, and Melissa Hunsberger, a four-star event rider and Level
III certified instructor with the ICP.
Windchase offers a variety of opportunities to gain
experience; there is always something going on. With
horses competing and being shown for sale, youngsters being
started under saddle, horses sent for training, and the breeding
program, students can gain experience in all aspects of the horse
program is designed to help everyone fulfill their own goals with
their riding and gain as much experience as possible.
Working Students at Windchase get the opportunity to work
and ride in the presence of top veterinarians, farriers, riders
and trainers. They
gain exposure to the top levels of Eventing, and to many other
facets of the horse industry.
our excellent facilities and top-level instruction, we offer the
ideal situation to help you attain your goals.
Many former Windchase
working students have gone on to become successful competitors,
trainers, instructors and barn managers.
In addition to our American students, Windchase has had
working students from many other countries, including Germany,
Ireland, England, Australia, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada,
Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, India, Finland and Sweden.
Siobhain O'Connor and Flying Advance at the Radnor Hunt
Katie Willis on Polar Storm at Jersey Fresh CCI***
Working Students are required be at least 17 years old, and
to make a commitment to stay for a minimum of six months.
Applicants are expected to be competent riders, and to have
some experience caring for horses and working in stables, but
there is no required level of competition experience.
Our program is definitely geared toward Eventing; although
competition experience is not necessary, a commitment toward the
Eventing discipline is important.
A desire to learn and a willingness to work hard and do
things the Windchase way are essential.
I am looking for working students who really love horses, farm
life, and are very interested in learning, improving their riding
and becoming part of the Windchase Team.
Windchase Working Students receive housing on the farm,
instruction and riding lessons on a daily basis, free board for
their horse (as long as they make a commitment of at least six
months) and plenty of opportunities to ride, learn and gain
experience. If you
have a suitable horse, there is plenty of opportunity to compete.
students work five and a half days a week, doing all types of
horse care, including feeding, grooming, mucking stalls, cleaning
tack, riding, tacking up,
and whatever needs to be done around the barn.
Students generally ride
several horses a day in addition to their own.
Windchase requires a very high standard of horse care.
There is plenty of hard work to be done, but a good group
of people in a friendly atmosphere and an emphasis on learning
makes for pleasant working conditions.
Windchase accepts from four or five working students at a
time, so everyone gets plenty of individual attention. You are
expected to work hard, and in return you will learn a tremendous
Preference is given
to those who have a horse they can bring with them.
I do not keep school horses, so it is much better if you
bring your own horse to take lessons on and compete, but I can
accept students without a horse if they are experienced and
talented riders. Students
who bring their own horse will also get lessons on other horses
here at the stable.
Applicants for working student positions will need to plan
to come to Windchase for a personal interview/trial. You should plan to
spend at least two full days at the farm; this gives you a chance
to really observe our program and see what it entails, and it
gives us a chance to get to know you a little and see if you seem
like you would fit in well. It
is usually best to make arrangements for coming to interview about
3 to 6 months in advance of when you would like a position.
With proper references, overseas students may be
interviewed by phone. E-mail me if you wish to arrange an
interview, and I will send you a short questionnaire to fill out
preceding arranging an interview date.
Kaitlin Spurlock and Bates
Dana Bivens with Carpe Diem
Working Students are not considered employees, and so are
not covered by Workman's Comp or farm health insurance; they must
have their own health insurance arrangements. Students are
responsible for their own meals, and of course costs such as
shoeing, vet fees and competition expenses for their horse.
Students are expected to do their part keeping the house
clean and tidy. No
smokers and no drugs. Sorry,
working students are not allowed to bring dogs.
I generally require a commitment of six months or more,
though once in a while we have a shorter-term spot available. A
summer-only or short term position may be possible for a fee.
Occasionally there are also part-time positions available
for students that do not require housing.
If you are interested in more information, or would like to
come see our farm, please contact Phyllis Dawson.
Tizi Prem and Shandon
Maggie Nichols with Oscar
If you are interested in applying for a Working Student
position at Windchase, contact Phyllis Dawson.
Phone: (540) 668-6024 stable, (540) 668-6548 home
Address: 36502 Kidwell Road, Purcellville, VA 20132