About Us

Welcome Learner & Novice Riders!

Learn to ride horses or enhance your skills safely in a fun environment at Whitethorn Academy, conveniently located minutes from Maitland CBD at 346 Maitland Vale Road, Maitland Vale in the lower Hunter Valley.



Come one, come all! 

We offer lessons and horses to suit beginners and novices of all ages.  People with special needs, whether physical, intellectual, behavioural or psychological, and their families, will benefit from our experience and expertise and friendly atmosphere as they develop confidence, and improved physical capability.  


Our lessons are carefully designed.  Even first timers quickly learn the basics of independent riding, through games on horseback, balancing exercises and special confidence building activities. As skill and confidence levels grow, we gradually introduce more challenges, so students develop a deep sense of personal achievement, pride and confidence, which transfer positively into other areas of their lives. Students also learn basic horse care and safe handling - invaluable experience if you’re thinking about acquiring a pony of your own.



Time to learn, time for fun!

Lessons and other activities are by appointment.  Whitethorn Academy is open Monday to Saturday.



Our People

We have the best professional team!


                                          Principal:          Senior Coaches:        Administration:

                                      Toni Lennard         Anna Kennedy          Lisa Holmes

                                                                  Ashley McQuillen

                                                                   Jasmin Pocock

                                                                     Emma Tickle


                         Senior Wrangler:  Jess Schmidt              Wranglers:  Sandra Gade

                                                                                                            Olivia Dyson


Our Facilities

We offer a very high standard of facilities:


60m x 20m undercover sand arena (Olympic dressage size)

Round yard

Several outside lesson areas, including an arena under lights

Friendly for disabled visitors - wheelchair access bathroom, designated disabled carpark