NCMT’s unique hands-on approach to teaching horsemanship is designed to encourage children’s personal growth in a safe, fun, family environment.
Through weekly riding lessons and “Equine Care/Barn Days,” children learn fundamental values such as leadership, responsibility, confidence, work ethic, and teamwork.
Beginning as an Inductee, Troopers work to rise through the ranks of the Junior Calvary of America — Cadet, Corporal, Sergeant, Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant, and Captain. Second in Command, the Cadet Captain and the top-ranking officer, Cadet Major, are elected by their peers to be the leaders of the Troop for the program year.
Each Trooper will serve a minimum of a year before being promoted.
Bi-yearly review ceremonies, hosted in June and December, celebrate individual achievements and promote Troopers.
Promotion criteria include:
- General program attendance
- Equine Care “Barn Day” performance and work ethic
- Overall effort and dedication
- Troop spirit, sportsmanship, courteousness, willingness to help
- Horsemanship Skills
- Observance of NCMT rules
I pledge myself to be kind to animals. To be a sportsperson, win or lose. To be courteous and obedient to my Officers. To work and play with other Cadets as I would have them work and play with me. To hold honor, truth, and courage in high regard.Margaret Cabell Self
The Full Horsemanship and Equine Care programs are available to children ages 7–17.
The program combines mandatory weekly group riding lessons and participation in the Equine Care Day, also known as “Barn Day.”
Riding lessons are taught in groups of five for an hour (new beginner lessons are in a group of four). Professional instructors teach the fundamentals of hunt seat equitation using a comprehensive curriculum that ensures consistency across all riding levels.
Troopers 9 and under are expected to dedicate 1 1/2 hours to their designated barn day, while Troopers 10 and older are expected to devote 2 to 4 hours to the barn day, depending on their scheduled day.
Equine Care/Barn Day
Under the watchful eye and mentorship of a Captain and an adult supervisor, young Troopers learn to complete barn chores such as sweeping aisles, laundry, feeding hay/grain, and grooming horses.
The Equine Care curriculum is structured to incorporate all facets of horsemanship, equine care, and showmanship. Each week will feature a particular equine-related topic such as:
- Barn and Equine Safety
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Horse Tack and Apparel
- Barn Tools and Practices
- Grooming Techniques
- Equine Disorders, Diseases and Treatment
- Rider Equipment and Apparel
The Troop Leadership Council (TLC) is open to High Schoolers or 1st Lieutenant and higher rank, who wish to further their commitment to NCMT by taking on a leadership role. This may include being a community ambassador, giving barn tours, grooming demonstrations and running a Trooper activity night.
Members must attend their workday regularly, have a strong work ethic, and be role models to fellow Troopers. TLC members are responsible for organizing one social event each year and they typically join the Drill Team and demonstrate their equestrian skills as a group at special NCMT events.
Horse Shows and Clinics
NCMT hosts schooling and USEF-rated shows throughout the year, which may include USHJA, FWPHA & CHJA. 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.