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View Full Version : looking for dressage trainer/board in Washington DC area



toritorrence
Jul. 13, 2011, 02:24 PM
midwest recruit moving to DC. interested in either Virginia or Maryland. would like a barn w/a qualified dressage trainer (currently training with FEI level instructor) and full board. would like to stay around $550/month. please let me know if anyone has any ideas/websites i can visit. thanks!

bathsheba8542
Jul. 13, 2011, 02:41 PM
Can't say enough good things about Evergreen and Roy Toppings. He is a fantastic trainer, and has made a huge difference in both my riding and in my GP schoolmaster. Excellent horse care as well. Board is slightly higher than the figure you identify though. PM me if you would like more information or the phone number.

TMPF
Jul. 13, 2011, 03:12 PM
Welcome to the east coast!

You will have a hard time finding a boarding situation with an indoor in this area for under $600 a month. Normal is $650 to $800 depending on how close to DC and amenities you need. But a good starting point would be to visit Equiery.com for places in Maryland and I'm sure there is a Virginia directory also.

carolprudm
Jul. 13, 2011, 03:27 PM
It's a really big area, can you narrow it down a bit?

paintlady
Jul. 13, 2011, 04:06 PM
I pay $550/month for full care board - private farm in Fairfax County, VA - small sand dressage size ring, but no indoor and no onsite trainer. Honestly, I think you're going to have to up your budget to get what you want in this area.

Here are a links to boarding facilities with an emphasis on dressage. Boarding is generally cheaper the further out you go from DC. I don't have any personal opinions about any of these. These are just places that I'm familiar with because of local schooling shows, ads, or friends that board there.

Wyndam Oaks (Boyds, MD)
http://www.wyndham-oaks.com/

Cheshire Horse Hills (Waldorf, MD)
http://www.cheshirehorsehills.com/

Looking Glass Farm (Hamilton, VA)
http://www.lgfsporthorses.com/

Compass Rose Farm (Haymarket, VA)
http://compassrosefarm.com/

Homestead Farm (Catlett, VA)
http://homesteadhorses.com/

Willow Way Riding Stables (Haymarket, VA)
http://willowwayridingstables.com/

Evergreen Farm (Berryville, VA)
http://www.evergreenfarm.info/

Kingland Farm (Lovettsville, VA)
http://kinglandfarm.com/

ETA... Also check out Virginia Equestrian (www.virginiaequestrian.com) and VADA/NoVA (www.vadanova.org) for their classified ads.

Cupcake
Jul. 14, 2011, 10:14 PM
I also agree with the others, that you will have to increase your budget for the stuff that you require.

I can vouch that Evergreen is a nice facility, with a good trainer on board.
Wyndham Oaks is one of the pricier places.
Also, there is Windsor Manor, which is owned by Vanessa Swartz who is a grand prix rider.

Equiery.com has a good list of boarding facilities in the area.

Good luck! There is definitely lots of good places in the area, and a lot of good trainers.

wcporter
Jul. 14, 2011, 11:40 PM
Wyndham Oaks is a great facility. Its pretty big (around 70 horses) but has excellent care. Its expensive but you definitely get what you pay for!

toritorrence
Jul. 15, 2011, 12:16 PM
le sigh. i guess i am used to the midwest prices! i currently pay 550/mo for an amazing facility, one of the nicest in the areas. as a recent college grad w/no career to speak of thus far, i was looking to stay in that area, but realize i might need to adjust my expectations.

as to the area, i was looking for a radius of <45 miles or so from DC, but don't care if it's Maryland or VA. will have to map a couple places and test drive them from our residence to see what the traffic is like.

thanks for all the suggestions, keep em coming!

Cupcake
Jul. 15, 2011, 12:37 PM
le sigh. i guess i am used to the midwest prices! i currently pay 550/mo for an amazing facility, one of the nicest in the areas. as a recent college grad w/no career to speak of thus far, i was looking to stay in that area, but realize i might need to adjust my expectations.

as to the area, i was looking for a radius of <45 miles or so from DC, but don't care if it's Maryland or VA. will have to map a couple places and test drive them from our residence to see what the traffic is like.

thanks for all the suggestions, keep em coming!

Others may pipe in but I think that the traffic is better on the MD side than on the VA side.

