Darenth Farm is filled with people who love horses. There are two trained riding instructors on staff who offer individual and group lessons for all ages. Lesson horses are available for instruction, or you can bring your own horse to Darenth Farm for a lesson. Winter riding times are not limited to daylight, a fully lit riding arena is available after dusk.

Sharon Dawson

Sharon Dawson is the owner of Darenth Farm, and has been teaching riding instruction for over thirty years. Originally from the County of Kent’s Darenth Valley in England, Sharon studied under the British Horse Society’s Instruction program and has personally trained almost all of the school horses.

Countless young riders have learned to ride under Sharon’s patient but no-nonsense approach to equestrian teaching, where student and horse learn mutual respect and understanding. Sharon looks for every opportunity to ride, whether it be a trail ride with friends, or a morning of hunting, Sharon is happiest in the saddle. She is currently the Field Master of the Carrollton Hounds Hunt Club.

Mary Elizabeth Macklin

Mary is an event rider who has competed through the Intermediate Level. She has been competing for 15 years and has taken countless babies up through the ranks. Mary has worked with many great riders such as Jan Bynny, Sharon White, and Susan Graham White to name a few. She spends most of her training time working for and with Olympian Stephen Bradley, and has been doing so for the past 11 years.
Also an employee of the Frederick County Public School system, Mary has been teaching horseback riding for 14 years. 5 summers of those years were spent teaching summer camp for gradeschool children. She has students ranging from beginners at their first pony lesson through Preliminary Level event riders. Mary has also been approved to move forward with her Level 2 ICP Certification after completing workshops with Robin Walker and Darren Chiacchia.
Mary has also worked at both Bowie and Laurel race tracks as well as galloped at private farms. The local Maryland farms also gave her the opportunity to work with babies, both handling and breaking them for many disciplines. Mary has worked at barns dealing with unbroke draught horses as well as Rolex veterans. She loves riding, training, and competing and also the smiles she sees on her students faces the first time they trot.
Lesson Horses

Thumper is the newest lesson pony. He is a 12 yr old Belgian/ Hafflinger cross (we think)! He is small in height, but as wide as many of our larger horses, so riders of many sizes and abilities will get the opportunity to try Thumper this summer.



Annie is a quarterhorse. She has lived on the farm for 20 of her 23 years. She may be ridden English or Western and has competed successfully at local shows for many years. Unable to jump any longer due to arthritic knees she still has a tremendous work ethic but is enjoying her semi retirement.


Lila is a Connemara pony. Her ancestors originally came from Ireland!

Lila is sweet natured and very well behaved when we go for rides around the farm.

Daaghn Daaghn

Greystone Gwen Daaghn has a name almost as big as he is! Leased and loved by Taylor (pictured) Daaghn has a very smooth canter making him ideal to teach our smallest riders this more difficult pace. Daaghn has lots of personality and has no idea how small he is!


Harmony is happiest fox hunting or trail riding but she is also ridden in the arena by our more experienced riders. She is a talented jumper.

MillyMillyMilly is a Hafflinger pony, a breed originally used to pull smaller farm equipment and carts. Milly has never been taught to drive but she does love to jump! Her lovely golden palomino color is typical of her breed. JustinJustin

Justin is the newest school horse at the farm. He is a TB/QH cross. He has quickly settled in and is a very quick learner. He has lovely smooth paces and is learning to jump small fences. Justin loves attention and people.


Sienna was just a year old when she came to the farm. She is now 7 and we have trained her ourselves. She is a wonderful, reliable horse for both children and adults, beginners and more experienced riders. She does well in the arena, on trails, cross country as well as fox hunting. A fun horse to ride.

Strawberry Strawberry

Strawberry is a wonderful pony for younger riders. She has taught countless children to ride and is still as patient as can be.


Summer Reign is a Holsteiner/TB cross. A big, athletic horse with incredible movement she is being trained by Mary Macklin for the sport of three day eventing. Bred by our vet Dr Laura Reick we like Summer so much we have planned to have a sibling due to be born July 2012.

Susie Susie

Susie is the oldest pony on the farm, but still teaches the youngest riders. Susie has been on the farm with us for 22 years. She knows the lesson plans as well as I do but enjoys her work and still likes to step out!