Tulasi Landes riding Charleston Chew  “Charlie” in a Jumper Show

Clay Hill Stables is a family business, owned and operated by Emmie Prettyman, who is certified by the British Horse Society as an instructor and who not only wrote the program for Comar in Maryland for Instructors but also taught a 6-credit internship for the University of Maryland in Horse Management and Instructor Training for 15 years.

. Clay Hill specializes in creating a warm and friendly atmosphere in which to learn. Clay Hill is fully licensed by the State of Maryland, Prince George’s County and COMAR of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and all instructors are certified both in the riding discipline and with First Aid and CPR. Instructors include Trisha Prettyman, Danny Prettyman and Lyndi Prettyman-Caruso. Son Jamey runs his own farm at Pickwick Stables in Sykesville, Maryland.

Since the founding of Clay Hill in 1964, horsemanship and the responsibility that goes along with it, has been an integral part of the Clay Hill experience. Ms. Emmie Prettyman has devoted her life to  promoting the philosophy that riding helps develop character and equips one with the ability to make good, safe decisions.

Clay Hill’s comprehensive riding program is tailored to meet the needs of a diverse group of students. The program is open to riders of varying abilities from the beginner to the experienced.   Whether a rider’s interest lies in competing regularly, in riding for pleasure, or somewhere in between, he/she have a niche  in the programs at Clay Hill.

In order to create well-rounded riders, students are educated through mounted lessons as well as horse management discussions and activities. The curriculum for mounted lessons is customized to suit riders at the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. Experienced riders may choose to specialize in hunter-jumper, equitation, pleasure, western or reining In all disciplines, the instruction is based on the tenets of  good horsemanship in order to establish a fundamentally sound riding position.  As with everything in the riding program, the lesson structure is specifically suited to the individual riders; lessons are conducted in small group formats depending on each rider’s needs as well as his/her schedules.
The Beginner classes emphasize activities such as grooming and basic horse care as well as mounted skills such as stability of position and control of the horse in a group setting. As the beginners develop proficiency at riding at the walk, trot and canter in small groups, they are invited to showcase their skills by participating in a series of in-house exhibitions and competitions.
The Intermediate and Advanced riders focus on maintaining their form while learning more intricate flatwork and jumping exercises. Each of these riders is given the opportunity to compete in her discipline(s) of choice. Competitive experiences ranging from local to rated venues are offered in all disciplines on Clay Hill’s excellent school horses.  Through both on-site trainers as well as guest instructors and clinicians, Clay Hill provides complete instruction for riders interested in competing in equitation, hunters, jumpers, pleasure, western or reining.
Through the riding program, students are invited to try out for the Pickwick-Clay Hill Riding Team*, which competes in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) throughout the school year. The IEA format is based on the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), which tests a rider’s technical skills and correctness of position while catch-riding an unfamiliar horse in equitation classes both on the flat and over fences. The IEA is open to riders ranging from the Walk-Trot-Canter level through the Open Division, for riders who have competed in divisions at 3’3” and higher. The IEA is a wonderful means of taking a primarily individual sport and giving it a team dynamic.
These teams are open to both High School and Middle School riders and our
Middle School IEA team placed 8th at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Finals in May of 2011.
Quality horses, professionalism, and a fun learning environment are all hallmarks of the riding at Clay Hill.   Interested parties are encouraged to make an appointment to audit a lesson, meet with current riders, or take a tour of the stable and facilities. We also encourage our riders to discuss their ultimate short and long-term goals with us so that we may help everyone reach that goal.
*The Pickwick-Clay Hill Riding Team consists of riders from Pickwick Stables in Sykesville, Maryland and Clay Hill Stables, Springdale, MD and is coached by Ms. Emmie Prettyman and James M. Prettyman.
9911 Old Ardwick-Ardmore Road
Springdale , Maryland 20774
Contact:  (301)322-4514(301)322-4514

All levels of English riding are taught for all ages of adults and children, beginning at age 6. Most instruction is on the horse with occasional lectures and horsemastership training.

A special BEGINNER PACKAGE is offered through various programs including the YMCA of Arlington, Virginia and the City of Falls Church Recreation Department, teaching competent handling of the horse and his equipment, in a correct and safe manner, along with the fundamentals of English riding. The Clay Hill horses are well-trained at all levels and lessons are given daily and evenings. Instructors are highly capable and sensitive to each rider’s individual needs. Clay Hill was under contract to MNPPC from 1973 through 2006, offering the same type classes and is the only stable of its kind offering these classes as a Community Service, making it an affordable program for all.

Student Rentals
Horses are available to enrolled students on a rental basis to practice skills between lessons or to go on escorted trail rides. Monthly leases of horses are also available with riding every day.

