View Full Version : help needed: rec'ds 4 trainers/barns/etc in WA

La Chasse
Aug. 9, 2011, 09:57 PM
Having lived in VA horse country my whole life, I am more than a little nervous about possibly moving to WA in the next few mmonths; my husband may be relocating to Keport, Wa (on the Kitsap Peninsula) for work. While we aren't certain, we might be living near Silverdale or Poulsbo and after some preliminary google/usea searches, there ain't much out there in the way of horses....

Does anyone have any recommendations for trainers or barns in that area of Washington? I currently work with an awesome usea level 3 instructor and while I am not actively competing now, wouldn't discount doing something in the future. I also foxhunt and only saw 1 recognized hunt in the entire state.ugh.

Anyone able to stop my panicking about the prospect of backyard donkeys as the only equineish things in that region?:( Any thoughts on the "horse scene" out there? As for trainers/barns, any indication of travel time would be great too.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions/info :)

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Aug. 9, 2011, 10:33 PM
I have no idea where in WA Meika Decher is, but I would definitely look her up and at least see if she has leads if y'all are on wrong ends of the state.

I think she has posted here as Polestar Farm, tho maybe not in quite while.

Aug. 9, 2011, 11:20 PM
Anni Grandia is on the Key Peninsula I believe, near Gig Harbor. I love her!!! She's awesome! Looks like 45 minutes or so from Poulsbo...Then an hour 1/2 from there is Leigh Mesher and Jordan Linstedt in Redmond. Both are 3* riders and very good. Jordan competes in Area VII and VI, and Leigh does as well although she just had a baby and isn't currently competing. Amy Tryon is another 1 1/2 in Duvall. Meika Decher is an hour and a half as well...seems like that's the number from Poulsbo lol! John Camlin is 2 hours away in Onalaska and he's unbelievably good, and has Caber Farm so lots of room for schooling, hosts 1 days and a USEA HT as well. The Elliots are 1 1/2 in Yelm.

La Chasse
Aug. 10, 2011, 09:50 AM
Thanks for the recommendations on trainers- sounds like all good people :)

Any other thoughts on what horse life is like out in WA?
Tack stores?

Mtn trails
Aug. 10, 2011, 01:53 PM
Columbia River Tack in Port Orchard on Sedgewick Road. It doesn't look like much from the outside but they carry the major brands. You can always order online from Olsen's in Bellevue or The Gift Horse in Woodinville. Both carry a wide variety of everything.

Also, Cenex in Lacey has Kerrits and Horseware products.

Aug. 10, 2011, 04:06 PM
You will find the PacNW horse crew to be an intimate and wonderful bunch. There are indeed LOTS of horses, but not as many competition horses and stables as you are used to in VA. Lots of western, too, much of it high class and competitive.
There are plenty of sport horses in that area, look to Snohomish County for much of the activity. Try not to get stuck on an island if you can help it, the ferry fees with a horse trailer are astronomical any more, from what I understand.
There are a couple of horse sources online.
There's a dressage magazine in Oregon that is online, has a lot of sport horse stuff.
Equestrians Institute is the cta of the area. They are online too I think. Check the calendar and see if something is happening on the weekend you are visiting and go watch and chat with folks.
Wish I could help,I go back to the area about 6 x year.

Aug. 11, 2011, 01:18 PM
I moved to the Portland area about 7 years ago from Northern California. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to find the Northwest is packed with horse people, and there are people here competing at the top of pretty much every discipline. BUT, you'll probably have to drive a lot farther to get to events, tack stores, trainers, etc., than you are used to there in VA - everything is a lot more spread out here. :D
You might want to take a peek at Flying Changes, the sporthorse magazine for the Northwest, to see what's going on - they have an online calendar - www.flyingchanges.com

Aug. 12, 2011, 11:50 PM
I lived out there for about 8 years, there are a few nice english barns in the Poulsbo area. I think Watermark Farm is still out there. Tack Room Too and TLC Tack in Olympia/Tumwater are both AWESOME tack stores, there's also K&S Saddlery in Spanaway, they're ok. The poster that mentioned Snohomish County is right on. They have LOTS of nice english barns, including the ferry I think it's about 2 hours from Kingston. GOod luck!

Aug. 13, 2011, 12:05 AM
Jean Moyer coaches in WA as well-she has coached many top riders. Not sure her range of area (she does come up for clinics once and awhile to BC.)

Aug. 13, 2011, 12:07 AM
Not sure if she's still in WA but Melissa Beardsley used to be in the area. Meika and the Elliots are awesome too!

Aug. 13, 2011, 12:45 AM
Retread is right. There is LOTS to do here, but certainly not the quantity that you are used to in VA. However, that said, I certainly am deleriously happy that the highs this week have been 70s, not 107s. No humidity and lack of heat are two of our best virtues. We also have a good summer and fall event circuit that keep all of us busy. If you need more - then truck down to California for the spring and fall like I do. By the time October hits, you are more than ready for a break.
Our courses are built and designed by the same people that you are used to on the east coast. Our footing doesnt get as hard as it does in VA in the summer and we dont have the slimy clays that can be slippery in the spring and fall.

Come out for a visit and pick the brains of people around here. Dont get stuck on an island - is sound advice. However, island life is pretty sweet!

La Chasse
Aug. 14, 2011, 05:55 PM
Thanks to each of you for the recommendations. Based on what everyone has said, I now am confident that life in WA can be horse-centric without too much trouble. Yaay!

Now, I just need to start looking for a job....ugh.
Anyone know of any MDs or PAs or NPs out that way? I am a PA and currently work in DC; every clinical position I have found has been via word-of-mouth.