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kt-rose
Dec. 26, 2009, 06:23 PM
I have a daughter who lives and teaches in SF. She's finally reached the stage where she feels like she has time and money for a horse out there and I have a horse that is reasonably suitable for her but we're hunting for a good spot for the mare to live. This mare needs a few things that are not negotiable to stay happy and quiet and I'm wondering if anyone knows places that might work.

--Must have turn out -- this mare hates being in a stall and is much happier living out. Decent fences, but she is very good at taking care of herself and staying out of trouble so perfect fencing is not critical.
--Must have hay or pasture 24/7. She gets a little ulcery which leads to other undesireable things. Good hay that she does not have to fight other horses for heads all this off. So a place that throws enough hay that every horse has plenty at all times and space to eat it in.
--Mare is very solid under saddle but a touch cranky on the ground so needs to be handled by knowledgeable folks. People who would neither be intimidated by her grumpy faces (she does not actually do anything) or really get after her which won't help either.
--Lighted ring and trainer coming in regularly would be good but not as important -- DD would like to do low level hunters.
--Ride out nice too.
--Fun, friendly barn with no drama.
--DD is on a budget but as I am already paying to keep this mare I'd probably help out if the board were more than she could afford.

Thanks so much!!!

poltroon
Dec. 26, 2009, 06:28 PM
The two things we need to know are:

1- exactly where does she live in San Francisco - the city proper? or one of the other Bay Area cities?

2 - what is your budget?

kt-rose
Dec. 26, 2009, 06:41 PM
Thanks for the lightening fast response Poltroon :)!! Should have thought of those... She lives in the city -- area called The Sunset. She probably does not have more that $400 to spend but I cannot imagine finding a decent spot for that -- and sort of wonder if pasture board is even an option out there -- so I would be prepared to match that for the right spot. So a top of $800 with lessons additional would be doable...though a cheaper pasture board situation would suit both DD and mare better.

Thanks again!!

JumperFun
Dec. 26, 2009, 07:13 PM
It's been a good 12 years since I lived in the Bay Area, but $800/month may well be the going rate for pasture board! :eek: I'll let others chime in with actual names/places/prices.

I just wanted to say that you are a great mom to support your DD by offering her a horse and $$ too!

Void
Dec. 26, 2009, 10:20 PM
Does she have a car? There is nowhere to board in the city proper.

Samotis
Dec. 26, 2009, 10:33 PM
My broodmare is being leased out and lives in Livermore. They have pasture board for around 400? They also have some trainers there, but most are eventing. Livermore is about an hour to 45 minutes from San Fran.

They don't have a hunter trainer I don't think, but it seems like a nice place.

Spacely has her horses there. Maybe she will chime in. ;)

Void
Dec. 26, 2009, 10:38 PM
My broodmare is being leased out and lives in Livermore. They have pasture board for around 400? They also have some trainers there, but most are eventing. Livermore is about an hour to 45 minutes from San Fran.

They don't have a hunter trainer I don't think, but it seems like a nice place.

Spacely has her horses there. Maybe she will chime in. ;)

Diamond Hills has pasture board for under $400 and H/J trainer.

poltroon
Dec. 26, 2009, 11:28 PM
http://www.bayequest.com/ is your friend.

Options could include: North to Marin/Sonoma
Gorgeous, and a great place to be. Places you'll find in Marin will be more towards the coast and not necessarily a nice commute. You can probably find exactly what you want in Petaluma, (maybe Novato?) if she doesn't mind driving that far.

East, and I would suggest more southeast like Sunol rather than as far out as Livermore. (Personally, if I were going to do an hour commute, I'd rather do the North Bay, but her mileage may vary.)

South gets you to some interesting territory like Half Moon Bay. But, I think not so much "pasture" there, and it's probably the most expensive option.

One of the odd factors in California is that places that have pasture are usually barely developed - with more marginal barns, marginal if any arena - and places that have arenas and trainers and more solid barns tend to not have pasture. Pasture tends to be on land that is less accessible or where the land is owned by a 3rd party (often Pacific Gas & Electric) and so development, even for stables, is not really allowed. Thus, you may find that "has pasture" and "has trainer you like" may be somewhat at odds. You may also find that the fencing on a larger parcel is field fence or other non-ideal types.

People love pasture and there are some real gems around in surprising places that are quite affordable, generally with waiting lists.

There's also the issue that in winter it can be very muddy and in summer it would be very dry; large flat expanses of grass are not easy to come by.