Clay Hill is very proud of the horse show record compiled in the past years, both locally and rated.   The horses are available to take to shows at a nominal fee and Clay Hill encourages its students to compete as another pleasant dimension to riding.  We have had many successful shows this year with several of our horses and riders Champion or Reserve.  In April of 2011, our Interscholastic Equestrian Association Team  (“Pickwick – Clay Hill”  Middle School IEA Team)  placed 8th in the US at the National Finals!  In 2012 our teams qualified forRegional and  Zone Finals.

Student Competitions
Each spring and fall, Clay Hill has an in-house competition for students with certified judges officiating and giving constructive criticism.

Working Student Program
A unique opportunity to learn and work more closely with horses and the various phases of barn management is offered to qualifying adults and youth in a non-resident program. Hours worked can be credited toward riding time, show expenses or lessons. A Certificate Program for ages 16 and over is also offered. For those interested in the Internship through the University of Maryland, applicants must have a minimum of 60 credits and be in the Animal Science Department.

Instructor Certificate Program

Offered for Instructors wishing to work in the state of Maryland in a riding school or camp.

IEA  Team


 The Interscholastic Equestrian League competes against other schools in the D.C. Metropolitan area.  Cost $200 per semester  includes team practices twice weekly.  Participants must be enrolled in a weekly program of lessons

In 2011 our Interscholastic Equestrian Association Middle School Team placed 8th in the US at the National Finals!

Show Team
Clay Hill offers a show team to any students interested in showing locally in our area. Participation is on a first-come basis with practices once a week starting in April. Members receive reduced  trailering to one show a month or reduced coaching fees or free horse rental fees. Members also get first choice of the 40 horses and ponies at the facility for their show experience.

Clay Hill schedules riding clinics throughout the year for its students with guest instructors who are noted personalities in their particular field. Noted clinicians have been A-rated Master Judge, Matt Collins of Culpeper, Virginia, (Hunters and Equitation)Jaye Younkers of Potomac (Side Saddle),Judy Farnsworth- Newcomb of Mitchellville, MD (Dressage) Chris Hickey of New Jersey (Jumpers), Lyndi Prettyman-Caruso, USEF A-rated judge (Equitation)and Pat DeFelice (Western).

Summer Horsemanship Adventure Series

The most fun place to be during the summer! Intensive training in all phases of horsemanship and horsemastership is of course the main area of study, with each child assigned his own personal horse to care for and love. There is also swimming each day and all sorts of contests and competitions. Extended day care is available from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. Special activities each session include a Weiner Roast and Splash Party, Overnight Trail Ride and a Horse Show.

Instructor Certificate Program
This program fulfills the guidelines for instructors at all levels from Ground Support Person, Beginner Instructors, Intermediate Instructors and Advanced Instructors for Specialty Camps offering horseback riding as outlined by COMAR of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Work sheets will be sent to you in addition to a study guide of basic knowledge that all must know. The certification requires about 5 hours of on-site testing plus independent study.

Nothing contributes more to a successful learning experience than a happy environment in which to learn. You will find this at CLAY HILL.


10 WEEK LESSON PACKAGE $500(includes two practices*)  *New students must wait 3 weeks to do the practice rides which are by appointment only.

Group, Private or Semi-Private Lessons Available

SEMESTER PACKAGE* – $1150 – 13 weeks


(includes 2 lessons per week and 2 practice rides per week  plus first choice of our wonderful horses for shows and clinics)

13-Week Semester Package
For students who wish to ride consistently on a weekly basis.
Payment for the semester must be made in full before the beginning of the semester. Students may begin lessons at any point during the semester; the semester fee will be prorated accordingly and will be due at the beginning of the first lesson. Please read Semester Cancellation Policy.

* Lesson time includes preparation of horse (bringing horse from stall to arena, mounting, etc. and returning horse to stall and cooling out and grooming)
Rider is responsible for grooming, picking hooves, tacking, and properly cooling out horse for all lessons and practices. Practice rides must be scheduled ahead of time.

Required Apparel For All Riding Lessons
For your safety, approved riding helmets and hard-soled shoes with a heel must be worn for all riding lessons.
Riding pants or long slacks and tall boots or chaps are recommended for your comfort.  No midriff or bra-less tops or short shorts under chaps.  Hair should be put up and shirt tails should be tucked in.  No sandals or flip flops allowed in the working areas when handling horses.

We loan helmets at no charge


Lessons not cancelled 48 hours prior will be charged. Barn credit only is given with no monenetary refunds. Makeups are liberal however if scheduled within 2 weeks and by appointment while enrolled.
ADOPT – A – PONY – $75 for one month (includes grooming as many days as you want and a leading ride each week

BEGINNER SPECIAL – $185 for 4 lessons or $60 for an Introductory Beginner Lesson   A new beginner class can be started with 4 participants.

This special is also for our GROUPON students the first time they sign up!


 $75 for an Introductory Private Intermediate or Advanced Lesson.  New Intermediate/Advanced Students must be evaluated in a private or semi-private lesson before joining a group.  See group rates above.