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Holistic Horsemanship Education for Young Riders

Welcome to Sparkleberry Ponies Riding Academy! Sparkleberry Riding Academy is an educational program designed to engage children with equestrian sports while instilling important personal, social and technical skills.

After failing to find a holistic riding program for her grandchildren, farm owner Meredith van Benthuysen approached me with the idea for Sparkleberry. Believing that the Sparkleberry program could be more than just riding lessons, we recruited like-minded instructors to help us develop an educational structure that would foster not just riders but confident, educated, goal-oriented, compassionate and honorable equestrians.


The Sparkleberry program offers your child the opportunity to learn at their own speed while progressing towards achieving specific goals in a healthy and positive environment. Our program can be customized to meet the natural propensity of your child while ensuring that all benefit from developing confidence, independence, empathy, assertiveness and other important traits and skills.


Sparkleberry offers your child access to top quality show ponies, accomplished instructors and a structured equine education program in a private, park-like setting. Our instruction is private, customized and professional. We pride ourselves on providing a quality educational experience in which your child can be engaged and successful. See Facility

At Sparkleberry, riding is more than just a sport or recreational activity. It’s a comprehensive experience that allows your child to bond with animals, master a discipline, commune with nature and cultivate character. We look forward to telling you more about Sparkleberry Ponies Riding Academy and introducing you to all our pony friends! We hope to see you soon!

Call, Text, WhatsApp  515.208.8328


Our Curriculum

At Sparkleberry Ponies our objective is to revolutionize your child's experience with horseback riding. Our program offers young children the opportunity to not only learn a traditional sport but also develop problem-solving skills and meet personal goals. Responsibility, patience, empathy, focus, endurance, and teamwork are life competencies that the equestrian discipline can cultivate in your child beyond what other typical sports can offer. Equine activities require a child to learn crucial social skills while teaching the responsibility the comes from caring for and riding animals. 

Our Vision

Tucked away just northeast of Tampa, Sparkleberry Ponies Riding Academy was established to provide a healthy outdoor learning center to mentor children in comprehensive horsemanship. Going far beyond riding lessons, our structured educational program offers children the foundation to become elite equestrian athletes, cultured in the sports of riding Hunters and Jumpers and stewards to their horses and ponies. With a holistic approach to equine activities, we foster, not only, the relationship between horse and rider, but also the rider's ability to connect with nature, center their energy, and become grounded with a mind-body connection.


Our Instructors

Sparkleberry Academy instructors are all highly experienced profession horse women dedicated to the care of animals and the postive development of their students. All instructors have been selected for their knowledge, integrity and proven success in teaching young riders to develop as eqeustrians. From first lessons to competing at national venues, our team is ready to help your child achieve their goals!

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Join Us

Sparkleberry Ponies Riding Academy is accepting new students. Complete the registration page below and one of our staff will reach out to you with more information to schedule orientation with you and your child.

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Ready to Ride

Sparkleberry Ponies Riding Academy provides students the convenience of shopping for riding apparel at our Academy Store. Proper riding attire and equipment is crucial to your child's ability to not only perform at their best but it is also the best way to ensure their safety while enjoying their riding experience. Be sure to visit our store for a large selection of the top brands of riding apparel.

New Student Registration

Complete our Registration Form below and one of our professional instructors will contact you to schedule your orientation visit and first lesson. Or call 515-208-8328 to speak with our Academy Director and learn more about our program. 

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