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Moneypenny08
Mar. 18, 2011, 12:00 PM
My little sister just turned 14 and has been bitten by the horse bug (yay!). I live three hours away from her but she has ridden my horse a couple of times when she has come to visit. That's about the extend of her riding experience. I want to take her somewhere for her first lesson for her birthday. Where can I take her in the Dallas area that will give her a good first lesson?

Thank you!

Jo
Mar. 18, 2011, 12:48 PM
Can you narrow down your area - there are some good places to suggest, but it will depend on where in Dallas you are?

TarheelJD
Mar. 18, 2011, 12:57 PM
I have no advice on Dallas barns, but just wanted to say -- what a great present. She will be so excited!

2BayPonies
Mar. 18, 2011, 01:01 PM
I've heard good things about Becky Brown at BuckBranch http://www.buckbranch.com/training.html

HRF Second Chance
Mar. 18, 2011, 01:15 PM
I think it does totally depend on where you are. I don't work there anymore but I can't say enough good about the program at Windmill Stables. It puts strong emphasis on total horse care. They are a pony club barn so they teach you everything! How to groom and tack, basics on the lunge line in private lessons for the first few months and "barn lessons" on days when you can't ride that teach you all about how to be a well-rounded equestrian.

I know that the beginner teacher teaches a strong program strong in the basics and she's very concerned with rider safety as well.

PM me if you have questions about any of the area barns. :)

Moneypenny08
Mar. 18, 2011, 04:16 PM
She lives right on the Carrollton/Plano border, but I would not mind driving to Flower Mound or Aubrey or somewhere a bit further if there was an outstanding instructor out there. Thanks so much for your advice!

Arelle
Mar. 18, 2011, 08:22 PM
Don't know anything about the trainers at Buck Branch, but Linda is just the nicest lady ever.

I ride with Shannon Flanagan of Silent Knight Stables - on the edge of Krum/Denton. Basically at 380 and I35. www.silentknightstables.com

I've also ridden with Paula Berbaum of Grand Oak Farm - she's wonderful and super sweet. www.grandoakfarm.com Aubrey, Texas.

I also ride with Rebecca Sanoja of Bryherstone Farm in Wylie - that may a good place for you too; I don't know that she's accepting new students or has a beginner lesson horse though? I haven't been able to afford any lessons in a while.

OH! What about Prosper? Susan is lovely and her training assistants are always so nice when I've been out showing at her place this year. PLUS, lots of kids and kid safe ponies - it's absolutely a family atmosphere with riders of all levels. www.prosperingfarm.com

Lots of great barns out here. Valhalla is also one I've heard nothing but good things about, a girl at my barn takes lessons over there. I've never done lessons, but the facility is gorgeous and I've loving showing there in the past.

I know there are two shows not this weekend but next - Whitehorse for NTHJC and LCEC for Dallas. Why not go take her for a weekend to see the show and maybe find someone you/she/y'all click with?

Tha Ridge
Mar. 18, 2011, 10:01 PM
I would look into Katja Kallenberger at The Paddocks and Glenn & Kelly Ronden at Showtime.

Moneypenny08
Mar. 19, 2011, 11:17 AM
Thank you all so much! I will definitely look into all these places! I can't wait!

EverAfter
Mar. 19, 2011, 11:29 AM
I would look into Katja Kallenberger at The Paddocks and Glenn & Kelly Ronden at Showtime.

yes this. Both are really great barns,

Jo
Mar. 19, 2011, 08:26 PM
I grew up riding at Treeline Stables - just outside of Plano - and feel that I got an excellent background in horsemanship as well as riding skills. I haven't heard anything about their lesson program in years, but as far as I know - they are still turning out beautiful riders and have always had nice school horses.

Jo
Mar. 19, 2011, 08:27 PM
Oh - one of the gals I grew up with at Treeline has her own place now and offers school horses and lessons - www.shelbygraham.com.

I also LOVE Becky Sanoja but last I heard - she didn't have beginner-level school horses?

Arelle
Mar. 19, 2011, 09:39 PM
Well, yes, I don't know that she does. I was riding semi regularly with her up until January. Need to go back out, but I've always just taken my horses or ridden her daughters fabulous retired from showing gelding as my mare got too pregnant to jump.

Aside from seeing Vanessa ride her grand prix horse and various boarders, I haven't ever seen another "lesson" horse go because I'm always in privates and typically its just Becky and myself out there. That may be a better option down the line, OP.

