WINDCHASE WORKING STUDENT PROGRAM

Windchase 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 top level ICP Instructors, and a great education program for students.  The facility is in a lovely location on 267 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.

      Phyllis' 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 businesses.  Whether 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 management.    

     Windchase is a complete Eventing facility geared toward producing successful riders and horses, owned and operated by International rider Phyllis Dawson. Our students receive daily lessons, full training board for their horse, experience riding multiple horses, shipping to competitions, and lodging (a package that would be valued at around $4000 per month) in return for working five and a half days a week. You will have the experience of being a part of a top quality Eventing stable, learning how such a business is run, and becoming part of the Windchase team. 

Windchase has several working student positions coming available soon.
We will have more positions opening throughout the year.

Please contact Phyllis at  
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 Phyllis's Eventing and the Eventing with Cindy pages.
     Phyllis 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 Windchase trainer Clara Lenhart. 

      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 business.  Our 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.  With 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 CCI**

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.

     In return, 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 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 amount.  

Christy Sellete

Meagan Sentineal

      We encourage students to bring a horse with them if possible, however I can accept students without a horse if they are competent 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. Ideally you should plan to spend 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 at

Phone: 540-668-6024 stable, 540-454-3834 cell, 540-668-6548 home
Address: 36502 Kidwell Road, Purcellville, VA  20132  USA