Since our founding, Driftwood Stable has had the opportunity to help countless students acquire foundational skills, develop new techniques and confidently move forward in their riding journey. We are the only USHJA Recognized Riding Academy in South Carolina and the best Horseback Riding Lesson Academy in the Hilton Head Area, providing a wide range of instruction to support students from all backgrounds and levels.
* Please no drop ins, call to schedule an appointment. We do not offer trail rides. We are currently full with a waiting list for boarding. *
Summer Camp 2022
Welcome to Driftwood Stable, the only USHJA Recognized Riding Academy in South Carolina. Take a look at our site to learn about our Lesson Program, Day Camps, our dedicated IEA team, Boarding Options, Horse Shows, and Clinics.
Are you interested in learning how to ride, or are you an experienced rider looking to further your skills? Get on the track to success at Driftwood Stable, with our high quality, specialized riding program.
With a focus in Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation, we offer training programs designed with your personal goals in mind, and care to suit the individual needs of your horse.
Located on Hilton Head Island, our facility includes 25 stalls, a large grass jump ring, and a dressage arena.
Sondra Makowski is living her dream as the Owner and Head Riding Instructor at Driftwood Stable and serving her 3rd year on the USHJA Recognized Riding Academy Committee.
She started riding at a young age and has successfully competed on the A-circuit for over 20 years. Sondra incorporates a wealth of knowledge, passion and skill into her customized training program. Her specialty is hunter/jumper lessons with a major emphasis on safety, correct basics, and equitation.
Sondra enjoys working with clients of all ages and levels and her student's have earned year end high point championships on the local, regional and national circuits. She is currently serving her 3rd year on the USHJA Recognized Riding Academy Committee.
All instructors are USEF SafeSport Certified.
Beginner: Instruction for inexperienced riders. Riders learn fundamentals of horsemanship, correct position and basic riding commands at walk/trot.
Advanced Beginner: Practicing trotting skills; diagonals must be mastered and ability to ride without stirrups before learning how to canter. Horsemanship and basic horse care covered in more detail.
Novice 1: Riders develop confidence and security at all three gaits and master diagonals and leads. Continue education on horse care, stable management and riding theory. Small jumps introduced. Participation in horse shows is encouraged starting at this level.
Novice 2: Exercises in lateral work, stride adjustments, understanding contact and advanced flat work furthers rider’s control and understanding of horses. More sophisticated jumping as well as advanced riding theory and horsemanship taught.
Intermediate: Riders have the skills to evaluate different horses and learn to adapt their riding to enhance the performance of each horse. More technical jumping exercises taught as well as more advanced flatwork. Riders are encouraged to lease or purchase a horse to further their skills over higher jumps and enter competitions to achieve their goals.
Day of Lesson
Check in at the stable for horse assignments. Our program includes learning how to handle, groom, tack up, and appropriate aftercare of the horse and equipment. Lessons include learning these skills until riders demonstrate they can do so independently and correctly.
Novice Riders (and above) should arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of their lesson and are responsible for getting their horses groomed and tacked up, proper cool-down, care and tack cleaning before departure. Lessons are 45-60 minutes depending on group, semi-private or private instruction.
Pricing, Dress Code, and Cancellations
Pricing: You can purchase discounted lesson packages in advance for each Quarter or Month or pay by per lesson. We recommend taking one private lesson and one group lesson a week to optimize learning potential as you progress through the levels. Call to inquire about this month's special!
Dress Code: In order to be safe and excel at any sport you need to dress the part. Riders must wear breeches with tall boots or paddock boots and half chaps. Jeans are discouraged. An ATSM/SEI approved helmet is required. Shirts should be tucked in with a belt and hair should be pulled back in a ponytail or hair net.
Cancellation Policy: We must be notified of a cancellation at least 24 hours in advance, or you will incur a $20 fee. Management reserves the right to cancel for any reason.
Schedule your lesson today!
IEA, Day Camps, and more!
Team Driftwood Interscholastic Equestrian (IEA) is a competitive riding team for grades 6-12. Riders compete on randomly chosen horses for both individual and team points. The season runs from August through National Finals in May. More information can be found at www.rideiea.org
Driftwood Stable offers Seasonal Day Camps for children of all riding levels. Campers learn about all aspects of horsemanship, proper horse care, and safety practices. They learn to handle, groom, tack up, and clean up after their mounts, in addition to a one-hour riding lesson. Afterwards, campers create horse themed arts and crafts and participate in games.
Birthday Parties / Scout Events
We also offer birthday parties featuring pony rides and opportunities for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to earn various badges at the barn! Available on weekends for children 7-12 years of age. Birthday party goers will enjoy pony rides and use of the porch area to set up food and decorations. Scouts will enjoy a taste of farm life, learning about and assisting with daily barn chores, aspects of equine ownership, and the basics of riding. All riders must have a signed waiver. Pricing depends on number of children attending/ponies needed and length of event.
Please inquire for more information about our exciting IEA Competitive Riding Team opportunity, Camp dates and registration, and pony parties/scout events!
Our beautiful family owned and operated farm features 12’x12’ stalls, a large grass jump arena and a standard size dressage ring. Boarders are permitted to use either arena at all times (weather permitting) and footing is dragged several times a week. Each stall has a mounted fan and thick rubber matting lining the floors. The main aisle contains large industrial fans to keep horses and riders cool. Boarders will have a spot in the tack room, access to free laundry services, and use of our wash rack. The barn is equipped with a security system, a fire detection system, and the owners live on property and do night checks on the horses.
Board includes our high quality feeding program, daily or nightly turnout (weather permitting), stall cleaning and maintenance, and blanketing. We use Carter Veterinary Services (Dr. Desi Carter) for our veterinary needs and Island Farrier Service (Charley Bunyea) for our farrier. These services can be scheduled by staff if requested.
Horses are fed Seminole brand feed and Orchard/Alfalfa hay or Coastal hay depending on their dietary needs. Feed supplements will be given at no charge when provided by client. Water is filled manually to ensure adequate water intake.
Our barn is closed on Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving Day. If you are interested in boarding at Driftwood Stable please call to schedule a tour and discuss pricing.