About The Riding School

Chan Carman, Owner and Instructor

My first love in life was horses.  I started taking riding lessons as a child and was fortunate enough to  immediately get involved in the United States Pony Club. I went on to earn my HA rating and served on the first USPC Youth Board for the Board of Governors. As an adult I have have stayed involved with the organization teaching and coaching USPC members.  My early instructors instilled in me a strong value for rider education and the process of riding and training correctly. From the beginning, I learned to care for my horse as a partner and to put their needs first.  I have prepped and trained with multiple Pony Club National Examiners, including the late Jill Hassler-Scoop, and Cathy Frederickson. These instructors  encouraged the character traits that would allow me to be successful in and out of the saddle.

In my riding career I have had many unique experiences that have fostered my passion for high-quality education.  I have lived all over the country and have experience in multiple disciplines. I started with a focus on Dressage and transitioned to Eventing, eventually schooling through Intermediate.  When I was not competing, I learned to groom for friends through the Eventing 1* level.  In high school, I had the opportunity to ride in Germany and train briefly at the International Equestrian Academy in Dressage.  In college, I was introduced to Hunter/Jumpers and rode on my Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team, qualifying for Regionals my junior year.  I also brought along a young horse in college, who after completing my B Pony Club rating, went on to compete in Hunter Derbies. While studying psychology in college I was one of the first people to complete Daniel Stewart’s Sports Psychology for Equestrians Certification through the Advanced Level.  Along the way, I have taught beginner through intermediate riders, both children and adults, in multiple barns.  Throughout all those experiences, I have been grateful for the solid foundation and commitment to horse welfare that was instilled in me from the beginning.  It was that foundation that made all of those experiences possible.

Outside of the traditional equestrian arena, I have a BA in Psychology, a MA in Mental Health Counseling, and am licensed as an LPC in South Carolina.  I have worked primarily as a therapist for children and adolescents, and have also trained in Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy.  I am certified in Experiential Learning with Horses through Spirit of Leadership and Lake Erie College. Through that unique experience, I had the opportunity to learn from pioneers in the field including Jackie Stevenson, Barbara Rector, and Linda Kohonav.  I have also trained through both the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH) and the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). These experiences have allowed me a unique window into the lessons we learn through partnering with horses, and the broader impact that learning has on all aspects of our lives.

Outside of the barn, I help the Aiken County Pony Club and also serve on the Equine Committee for Aiken City Council.




The Mission

The mission of The Riding School is to create an accessible equestrian program that develops the talents and enhances the knowledge of all students in a safe and fun environment. The program will create riders who are also competent in all aspects of responsible horse care. 

The Riding School focuses on building confident equestrians who are able to transition their critical thinking, empathy, and leadership skills to all aspects of their life.


The facility 

The facility is located within the city limits of Aiken, South Carolina.  Situated near multiple housing developments and schools, the facility is convenient for busy families.  The peaceful six acres boasts a 20 stall barn with plenty of room to groom, tack-up, and learn, plus a comfortable lounge area for parents and siblings.  Even with our close proximity to town, we have miles of trail access right out the back gate in the Freeman Preserve.  


The Horses

None of the magic that happens at The Riding School would happen without our school horses.  We have a variety of horses from different backgrounds to be able to provide safe experiences for all of our students.  Each of our horses has an individually tailored diet, exercise, and health regimen to ensure that they are always comfortable and happy in their jobs.  


















PRivate Lessons

These lessons are perfect for introducing your student to horses and helping them become more independent.  They can also be used to focus on specific skills or goals.  

Group lessons

Group lessons are a chance to build relationships with fellow riders, but they also create a collaborative learning environment that is more fun and allows for feedback and insight from peers. Students must be able to tack-up and handle horse independently.

Birthday Parties

This party will make your horse-loving child's dreams come true! Each party guest will get a chance to ride our lovely horses and then the comfortable lounge area is yours for snacks, cake, ice cream, and presents.


Camps at The Riding School create an immersive experience to expand and build on every student's horse knowledge and riding skills.  Along with learning opportunities there will be time for fun and new friends.  Stay tuned to find out when we will be hosting camps!

Barn/Stall Rental

Looking for the perfect venue for your horse-related event? Looking for a place to layover or enjoy the season in Aiken?   Check out our convenient and comfortable accommodations for both horse and human attendees.  Find us on Stall Destinations too!

Do not see what you are looking for?

Call today with your questions or to share your ideas.  The Riding School is always looking for creative and collaborative ways to create horse-related opportunities in the community.  



Semi-private Lessons

These two-person lessons create an opportunity to utilize the benefits of a group lesson with more flexible scheduling.

Trailer-in Lessons

Do you own your own horse and want to come take lessons with Chan?  Schedule a private lesson or invite a friend for a semi-private lesson.  If you are looking for group lesson, contact us to see if there is a group that meets your goals.  

Unmounted Programs

These group lessons will be an interactive and hands on way to gain knowledge that cannot be learned in riding lessons alone. Whether your child is just beginning their horse education or wants to expand their skills these lessons will focus on teaching correct horsemanship that will apply to any discipline. No previous experience is required Topics will include daily care, health, feeding, and shoeing to name a few.  

Saddle Club (Ages 6 and up)

  • Developing the knowledge and skills to care for their own horse.

  • Your child has already started riding but wants to learn more.

The Riding School Work/Study (Ages 10 and up)

  • After completing Saddle Club, or with special permission.

  • Volunteer and assist in lessons and other programs.

  • Real life application of horse-management skills.

  • Field trips to shows and events, other facilities, and learning opportunities.







PLease contact us to today with questions or to schedule a lesson.



Phone: (803)-845-5102


2319 Chukker Creek Road

Aiken, SC 29803