Also there is a place called Hullfield's in Howard County which is supposed to be fairly nice (no idea about the price). Julio Mendoza is the trainer there, he's a super nice guy, and a very nice rider. I believe he's going to the Pan Am games in the fall representing Ecuador.

Trevelyan96
Jul. 15, 2011, 05:44 PM
DD is a working student for Cheshire Horse Hills in MD. Trainer is excellent, indoor is lovely, but her prices are a bit higher than you're looking for.

Also, depending on your level, you might want to contact Aviva Nebesky at http://www.horsepenhill.com/. She's a wonderful instructor, but I'm not sure how high a level she teaches to, as I'm a rank beginner.

Another good one in MD is Sharon Myers at Chimney Hill.

asterix
Jul. 15, 2011, 10:23 PM
It makes a HUGE difference exactly where you are coming from (on your daily trip to the barn), and when. The map will mean NOTHING; traffic is king. It is true in a general way that MD is better than VA. But it is very, very, very variable.

So my first piece of advice is to tell us where, exactly, you will be living and working - that will help folks give you useful recommendations.

Depending on what exactly you want from a boarding situation vs. training you can certainly board at a nice place on your budget -- but it may not have the trainer you want in house. I take regular lessons with an FEI instructor who comes to my barn and the one next door -- so I can ride with him twice a month if I'm willing to trailer literally 3 minutes...but he is not "in residence" at my barn.

If you want to board AT a dedicated FEI barn, that will cost you more.

I board at a place that is more of an eventing barn (since I am an eventer), indoor ring, dedicated dressage all weather pad, 2 additional outdoor rings (one lit), trails for miles, board in your budget. We have 2 FEI instructors who come on a regular basis and I am an easy trailer from a boatload of others.

It's less than an hour from downtown, bit more in rush hour.

Foxhound
Jul. 16, 2011, 04:45 PM
If you want to board AT a dedicated FEI barn, that will cost you more.


To add to that, a lot of the better FEI trainers in the area require horses at their place be kept in their training program (i.e., a minimum number of lessons and/or rides per month) at an additional cost.

toritorrence
Jul. 17, 2011, 11:33 PM
absolutely, i've looked at a few places and notice that for some, there is no such thing as non-training board.

i like the idea of having a trainer in-house, but would be more than willing to settle for a place that has a dressage trainer "presence" (someone who comes out regularly). definitely not a discipline snob, my horse used to be a hunter/eventer before he tore a suspensory a few years ago. we just started dressage in march and have some success with it, so wanted to be at a place where i could continue his (and mine) training.

i will be living pretty near downtown, in the SE Capitol Hill area, so I'm thinking MD might be the better choice, I'm guessing it takes a while to get over to VA from that area. Going up in a couple weeks to scout some places out before we move.

Thank you all for the suggestions, I feel like I'm definitely getting on the right track.

asterix
Jul. 17, 2011, 11:43 PM
So, I live in CapHill and board at Waredaca -- in non-rush hour it is about 50 minutes, more in rush hour. I'll let others comment on the drive to VA.

Another area you might want to look is east -- PG and Anne Arundel County. I am not sure what's available out there; Linda Zhang is based there but I have no idea if she takes boarder, and of course she's in FL in the winter.

But that drive is easier! Sharon Myers, mentioned above, is out in that direction...

carolprudm
Jul. 18, 2011, 09:43 AM
So, I live in CapHill and board at Waredaca -- in non-rush hour it is about 50 minutes, more in rush hour. I'll let others comment on the drive to VA.

.
The limited number of bridges serve as a choke point between DC and VA and there seems to be no end in sight to the mess on the beltway between Braddock Rd and Tyson's Corner

gailbyrd
Jul. 18, 2011, 11:01 AM
You have a PM

fairwindschance
Jul. 21, 2011, 10:37 AM
midwest recruit moving to DC. interested in either Virginia or Maryland. would like a barn w/a qualified dressage trainer (currently training with FEI level instructor) and full board. would like to stay around $550/month. please let me know if anyone has any ideas/websites i can visit. thanks!

I would highly recommend Good News Stable in Boyds, MD. Caroline Jordan is the manager trainer and is a wonderful FEI level rider and superb trainer. The horses receive wonderful care there with a great deal of sophisticated support options (body work, etc.). Lots of amenities w/large indoor ring, world class instruction, personalized care. Dressage, eventers, jumpers are all welcomed there. I've boarded at Good News for almost 17 years and there are lots of other boarders with similar longevity. Barn manager and staff live on premises. Easily accessible to Morven Park (hosts many dressage shows) and many other show hosting sites in the area. No restriction on vet, farrier choices, etc.
goodnewsstableinc@gmail.com

Go to their Facebook page for pics and further info:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Good-News-Stable-Inc/114412511903093

tempichange
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:18 AM
Koford is in the Middleburg area.

Fairview Horse Center
Jul. 24, 2011, 07:23 PM
I would highly recommend Good News Stable in Boyds, MD. Caroline Jordan is the manager trainer and is a wonderful FEI level rider and superb trainer.

Ditto Caroline Jordan.

SnowFalen
Jul. 31, 2011, 07:27 PM
I was just about to post this same question when I decided to do a search first :)

I am moving to the Crystal City area at the beginning of September and also need to find a dressage oriented place to board my mare. I would like a trainer, but don't need one, especially if that will lower the cost. I have heard an indoor is necessary, and if possible I would like a place that allows turn-out as my mare is out 24/7 now and don't want to completely blow her mind.

I will be in the area Aug 15-18 and was hoping to check out some possible farms. If anyone who knows the DC area and can recommend a few that are perhaps a little closer to the Crystal City area, I would really appreciate it!!!!

Thanks everyone :)

onceandfuture
Aug. 1, 2011, 09:28 PM
I don't think there are any other dressage oriented facilities closer to Crystal City. If you can commute to the barn from Crystal City to N. VA locations at off-hours--8 a.m. leaving the city and noon returning--you're probably going to have an hour or so commute each way. If you leave at 3:30-5 p.m., expect up to 2 hours outbound and an hour home. Or you can have your trainer ride during the week and you can ride on weekends.

chizzy
Aug. 2, 2011, 08:02 PM
I can recommend By Chance Farm but it's probably a little further out than you want to go. While it may well be within 45 miles, I'd guess that it'll be a solid 90 minutes of travel on weekdays. Board is currently close to your price range; there's a big indoor, a much bigger outdoor ring with jumps, and lots of room to hack around the farm. Owner and staff live on the property and the care is really excellent (I had no hesitation in leaving my horse under their care while I went to Afghanistan for a year). JJ Tate comes once a month to teach her students, Jean Paul Pare has a couple of students at the farm, and there are several other dressage instructors who are all quite good (but not "BNTs") who come to the farm regularly. By Chance is in Union Bridge, MD.

SnowFalen
Aug. 2, 2011, 10:45 PM
Thanks for all the recommendations everyone. A lot of these barns sound really nice and I can't wait to check a few of them out in two weeks.

I am really not looking forward to the commute though. My horses live at my house currently and it is nice to have them nearby. I hope it doesn't affect our relationship too much when I don't get to see her everyday. Do you find you can still have the same relationship when you're not around as often?

Thanks again for all the help and keep it coming if anyone knows of anything.

carolprudm
Aug. 3, 2011, 08:11 AM
Thanks for all the recommendations everyone. A lot of these barns sound really nice and I can't wait to check a few of them out in two weeks.

I am really not looking forward to the commute though. My horses live at my house currently and it is nice to have them nearby. I hope it doesn't affect our relationship too much when I don't get to see her everyday. Do you find you can still have the same relationship when you're not around as often?

Thanks again for all the help and keep it coming if anyone knows of anything.
I had Sophie here
http://www.glamorganmanor.com/gmd_index.php
for several weeks last summer and it was well worth it. the care and training were top notch. I was planning to do it again this summer but it's AUGUST already

paintlady
Aug. 3, 2011, 01:55 PM
I had Sophie here
http://www.glamorganmanor.com/gmd_index.php
for several weeks last summer and it was well worth it. the care and training were top notch. I was planning to do it again this summer but it's AUGUST already

Patrick and Lani Tigchelaar come to Northern Virginia to teach lessons pretty regularly. They have several students at Oliver Stables (http://oliverstables.net/) in Fairfax Station, VA.

Cupcake
Aug. 3, 2011, 07:04 PM
I can recommend By Chance Farm but it's probably a little further out than you want to go. While it may well be within 45 miles, I'd guess that it'll be a solid 90 minutes of travel on weekdays. Board is currently close to your price range; there's a big indoor, a much bigger outdoor ring with jumps, and lots of room to hack around the farm. Owner and staff live on the property and the care is really excellent (I had no hesitation in leaving my horse under their care while I went to Afghanistan for a year). JJ Tate comes once a month to teach her students, Jean Paul Pare has a couple of students at the farm, and there are several other dressage instructors who are all quite good (but not "BNTs") who come to the farm regularly. By Chance is in Union Bridge, MD.

I second that By Chance Farm is a really nice place. I love going to shows there. Very nice folks.

Rosies mom
Aug. 4, 2011, 01:33 PM
Another thing you might consider is public transportation. I'm not sure where you are working in DC; but, if its near Union Station (which is linked to the DC Metro system), you might consider the MARC trains in Maryland and the VA Railway Express. You might, for example, live somewhere near a train line and have your horse within 30 miles of your home. Here's a link to Maryland's website.

http://mta.maryland.gov/regional-transit.

Taking the train is much more relaxing than driving in DC-area traffic! Voice of experience here! In MD, there are trains between DC-Baltimore (and north of Baltimore, too, to Perryville), and DC and Point of Rocks/Harpers Ferry. In VA they go from DC south toward Richmond and from DC over through Manassas (which gets you into a horsey area!). And by "DC" I mean from Union Station which is 6 or 8 blocks north of the Capital.

mythic
Aug. 5, 2011, 09:20 AM
Sugarloaf Equestrian Center is another option in Boyds. Not as fancy as Wyndam Oaks but board is in the range you mentioned. I believe it is still true that the horse doesn't have to be in training, but if not you'd need to take weekly lessons. Trainer is an FEI level trainer.

http://local.yahoo.com/info-12477944-sugarloaf-equestrian-center-boyds

There is also Moon Rising Farm. I don't know if the trainer there is FEI level or not. You'd have to call and find out.

http://moonrisingfarm.com/

IronwoodFarm
Aug. 5, 2011, 09:40 AM
Remember, whatever driving you do around here in August, the game completely changes when September rolls around. Traffic in the DC area is GOOD in August because half the world is on vacation. The day after Labor Day -- we return to near gridlock.

patch work farm
Aug. 7, 2011, 04:52 PM
"Near" gridlock??? The poster that mentioned this, is absolutely not kidding. I live and work in Loudoun County-I cheat and use the Greenway in the morning, takes me half an hour to work-in the evening I use our "regular roads" and it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to get home (and I leave at 6!). I happened to notice the school buses have already started practicing last week-hate to think of summer coming to an end, especially from a traffic stand point.

Whatever you do, ask everyone at the barns you visit where they live/commute from-it will do nothing but frustrate you if you cannot get to the barn at a decent hour to ride. I used to work in Tysons and it makes me sick to think of how hard that would be to do today, traffic is a nightmare around it now.

Good luck but ask as many questions as you can and be prepared-most of us just hate it but for whatever reasons, we stick it out here.

gailbyrd
Aug. 8, 2011, 07:45 AM
There is also Moon Rising Farm. I don't know if the trainer there is FEI level or not. You'd have to call and find out.

http://moonrisingfarm.com/

The trainer at Moonrising farm is not an FEI trainer but a very good, very kind lower level trainer. She also events (or at least she use to). The care for the horses is good and the facility is new. Nice trails as well.

Phyxius
Sep. 28, 2011, 07:31 PM
I'm a bit late to the game, found this post when searching something else and figured I'd add my two cents in case anyone was still looking or referred back to this post later.

I absolutely would recommend Windsor Manor Stables. I ride with Vanessa, the owner and trainer there. She is a USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist and is a really great person to ride with. They have two barns with two indoors. Regular clinics with Bent Jensen and Linda Zang. Check out their website here: http://www.windsormanorstables.com/

I also recommend Julio Mendoza, he has one of my horses in for training (he's been up there since July) and they take terrific care of the horses. Julio is an FEI rider and does have his USDF bronze and silver medals. He is riding Ivan, the first friesian to invited to PanAm in October. Currently my horses is at Hullfields but, the board rate there is a couple hundred more than you want to pay. http://www.mendozadressage.com/

Good luck in your search!