I really don't think there is anyone to avoid, most trainers around the area are very good (at least with beginners). The only exception is a young, newly sponsored trainer whose name does NOT rhyme with fish well son. Because GPS is fabulous, but way above the level your sister probably needs at this point. ;)

Tollriffic
Mar. 19, 2011, 09:56 PM
I really don't think there is anyone to avoid, most trainers around the area are very good (at least with beginners). The only exception is a young, newly sponsored trainer whose name does NOT rhyme with fish well son. Because GPS is fabulous, but way above the level your sister probably needs at this point. ;)

He actually offers a summer camp for beginner riders so I would assume that means he has suitable lesson horses and possibly an assistant. Plus I believe there is now another trainer based out of the same facility. And as someone who grew up riding against him and spending time around him on the ground I wouldn't say he's someone to avoid.

EverAfter
Mar. 19, 2011, 10:17 PM
I really don't think there is anyone to avoid, most trainers around the area are very good (at least with beginners). The only exception is a young, newly sponsored trainer whose name does NOT rhyme with fish well son. Because GPS is fabulous, but way above the level your sister probably needs at this point. ;)


hahahaha :lol: way to be subtle

But I have to agree with Tollific.. Great great rider and I'm sure just as good of a trainer.

Prime Time Rider
Mar. 19, 2011, 11:43 PM
Showtime Farm in Southlake has a decent school horse program, also Holly Frenzel in Copper Canyon. I would avoid Flower Mound Equestrian Center. My husband took lessons there and after Robert left the new beginner rider instructor had evreyone riding with very short reins perched precariously forward.

Rio Blanco
Mar. 20, 2011, 01:00 PM
Holly Frenzel in Copper Canyon.

Umm, having ridden in Dallas for 10+ years as a junior, this one tops my list of 5 people who should never be recommended. Sorry to be blunt, but your health and safety is more important than me being courteous.

Arelle
Mar. 20, 2011, 03:24 PM
Haha, either I didn't word that right or something was missed in the communication.

I LOVE Chris. I think he is uber talented and everyone at his barn is just super nice and friendly.

My comment was solely because he is in the area, young, and just sponsored and I sure didn't want people to think THAT is who I was referring to.

No, the trainer I would say to avoid is a young female who was showing NTHJC until she made an ass out of herself one too many times - but, apparently she's back and "better than ever".

STA
Mar. 20, 2011, 03:29 PM
Just wanted to know if Willow Bend is still outside Dallas? I rode there in the 70's.

Tha Ridge
Mar. 20, 2011, 03:36 PM
No, the trainer I would say to avoid is a young female who was showing NTHJC until she made an ass out of herself one too many times - but, apparently she's back and "better than ever".

Racking my brain trying to figure out who this could be. PM me and divulge!

EverAfter
Mar. 20, 2011, 03:56 PM
Racking my brain trying to figure out who this could be. PM me and divulge!

yes!! please, do share!

Arelle
Mar. 20, 2011, 04:39 PM
Oh, I'm not going to PM anyone but the OP if she asks. You are all more than welcome to PM me your guess, and I'll tell you if you're right.

Her most recent bit of news that made me roll my eyes is that she named the horse her youth riders are jumping what is easily a euphemism for a long night of drinking.

In my experience, the dangerous situations she places her students and horses in on a regular basis are just asking for someone to get seriously injured - it hasn't happened yet, but when it does, it will be disastrous. For a while, she was taking lessons and it was looking like it was helping - but IMO she is far too young and far too inexperienced to be training anyone. I know several riders she has ruined - in the sense that they've had to go back to square one and it's taken 5x as long to regain confidence.

Stick with trainers who are established and have been around a while. Any of my initial responses are all trainers who would be great with a novice rider.

Jo
Mar. 20, 2011, 08:29 PM
Just wanted to know if Willow Bend is still outside Dallas? I rode there in the 70's.

It's here - but not the same as you remember. ;) The horse facility was totaled long, long ago and is now a housing development.

HRF Second Chance
Mar. 21, 2011, 09:27 AM
I will say that the Paddocks does turn out lovely little riders.

I was just at Becky's this weekend and she did mention that she dosn't do beginner lessons. She's only got one lesson horse and she runs a very boutique style barn. I want to say she has like 8 stalls and they are all full. Nice place though!

Jo Beard out at Hogany Tops Farm does beginner lessons as well. Very classical hunter style.

There's lots of lovely barns around. I do love Susan's place for horse shows. She knows how to run an event!!! We stayed for Pony Hunter (aka the bitter end of the day) and the latest I ever left was 4 pm. So I love her for that!!!! :D

luvmycabanaboy
Mar. 21, 2011, 09:41 PM
Willow bend is now a nice big subdivision...they still have the signs though and some horsey statues...

eventerdiva
Mar. 22, 2011, 10:14 AM
I would look into Katja Kallenberger at The Paddocks.

This! I rode with the Kallenbergers growing up until I went to college, back when they were at the location on what is now far West Parker Road. They're great with beginners, but also do well at the A/AA shows.

I'd like to say I have a good foundation... :D