View Full Version : Good & Affordable Trainers in DE, MD, NOVA, SEPA?

Jan. 20, 2010, 04:04 PM
Looking for an affordable trainer for a young gelding who has the basics, but needs fine tuning, xc schools, etc. Main concern is having someone who will RIDE this guy 5-6 days a week, not just a 2-3 times, or do a bunch of groundwork, etc. If he is there for 60 days, I want him to be ridden at least 40 days! Would prefer someone who competes and will take him to some local events as well. Would love to find someone who is happy to having me come out and see him go, and monitor his progress, and maybe take some lessons from them. Any opinions would be appreciated! Guy has lots of trail miles, so he really needs ring time if that makes a difference :)

Jan. 20, 2010, 04:27 PM
I sent you a PM.

Jan. 20, 2010, 05:44 PM
If you are concerned about getting him miles then you should wait until spring or put him with someone with an indoor, since this time of year, riding outside is nearly impossible on a regular basis. I average about 4 days a week this time of the year and that's with at least one day on frozen ground, or with rain pouring down my neck, or something nasty happening! :) Oh I am tired of winter, can you tell?

Jan. 23, 2010, 12:41 PM
Thanks for all the PM's! I wanted to share some names here since I've noticed a few others looking in this general area as well.

Kelley Williams-I think 5 people have PM'd me about good she is!
Others mentioned were: Tom Waters, Phyllis Dawson, Kerry Blackmer, Katie Willis, Marty Morani, Jane Sleeper, Danny Warrington, Sally Cousins, Missy Ransehousen, Steph Butts, Katie Ruppell, and Julia Wendell.

I know several of those are BNT's though, so not sure they will fit the "afforadable" requirement! If anyone has anything to mention about these recommendations pleast post here (of it's bad, please just PM me as I don't want anyone bad-mouthed on a public board!)

Another question, what do most of you consider afforable a month? And if a horse is going W/T/C, leg yielding, soft in bridle, etc, and needs to learn to jump and get some itty biddy xc miles, how long is reasonable to keep a horse with a trainer? I know it will vary, but just an average?

Jan. 23, 2010, 03:22 PM
Affordable all depends.

A local 'cowboy' type charges about $500/month or so to start horses - but don't expect an English saddle!

I think most trainers specializing in one of the English disciplines charge starting $800/month - but don't quote me on it.

If you are looking for affordable, I second Yellowbritches - wait. Any trainer that has an indoor will cost more and anyone that does not have an indoor cannot guarantee regular riding this time of year.

Jan. 23, 2010, 04:09 PM
I can put in a good word for Phyllis. She has a big indoor and everyone jumps throughout the winter - either in the weekly jumping 'clinics' or through the week sometime. The client horses are schooled as appropriate - your guy would definitely get five days a week with either Phyllis, Melissa Hunsberger, or the dressage trainer, Jineen, and some rides by the working students if you wanted (I believe that lowers the cost a little, although I may be wrong). If, in the spring, you want the horse competed, Melissa would take him out.
Beyond that, Phyllis' barn is a GREAT place for a horse in training to go. It's very much a high-end facility, but with a great relaxation about the place, so your horse won't come back to you stressed out. There is a huuuuuge cross-country course with everything from tiny logs to Intermediate questions. The care of the horses is always the first priority.

Jan. 23, 2010, 06:50 PM
Laura Beetle - Camelot Farm in Monkton, MD. She is absolutely amazing and will put a solid foundation on every horse and rider! She was an eventer, but now concentrates on lower level stuff and dressage!

Jan. 23, 2010, 07:04 PM
Another vote for Kelley! She's pretty awesome.

I would also try Katie Wherley (www.rocksolid-training.com).

Jan. 23, 2010, 07:17 PM
Alyssa Peterson would fit the bill. She trains out of her own barn outside of Waldorf, MD and has very reasonable prices. Alyssa is young, but trains TB's, and has brought many of her own horses up the ranks in eventing. This year she competed at advanced on Stormin' Barbie. I would love to see business go her way, she is a hard worker and a talented rider. Does anybody have contact information on Alyssa?

Jan. 24, 2010, 08:01 AM
I consider anything under $900 per month for full training board affordable 900-1400 reasonable/expected (especially in this area) and above that BNT expensive.