With the $800 budget and enough time to commute, you should be able to find something that works. Just make sure she tries the drive at the time she'd be doing it before committing. I don't drive out of SF during normal commute hours, so I don't have a good sense of what is the worst or best.

kt-rose
Dec. 27, 2009, 08:24 AM
Thank you all for your help!!! I knew I could come here for ideas :) !! She does have a car and as she teaches she could be on her way to the barn by 3:30 or so every day which I would hope would beat the worst of the rush hour out.

Poltroon -- great website and advice, thank you!! She's thinking South Bay now but as she is likely going to be doing her PhD at Berkeley next year (and we are not planning to send the horse til spring) the Petaluma/Sonoma option might be smarter.

Void -- thanks!! Where is Diamond Hills? This is a pretty nice horse but not completely simple and I'd really feel happier if their partnership were overseen by a good trainer.

poltroon
Dec. 27, 2009, 11:24 AM
South has the advantage of no bridge tolls. The bridge tolls would probably add $100 a month to her expenses.

mvp
Dec. 27, 2009, 11:35 AM
Will she continue to live in the City or move to Berkeley once in school?

She may wish to move in that direction. She may find it easier and cheaper to rent there and commute by BART to SF. In addition, that means she can go east and north or south on that side of the bay to find the horse situation she wants.

A car is necessary. Parking may be easier in Berkeley, depending on where she lives. Craigslist can be great for housing, but you must read and act on good posts very quickly. Good, affordable housing is at a premium in the Bay Area and everyone knows it.

Barns will be a bit cheaper in the East Bay in comparison to what you will find within commuting distance of SF on the Peninsula or in Marin/Sonoma counties. For the Northern option, know you will have to drive pretty far in order to find an inexpensive barn. Getting to Petaluma (the southern-most cache of barns) will involve some time on some clogged stretches of 101.

In general, you want to avoid a commute through SF and across bridges during rush hour if you possibly can.

If she remains in SF, however, finding a place that puts her close to 280 will be good. That's the quickest (and prettiest) way to get to barns in Woodside and Portola Valley. You sometimes find private barns within hacking distance of training barns there. But T/O will be limited and board will be more than $400.

A while back, there was a thread a while back about boarding/training barns near UC Berkeley. Do a search and see if that one helps.

Best of luck!

wanderlust
Dec. 27, 2009, 01:14 PM
I lived in the inner sunset area for a couple of years- the best option within that budget is going to be Clermont Equestrian at Cypress Ridge. Its south on 280, up on Skyline Drive. I believe they have pasture, but they also have a stall option with daily group turnout, including blanketing and 3 meals a day (unheard of in the bay area without paying an arm and leg) for under that $800 price point. There's nothing else south that is going to have any pasture fencing but barbed wire, unless you find a small private barn.

I used to go over to the East Bay from SF, but I wouldn't wish that bridge commute on anyone. It was well over an hour to get from SF to Castro Valley anytime after 3pm. The north bay is going to be a similar issue- anytime a bridge is involved, it is going to be a giant time suck.

Void
Dec. 27, 2009, 01:25 PM
Void -- thanks!! Where is Diamond Hills? This is a pretty nice horse but not completely simple and I'd really feel happier if their partnership were overseen by a good trainer.

In Livermore, there are a lot of places for pasture board in Livermore with some decent H/J trainers.

The time-suck of commuting is hard and can be a real drag on money, if she moves anywhere in the East Bay on the BART line for commute to SF it will open up her options. Going East anytime between 2-6pm will take her a while to get to the barn, whereas going West, North or South will be a bit easier. Sunol doesn't have that many barns that I know of (I live in the Fremont area) with either Pasture + Trainers of repute.

There are some places in the Oakland Hills. Unsure about pasture board though, might want to check Fox Ridge I think its called. Maydo owns it I think.

Bayequest will be your friend! :D

LeeB10
Dec. 27, 2009, 01:35 PM
My daughter has a friend who boards her horse here:

Creekside Equestrian Center‎
5001 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Woodacre, CA‎ - (415) 488-4006‎


as long as your daughter is looking to do low level hunters this might be the place for her. nothing fancy but trainers do come in to give lessons. The stalls have attached turn outs and there is pasture as well. There is a large lighted indoor and tons of riding trails and people to go on them with you.

