View Full Version : Tell me about Alpharetta, GA

Feb. 1, 2011, 07:09 PM
A dressage friend might be moving there. She is going for an interview next week.. Tell me about the dressage scene, barns, traffic and any other thing that comes to mind about the area.


Feb. 1, 2011, 09:50 PM
dressage scene? in alpharetta? WHAT dressage scene? :lol:
there may be 3 barns in alpharetta that are "dressage barns"
I was so overjoyed when I moved to NC and discovered dressage riders aren't a rarity everywhere.

Feb. 1, 2011, 11:21 PM
Applewood farm is an excellent dresssage barn in that area

Feb. 1, 2011, 11:33 PM
there are numerous dressage barns and shows in and near alpharetta-the bigger shows are primarily in the conyers area.

applewood is a fabulous barn there and there are many more to choose from. pm me if you want personal opinions.

Feb. 2, 2011, 08:00 AM
Yep, several dressage barns in the area.

Applewood Farm has a very nice outdoor arena and a smallish indoor. There are several trainers either there with their own horses, or who come in to teach. They have occasional clinics there (George Williams and Lisa Wilcox are two they have had in the past).

Shannondale Farm is a lovely facility with two barns, beautiful covered arena, lots of trails, etc., but does not let you bring in your own trainer. They hold clinics there - recent series has been the USDF "From the Judge's Perspective" clinics, with various judges, incl. Gary Rockwell, Jeanne McDonald, etc. Axel Steiner is scheduled for mid March, and I believe Debbie McDonald is also coming back later this year.

Amanda Persons is at 1865 Farm on Birmingham Road. She is a USDF Gold Medalist and is very good at bringing horses up the levels. It is a smaller place and does not have a covered arena, but the care is excellent and it has a good sized lighted outdoor arena with good footing. It does stay pretty full with boarders and training horses, so may not have an opening.

Karen Lipp teaches out of Cristi Meyers place. She has a ton of students doing super well at all levels, including at Regional Championships. She won't work with just anyone - you have to be totally dedicated, have the money and talent to do well, and if your horse isn't up to snuff, you will be expected to let her find you a new one. But she does get results.

Kenn Acebal is now working out of Yellow House Farm. It is a beautiful facility with a lovely barn, huge covered arena and very nice outdoor dressage court, but turn-out is somewhat limited (they have paddocks, but two of them are right on a busy road, and several others are down behind the dressage arena and you cannot watch the horses from the barn).

Karen McGoldrick has a small private farm and full size covered. She is a USDF Gold Medalist.

There is also Collecting Gaits, owned by Jeff and Shereen Fuqua, but it is pretty much a private facility.

There are also a few other private barns here and there that may or may not have openings. Your friend will probably want to join GDCTA and start asking at the tack stores.

There are two nice tack stores in Alpharetta - Dover Saddlery and Alpharetta Saddlery. Also a few consignment shops.

There is a show facility in Alpharetta - Wills Park - but it is mostly used for schooling shows. Rated shows are further away - at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers (east of Atlanta), or at Poplar Place Farm (near Columbus, GA).

As for traffic - hah! It can be really bad, esp. on Windward Parkway, GA 400, Hwy 9, and feeder roads, during rush hour (which generally runs from 0700-0900 or 0930, and again from 1600-1800 or 1830. Your friend would ideally want to live on the same side of GA 400 as her workplace, even better if she can also find a barn on the same side of GA 400 (all the barns I mentioned above are west of GA 400, as is the downtown area of Alpharetta).

Alpharetta is otherwise a very nice place to live - lots of shopping, restaurants, good health care providers and facilities, etc.

Feb. 2, 2011, 10:59 AM
Did you mean Atlanta Saddlery ? http://www.atlantasaddlery.com/

Feb. 2, 2011, 11:36 AM
Down Yonder said it well just wanted to add most all of these places are very pricey and all have very limited turnout except Shannondale. Its a great dressage area but for me frustrating that most of the good dressage trainers in the area teach out of barns that limit turnout.

P.S. There are a couple dressage trainers that also travel a bit for lessons so that covers a few more barns to: Kim Schliser, Andrea Manos, and possibly Manfred Lewis

Feb. 2, 2011, 04:36 PM
I think the biggest thing to keep in mind with "Dressage barns" in Alpharetta are EXPENSIVE! I live in Atl during the summers and struggle to find $400 pasture board at a multi-discipline facility with minimal ammenities. I am fairly sure that all the places listed will be at least $750+ for board and some have mandatory training programs.

If you have the financial security then I think there are a good number of talented trainers and quality barns. A good friend of mine is currently working with Kenn at Yellow House and is thrilled with his training style and her horses progress. If your friend is < 3rd level or has any interest in ever jumping I highly recommend Lauren Weil of Bigtime Eventing.

Wills Park is extremely close and hosts a number of small to mid sized shows throughout the season.

As an Atl native, traffic is awful but it could be worse. The 20 mile commute took 45 min one way without traffic and about a hour and 15 with normal afternoon traffic.

If she has financial limitations she might want to consider boarding at a multi-discipline barn and trailering out to work with someone.

Feb. 3, 2011, 05:46 PM
Hi All,

Thanks so much for the information. She is going to look at barns down there if the interview goes well. Unfortunately she says that the job site is just southeast of 400 about 2 blocks. Is it really that hard to get across to the better residential and barn areas?

Feb. 5, 2011, 11:16 AM
Hi All,

Thanks so much for the information. She is going to look at barns down there if the interview goes well. Unfortunately she says that the job site is just southeast of 400 about 2 blocks. Is it really that hard to get across to the better residential and barn areas?

I am envious of your friend and miss Alpharetta, where I lived for more than a decade. Yes, the traffic can be very tough, but overall it is a GREAT place to live... I would move back in a heartbeat if I could!

Not sure where "southeast of 400" is (as 400 is a highway that runs N-S) but if you mean, say, Windward Parkway or something like that - I wouldn't think it would be too tough.

I boarded at Shannondale, in the days before they built the fancy indoor and second barn. It was a beautiful place with excellent care, and I would recommend it. I have also done clinics with Kenn Acebal and think he is absolutely fabulous.

Feb. 5, 2011, 02:12 PM
Thanks Lucassb.

Jun. 22, 2011, 05:39 PM
I HOPE he is no longer employed at Yellow House Farm or anywhere at this point! He has been arrested in Ga twice, most recently this week. He is a pervert and needs to be run out of the dressage world. He needs to be in jail. See news links: