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View Full Version : Hunter/jumper instructors near Harrisonburg, VA?



Kaya
Apr. 10, 2011, 03:07 PM
Hello! This looks like a pretty active forum so I thought I would join and see if anyone here has had any experience with hunter/jumper instructors/trainers in or around Harrisonburg, VA! I haven't had much luck so far finding out any information, but I do like to be prepared.

So, I am moving to Virginia this summer and will be looking for a new hunter/jumper lesson barn (I do not have my own horse) with a good instructor near Harrisonburg. Looking around online I have found a few names:

Bobby Jones at Seventh Heaven Farm in Broadway, VA

Michelle Rhodes at Celt Run Farm in Stanardsville, VA

Vonda Reel at Hunter's Edge Horse Farm in Hinton, VA

Jessica Welch at Redmont Farm in Staunton, VA

Danielle Geisert at Keezlenutten Farm in Keezletown, VA

Darlene Kemper at Kemper Knoll Farm in McGaheysville, VA

Mill Creek Farm in Port Republic, VA

Jackson Schurtz at Walnut Cove Farm in Mt. Crawford, VA

Luanne Leonard at Clover Grove in Staunton, VA

I would love to hear if anybody has had experience with any of these instructors or barns, either directly or just know of their reputation in the area. Any recommendations for others in the area?

Thanks for your help! :D

HorsesinHaiti
Apr. 10, 2011, 06:41 PM
I rode once at Keezlenutten, much closer to Harrisonburg than some of the others you mention. They might be worth a look, I would ride there again. It depends on what level of riding you are looking for.

If you check them out, give Gandalf a scritch for me!

Kaya
Apr. 10, 2011, 10:15 PM
I rode once at Keezlenutten, much closer to Harrisonburg than some of the others you mention. They might be worth a look, I would ride there again. It depends on what level of riding you are looking for.

If you check them out, give Gandalf a scritch for me!

Thanks for the recommendation! I will say hello to Gandalf for you if I visit! ;)

StoneleaFarm
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:54 AM
...stay away from Bobby Jones. I have witnessed first hand some of his training and been highly unimpressed.

Check out Darlene Kemper at Kemper Knoll Farm in McGaheysville, VA and (not sure who is training there now, but gorgeous facility) Mill Creek Farm in Port Republic, VA. Both are within 15 minutes of Harrisonburg.

Good luck!

Kaya
Apr. 11, 2011, 01:59 AM
...not trying to start anything, but stay away from Bobby Jones. I have witnessed first hand some of his training and been highly unimpressed.

Thank you for the tip! Out of curiosity, what was it about his training or its results that you didn't like? Feel free to PM me if you prefer!


Check out Darlene Kemper at Kemper Knoll Farm in McGaheysville, VA and (not sure who is training there now, but gorgeous facility) Mill Creek Farm in Port Republic, VA. Both are within 15 minutes of Harrisonburg.

Good luck!

Thanks! They are now on my list! :D

I couldn't find a website for Mill Creek to see who their instructor is, but I did find some nice comments on some review sites.

fordtraktor
Apr. 11, 2011, 07:59 AM
I don't know some of these but Darlene Kemper is my favorite on your list. I haven't ridden with her but have seen her at shows for many years. Is her daughter Brooke in the business with her now? Brooke is an excellent rider.

StoneleaFarm
Apr. 11, 2011, 10:37 AM
Brooke is now training at Belle Grey Farm in Upperville, VA (it has a website - check it out, gorgeous facility) very successfully. She just returned from a great season in Wellington.

Bobby coaches the JMU team and everything I have heard about how he teaches just sounds so backwards to what anyone else I have ever ridden with teaches. For example, telling you to ride the horse front to back and you can never be too far ahead of your horse. I am not sure if he teaches lessons outside of the JMU team either, as technically the school horses belong to the team and not him I think.

As for results.... he doesn't produce any to speak of.

potterma
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:03 PM
Bobby coaches the JMU team and everything I have heard about how he teaches just sounds so backwards to what anyone else I have ever ridden with teaches. For example, telling you to ride the horse front to back and you can never be too far ahead of your horse. I am not sure if he teaches lessons outside of the JMU team either, as technically the school horses belong to the team and not him I think.

As for results.... he doesn't produce any to speak of.

Definitely disagree. I rode with Bobby for two years and if lessons weren't too expensive for me to afford, I'd love to still be. As far as results go, Bobby has some lovely riders and I've seen firsthand the quick progress that many have made under his instruction.

If you're going to be at JMU, the equestrian club is the way to go. It's a great way to get involved!

fordtraktor
Apr. 11, 2011, 01:14 PM
I haven't ridden with Bobby Jones but he bred my TB that I had for 17 years and just had to put down last week, this one: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2033337150053911905YARafw

I bought the horse from him and he was very well and honestly represented. Bobby treated me very well over the years including arranging a few free leases for me to get miles on horses. When I was 14 I was having a lot of problems with the horse, and sent him back to resell, in tears the whole time. He was just OUT OF CONTROL hyper. Bobby diagnosed him as being fed too much corn (oops!) and instead of making a lot of money on him, which he could have, rode him for two weeks and told me I ought to come get my horse because he saw I loved the big goof.

So I can't speak to lessons but I would buy a horse from Bobby again in a heartbeat.

BitofMagic90
Apr. 11, 2011, 04:41 PM
Bobby Jones is the coach of the JMU Riding Team. The team doesn't have an indoor and receives very little support from the university. Yet this year they finished 5th out of 12 teams in their zone and one rider was Champion and one rider was Reserve Champion -- that is pretty impressive.

Last year our daughter would sometimes receive low ribbons at the IHSA shows. This year with Bobby's help and training she was Champion Zone 4, Region 2. We are grateful of Bobby's help and support and consider him a friend.

Diane Williams

Kaya
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:48 PM
I don't know some of these but Darlene Kemper is my favorite on your list.

Thanks!


Bobby coaches the JMU team and everything I have heard about how he teaches just sounds so backwards to what anyone else I have ever ridden with teaches. For example, telling you to ride the horse front to back and you can never be too far ahead of your horse.

Um, yikes!


Definitely disagree. I rode with Bobby for two years and if lessons weren't too expensive for me to afford, I'd love to still be. As far as results go, Bobby has some lovely riders and I've seen firsthand the quick progress that many have made under his instruction.


I haven't ridden with Bobby Jones but he bred my TB that I had for 17 years and just had to put down last week, this one: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2033337150053911905YARafw

So I can't speak to lessons but I would buy a horse from Bobby again in a heartbeat.


Bobby Jones is the coach of the JMU Riding Team. The team doesn't have an indoor and receives very little support from the university. Yet this year they finished 5th out of 12 teams in their zone and one rider was Champion and one rider was Reserve Champion -- that is pretty impressive.

Last year our daughter would sometimes receive low ribbons at the IHSA shows. This year with Bobby's help and training she was Champion Zone 4, Region 2. We are grateful of Bobby's help and support and consider him a friend.

Thanks very much for your input! It sounds like Bobby Jones is a bit of a controversy.

(Very sorry for your loss, fordtraktor.)

potterma
Apr. 11, 2011, 09:29 PM
Bobby Jones is the coach of the JMU Riding Team. The team doesn't have an indoor and receives very little support from the university. Yet this year they finished 5th out of 12 teams in their zone and one rider was Champion and one rider was Reserve Champion -- that is pretty impressive.

Last year our daughter would sometimes receive low ribbons at the IHSA shows. This year with Bobby's help and training she was Champion Zone 4, Region 2. We are grateful of Bobby's help and support and consider him a friend.

Diane Williams

I think I know who your daughter is. Congrats to her on the Champion! I agree, JMU eq and Bobby are both impressive. If I had the money, I would certainly ride with him again!

Rockfish
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:16 PM
Bobby Jones is the coach of the JMU Riding Team. The team doesn't have an indoor and receives very little support from the university. Yet this year they finished 5th out of 12 teams in their zone and one rider was Champion and one rider was Reserve Champion -- that is pretty impressive.

Last year our daughter would sometimes receive low ribbons at the IHSA shows. This year with Bobby's help and training she was Champion Zone 4, Region 2. We are grateful of Bobby's help and support and consider him a friend.

Diane Williams

just curious, does IHSA now give out regional championships to anyone other than the top pointed open rider (the one who gets passed on to compete in the Cacchione Cup)? I know in my region (zone 4 region 1) the only rider to get recognition was the high point open rider.

To the MAX
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:23 PM
In my region, a Champ/Res. Champ will be given out for every class, based on the results of the regional show. For example, if someone won intermediate fences at regionals, they were the Z4R4 intermediate fences champion.

HowDoILook
Apr. 12, 2011, 05:11 PM
I was thinking Staunton would be too far away, but I noticed you have a few up there already. I would definitely recommend Luanne Leonard. She is a wonderful horse person with more knowledge than I could possibly imagine. Her students always come out well prepared and understanding the correct fundamentals of riding. The farm website is http://www.myclovergrove.com/

savvy9
Apr. 12, 2011, 05:28 PM
April Shultz is a wonderful trainer and rider, but she rides dressage - not hunter/jumpers!

Standardsville is a long drive - not convenient to Harrisonburg.

Stay away from Bobby Jones - there are plenty of other much better options.

Another good hunter barn - Emily Guyer's in Fishersville - her cell is 540-448-3921.

Jessica Welch, Kemper Knoll, Mill Creek, Vonda Reel, Jackson Shurtz and Luanne Leonard are all very good and sucessful instructors with proven results in this area. A lot may come down to the location and facilities and how you feel about each barn and instructor- you should visit all of their places and see what feels like the best fit.

Kaya
Apr. 13, 2011, 09:23 PM
I was thinking Staunton would be too far away, but I noticed you have a few up there already. I would definitely recommend Luanne Leonard. She is a wonderful horse person with more knowledge than I could possibly imagine. Her students always come out well prepared and understanding the correct fundamentals of riding. The farm website is http://www.myclovergrove.com/

Thank you for the recommendation! I will put her on my list.


April Shultz is a wonderful trainer and rider, but she rides dressage - not hunter/jumpers!

Whoops! I will take her off my list then.


Stay away from Bobby Jones - there are plenty of other much better options.

Another good hunter barn - Emily Guyer's in Fishersville - her cell is 540-448-3921.

Jessica Welch, Kemper Knoll, Mill Creek, Vonda Reel, Jackson Shurtz and Luanne Leonard are all very good and sucessful instructors with proven results in this area. A lot may come down to the location and facilities and how you feel about each barn and instructor- you should visit all of their places and see what feels like the best fit.

Thank you very much for this information.

I will definitely be checking out all the barns that end up on my final list. I did want to at least get a good working list going before I got over there, and the recommendations (and stay-aways) really help!