Saddlebag
Dec. 27, 2009, 01:57 PM
when you look into the pasture board situation in the SF Bay Area is a charming (:winkgrin:) feature of Northern California called "Adobe". Adobe clay is the predominate soil (if you can call it that) type in most areas, and what Adobe is in the winter is a bottomless, sucking, goo that devours horseshoes like a Great White Shark, and is totally impossible to ride on. In the summer, Adobe hardens (bakes, actually) into a concrete like surface with deep jagged fissures throughout. Adobe Bricks are a real and useable construction items! In the wintertime, the Northern California hills are covered with lush green grass, and I used to daydream about galloping my horses across the rolling green hills. But to daydream is all you can do...No way could you actually ride a horse across those lovely green pastures! So...unless an indoor ring, or a really bullet (Adobe bullets) proof outdoor arena is available, riding is a non-event. Besides, in the winter, all the shoes vanish into the mud the first night the horse goes outside! There are SOME Adobe free areas, and if you can locate one of those in an affordable and commutable area, go for it, but those areas are hard to find within a two hour drive of SF. Good luck in your search.

redkat
Dec. 27, 2009, 02:41 PM
Another recommendation for Clermont Equestrian at Cypress Ridge. It's not horrible to get to from the city, and you don't have to deal with the traffic out on the 580 when getting to Livermore after work. I tried that...and it took me well over an hour to get out to Livermore in the evening and by the time I got there I was all stressed out. Not worth it.

It's about a 40-minute drive from the city in evening rush hour. Added bonus: It's so peaceful up there!

They have pasture board that runs from $350-450/month, and also have two lighted arenas, one covered, and trainers on site for H/J and dressage.

kt-rose
Dec. 27, 2009, 08:00 PM
Thank you all so much for your help!! I've suggested DD create her own logon and chime in here because I, here in Virginia, really don't quite get the logistics. She's riding at a farm called Springdown now and that is a touch far to get to 5 days a week though it seems like a wonderful place. SF doesn't really seem more expensive than this area, which surprised me. But the whole issue of how you get from one place to another, bridges etc, has me all confused :lol::lol: !!

Thanks again!!

Dun Ciarain
Dec. 27, 2009, 08:09 PM
Thank you all so much for your help!! I've suggested DD create her own logon and chime in here because I, here in Virginia, really don't quite get the logistics. She's riding at a farm called Springdown now and that is a touch far to get to 5 days a week though it seems like a wonderful place. SF doesn't really seem more expensive than this area, which surprised me. But the whole issue of how you get from one place to another, bridges etc, has me all confused :lol::lol: !!

Thanks again!!

Spring Down is in Portola Valley, which is on the southern San Francisco peninsula.

Petaluma is a long, long way away from Berkeley.

poltroon
Dec. 27, 2009, 10:42 PM
Petaluma is a long, long way away from Berkeley.

Agreed. I'd do Petaluma from SF but not from Berkeley. On the plus side, once in Berkeley, the many east bay options become much more attractive.

Fitte
Dec. 30, 2009, 12:00 PM
If she is going to Berkeley, Castro Valley may make more sense. There are several HJ programs on Crow Canyon Road.

Cindeye
Dec. 30, 2009, 01:08 PM
Diamond Hills is in Livermore. It is about a 45 min. drive from San Francisco or Berkeley with no traffic. Bet on an hour to an hour and a quarter from San Francisco with traffic. The H/J trainer there is Irene Lorimer and she is great. Pasture board is available and the pastures are among the largest in the bay area.

Irene's website: http://lorimerwindmillranch.com/
Diamond Hills pictures can be viewed at Derby Hill's website: www.derbyhillfarm.com (http://www.derbyhillfarm.com)

A bit closer in is the Castro Valley Rd. area that people mentioned. Kelly Maddox Training is located at Shiloh West facility. Turnouts are *very* small and time in turnout is *very* limited.

Kelly Maddox: http://www.kellymaddoxtraining.com/

Also on Castro Valley Road...Sarah Marchant. Sarah moved from Diamond Hills last year to be closer to her clients. I haven't been to Canyon Creek for years, so I'm not sure about the turnout, but I'm sure Sarah would be glad to have your daughter come for a tour...she can hit Kelly's and Sarah's barns on the same tour, they are right next to each other.

http://www.canyoncreekranchcv.com/Saramarchant.html



There are many terrific facilities with excellent trainers in the East Bay that I have not mentioned, but as you mentioned that pasture/turnout is a priority for the horse, I have not included them. Turnout/pasture space is really at a premium in the densely populated East Bay!

Perfect Pony
Dec. 30, 2009, 07:52 PM
I have boarded in several places in the East Bay, I personally won't board anywhere except my current barn. The rates are reasonable for the area, the stalls are huge, and there are real turnouts with grass almost half the year. They also feed 3x a day, as much grass or alfalfa as you want. There are multiple rings, good footing in all of them, and there is a set of jumps and more trainers coming in all the time. It's not a training barn, but it is the safest, most horse-friendly place I have found in the area. It's also only about 20 minutes or so from UC Berkeley.

They even have a 90 acre pasture with grass year round, but it's a mixed herd so your horse would have to get along in that environment. All the pasture horses also have a 12x24 half covered pipe paddock so they can be brought in anytime.

http://hossmoor.com/