Darenth Farm offers lessons for all levels of riders from complete beginners to advanced competitors. There are two trained riding instructors on staff who offer individual and group lessons for all ages. Lesson horses are available for instruction, or you can bring your own horse to Darenth Farm for a lesson. Winter riding times vary due to the weather, however, we are very lucky to have our new indoor arena so lessons can continue year round!

Sharon Dawson

Sharon Dawson is the owner of Darenth Farm, and has been teaching riding instruction for over thirty years. Originally from the County of Kent’s Darenth Valley in England, Sharon studied under the British Horse Society’s Instruction program and has personally trained almost all of the school horses.

Countless young riders have learned to ride under Sharon’s patient but no-nonsense approach to equestrian teaching, where student and horse learn mutual respect and understanding. Sharon looks for every opportunity to ride, whether it be a trail ride with friends, or a morning of hunting, Sharon is happiest in the saddle. She is currently the Field Master of the Carrollton Hounds Hunt Club.

Mary Elizabeth Macklin

Mary is an event rider who has competed through the Intermediate Level. She has been competing for 15 years and has taken countless babies up through the ranks. Mary has worked with many great riders such as Jan Bynny, Sharon White, and Susan Graham White to name a few. She spends most of her training time working for and with Olympian Stephen Bradley, and has been doing so for the past 11 years.
Also an employee of the Frederick County Public School system, Mary has been teaching horseback riding for 14 years. 5 summers of those years were spent teaching summer camp for gradeschool children. She has students ranging from beginners at their first pony lesson through Preliminary Level event riders. Mary has also been approved to move forward with her Level 2 ICP Certification after completing workshops with Robin Walker and Darren Chiacchia.
Mary has also worked at both Bowie and Laurel race tracks as well as galloped at private farms. The local Maryland farms also gave her the opportunity to work with babies, both handling and breaking them for many disciplines. Mary has worked at barns dealing with unbroke draught horses as well as Rolex veterans. She loves riding, training, and competing and also the smiles she sees on her students faces the first time they trot.


Lesson Horses

Riley also known as “The Couch” is an 18 yr old Belgian/ Thoroughbred cross. Riley is fun for beginners and advanced riders alike. He has a lovely smooth trot and is an avid foxhunter when hes not taking riders around the arena or on the trail.



Prince Caspian or Caspa is a Thoroughbred Caspian cross. A unique breed, Caspian horses are one of the world’s ancient horse bloodlines and originally come from Iran. Caspa is a pony but has a refined build making him look and move like a small horse. He is very fun to ride!


Oh What a Knight or Knight is one of the newest additions to Darenth Farm. He is a 7 yr old Thoroughbred.

Soki Soki

Soki or “So Can I” is as spunky as her name sounds. Soki is a Welsh pony and one of our smaller riders’ favorites!


Harmony is happiest fox hunting or trail riding but she is also ridden in the arena by our more experienced riders. She is a talented jumper.


Milly is a Hafflinger pony, a breed originally used to pull smaller farm equipment and carts. Milly has never been taught to drive but she does love to jump! Her lovely golden palomino color is typical of her breed.


Snowman is grey Thoroughbred gelding. He is a trusty school horse enjoyed by all our riders.


Sienna was just a year old when she came to the farm. She is now 10 and we have trained her ourselves. She is a wonderful, reliable horse for both children and adults, beginners and more experienced riders. She does well in the arena, on trails, cross country as well as fox hunting. A fun horse to ride.

Strawberry Strawberry

Strawberry is a wonderful pony for younger riders. She has taught countless children to ride and is still as patient as can be.


Summer Reign is a Holsteiner/TB cross. A big, athletic horse with incredible movement she is being trained by Mary Macklin for the sport of three day eventing. Bred by our vet Dr Laura Reick we like Summer so much we also have her sibling Solstice.

Solstice Solstice

Solstice Knight as a 2 year old. A full brother to Summer Reign, Solstice is currently in training at Darenth Farm and we are looking forward to discovering all his talents!

Maryland Horse Industry Board

Farm Forecast:
clear sky
humidity: 56%
wind: 20mph NW
H 55 • L 50

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I think it is time for me to find a new home for Millie. I love this pony and have owned her for 9 years but I think she would benefit from her own family or one special rider. She has had enough of being a lesson pony even though my small program is not very demanding.
Millie - 13.3 hh 13 years old Hafflinger no papers. Goes barefoot and has never been lame all the time I have owned her. Brave not spooky, great on trails, loves to jump. Perfect on the lead line but best for an intermediate rider off line. Great for a smaller adult too. I love to trail ride her and at 5 ft 6 ins feel very comfortable on her.
Sold with first refusal to buy back/ no auction contract.
Price $1200

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The last week of summer camp for 2016 is over and what a great summer we have had! From our experienced, competitive riders to those who had never sat on a horse before coming to Darenth Farm, all had a great time. New skills were learnt and old ones polished while making friends and learning to work as a team. It always amazes and delights me to see how strangers at the beginning of the week come together and work as one unit by the end of the week.
Thanks to Elizabeth and Grace and all the volunteers for a job well done.
I have been approached by several adults who think a camp for adults might be fun, so yes, let's do it next year!

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You might have noticed that it has been a little warm this past week but campers at Darenth Farm found ways to cool down. From swimming in the lake at Cordorus State Park, to dallying in the water at Woodstock while cross country schooling to hosing the ponies off after a fun session of mounted games, if we didn't beat the heat we at least made it bearable! Thanks girls for a great week. ...

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