Jan. 24, 2010, 10:03 AM
Wow...I better tell the BNT he needs to charge more! He's in the reasonable/expected range right now...so much for keeping with the economy. How are people affording to pay more then that in these times?
I would think for what the OP is looking for you could find someone for around 20.00 to 25.00 a day.

I consider anything under $900 per month for full training board affordable 900-1400 reasonable/expected (especially in this area) and above that BNT expensive.

Meredith Clark
Jan. 24, 2010, 10:56 AM
I've had horses in training with Valerie Viz (http://www.blueclovereventing.com/) , Steuart Pittman (http://www.dodonfarm.com/), and Kate Ditchy-Hicks.

Both Valerie and Steuart were under or around $1000 a month for full training, I think Kate is too.

Valerie started my new OTTB Juice. She doesn't have an indoor but is great with slow correct training. She was head rider for Linda Zang all winter and has a great dressage foundation.

Steuart is really into the OTTBs and is great with jumping. I'm assuming he still takes horses in for full training, I know his "Retraining Racehorse" program has really gotten big and he travels a lot. The horse I had with Steuart had major issues so I didn't have the best experience but he's a good guy.

Kate is who I ride with now as often as I can. She rode with Phillip and now has a beautiful farm of her own with a really nice indoor in SE PA. She's patient and understanding and really listens to my goals. Even after 2 lessons with her I was able to text her from a show I was competing at (and was really frustrated) and she talked me through it while she was at her OWN show. She really seems to care.

Hope that helps!

Jan. 24, 2010, 01:58 PM
I don't think many places would do good training board for less than $30/day. I would expect to pay $35/day for full training board.

I don't know anyone charging around $20/day for training. I can't imagine they are any good or they have been living under a rock and don't know what to charge!

most standard board is around 20/day. If there is an indoor usually more- perhaps $25. I can't imagine a trainer schooling a horse for less than $10/day on top of board.

Jan. 24, 2010, 06:33 PM
I've actually gotten several quotes from people recommended that are way less that $30/day! Maybe it's the economy? Prices have ranged from $600-$1250 with many being in the $600-$750 range. These are smaller places without indoors though, but some have access to one closeby.

Jan. 24, 2010, 08:04 PM
pm me if you want her contact info. I think Barbie retired last year tho but still went through Advance with her. Alyssa is from our PC and a darling young woman and a very kind rider.

Jan. 24, 2010, 08:21 PM
Another vote for Kelly Or Alyssa - both fantastic, kind, and excellent riders.
Would send any of mine to them in a heartbeat, and that is a *rare* thing.

Jan. 25, 2010, 09:59 AM
lovemytbs- you have a pm

Jan. 25, 2010, 11:23 AM
It does depend on area as well. My very good BNT is in the expected/average range also. My prior trainer, closer to the city and mainline, very good, but not a BNT was more. Debi Crowley, who is in Northern Alabama, so not relevant to this post, but definitely very good charges $850 month for full training board (unless it has changed since December).

Jan. 25, 2010, 02:06 PM
I'm not an eventer, but my best friend is and rants and raves about her trainer Steuart Pittman at Dodon Farm in Maryland. He particularly likes the training young TB's and actively competes, clinics, and trains. I've gone to watch him at clinics and think he's really good and kind with the horses.

La Chasse
Jan. 25, 2010, 06:56 PM
I really like Bascule Farm in Poolesville MD. They have a really great operation, it's affordable and they ride the horses in training 5-6 days a week. They have 2 indoors and 2 outdoors. They have several different instructors, but I like Natalie Hollis a lot. She is an advanced level rider and USEA level III certified instructor who routinely rides the client horses and has a positive, confident, but gentle approach to riding & training. They also have working students as well. basculefarm.com

Jan. 25, 2010, 07:56 PM
I've had a LOT of horses in training with a lot of different people. My experience has run the range from fantastic to ending up with a dead horse. I have lots of opinions on lots of different trainers, but through all of these journeys I've learned one very important thing.
communication cannot be an afterthought when someone is training your horse.
The best communicator and best OTTB retrainer I've ever had the pleasure of knowing is Jleegriffith, on this board. She's reasonable, educates the bejezus out of horses and keeps you CONSTANTLY updated. Priceless in my opinion!

Jan. 30, 2010, 01:47 PM
Try contacting Mogie Bearden Muller on the Eastern Shore in Centreville MD. PM me if you would like her info. She's great with young horses and very affordable.