New Canaan Mounted Troop, Inc. (“NCMT”) is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) educational and charitable youth organization. It was founded in 1939 as part of the Junior Cavalry of America by noted horsewoman, educator and author Margaret Cabell Self (1902-1996). Her vision was simple yet innovative: to build leadership, responsibility and confidence in youth through sound horsemanship. NCMT continues to follow this mission, providing an environment to help youth develop character and realize their individual potential, on and off the horse.

All Troopers work their way through the ranks of the Junior Cavalry of America program based on their level of participation, Troop “spirit,” horsemanship skills and years of service. Those in higher ranks serve as mentors to Troopers of lower rank. Older/higher-ranked Troopers also have the opportunity to serve on the Troop Leadership Council (TLC).

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We offer two programs for children and young adults aged 7-high school seniors: horsemanship (include riding lessons and equine care) and equine care only (for those not interested in riding). The programs run weekly, after school hours and on weekends, from Sept. 8, 2020 to June 6, 2021. Families can indicate lesson/barn day preferences during registration.

THE HORSEMANSHIP PROGRAM combines weekly group riding lessons (one or two per week) and participation in the Equine Care Program (see curriculum below).  Students are required to attend riding lessons as well as a designated “Barn Day” (see “barn day chores”, below).

All riding lessons are taught in a group format, generally with up to 5 riders per class.  Each class is one hour long. Students learn to ride a variety of horses appropriate for their level. Professional instructors teach the fundamentals of hunt seat equitation using a comprehensive curriculum that ensures consistency across riding levels. New students with prior riding experience are required to take an evaluation lesson to appropriately place them.

All Horsemanship participants are required to work one Equine Care Day shift. Children aged 9 and under are expected to devote 1½ hours to their designated Barn Day. Children aged 10 and older are expected to devote approximately 3 hours to the Barn Day, depending on their scheduled day.

Lessons and barn days are held after school hours and on weekends.

THE EQUINE CARE PROGRAM is a hands-on program designed to enrich a Trooper’s experience at NCMT through an engaging curriculum founded on fundamental horsemanship and basic veterinary care instruction. It is mandatory for all participants in the Horsemanship program. It is also offered as a standalone program for those not interested in riding.

Once a week, Troopers actively work with the horses and ponies in a controlled, safe environment, overseen by adult staff members and senior ranking officers who are known as the Captains of the Barn Day. Troopers are required to attend a 30-minute weekly equine care lesson as part of a series that cover various topics.The curriculum is structured to incorporate all facets of horsemanship, equine care, and showmanship through the use of handouts, games, lectures, video, and live demonstrations.

The structure of the barn day promotes leadership and teamwork as well as mentoring. Troopers are required to complete the tasks necessary to maintain a neat, orderly, and highly functional stable. Barn chores are mandatory and are an integral part of NCMT’s complete horsemanship approach. Troopers are evaluated and promoted based on their performance and knowledge.

All participants in Equine Care are required to select one Equine Care Day shift. Children aged 9 and under are expected to devote 1½ hours to their designated Barn Day. Children aged 10 and older are expected to devote approximately 3 hours to the Barn Day, depending on their scheduled day.

Barn days are held after school hours and on weekends.


All Troopers are responsible for organizing and cleaning the barn. It is the role of the Captain to mentor, assist and train the younger Troopers on how to complete needed tasks to ensure that the tack room, grooming stalls and barn aisles are kept clean and orderly. Such tasks may include:

·    Sweeping and blowing aisles ·    Tidying up the Learning Center
·    Grooming horses ·    Dusting wall boxes
·    Putting away grooming tools ·    Turnout
·    Laundry ·    Blanketing
·    Feeding hay and grain ·    Cleaning tack and organizing the tack room
·    Watering  

REVIEW CEREMONIES are held in December and June, where Troopers are honored with awards and earned promotions. A Troop horse show follows the ceremony (for an additional fee).

TROOPER NIGHTS occur regularly during the program year and are hosted at NCMT by the Troop Leadership Council. These social events are a chance for all Troopers to gather in a fun atmosphere, to play games, and to participate in activities such as “Capture the Captain”. A small cover charge may apply for the cost of craft materials and refreshments. The TLC also raises money for charity at some of the Trooper events throughout the year.

HORSE SHOWS AND CLINICS: NCMT hosts schooling and USEF-rated shows throughout the year, which may include USHJA, FWPHA, CHJA, and Hoof Print Series classes.  In addition, NCMT staff members occasionally arrange for outside professional trainers to hold riding and horsemanship clinics at our facility.   These events are not mandatory but all Troopers are encouraged to participate.  Some horse shows and clinics may only be for the advanced rider.  Charges for horse shows and clinics are additional.



Tuition and fees can be paid in full or in four installments. A very limited number of need-based scholarships are available. Please email Troop for questions or more information.

ANNUAL DUES (per family)

  Horsemanship Program Equine Care Program
One child in the program $635.00 $415.00
More than one child in the program $935.00 $590.00


New Family Membership Fee: (a one-time fee required of all families that are new to the Horsemanship program): $1,600.00 (includes an NCMT jacket)

Tuition, one lesson per week: $4,860

Tuition, two lessons per week: $8,015


One barn day per week: $1,695

Refund/Cancellation Policy

Troopers who withdraw within 30 days of starting the program are eligible for a refund, less a cancellation fee equal to 25% of all tuition, dues and fees. Troopers who withdraw after 30 days of starting the program are liable for all tuition, dues and fees. Exceptions are made for those with an injury or medical condition, certified by a doctor, that prevents them from completing the program. 

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