View Full Version : Good dressage barns in SF Bay area?
Oct. 20, 2011, 12:28 AM
I haven't posted on here very much, but have been a lurker for quite a while. I am wondering if anyone could please recommend a good dressage trainer in Sonoma county (north bay)? I don't want anyone who believes that draw reins are the magic solution to life. I'm sure that type of person wouldn't be recommended anyway, but I was at a barn for a very short while where this was the case, and I didn't realize until after we had moved. I have always done the hunter/jumpers, then moved to an eventing barn a few months ago. I really want to concentrate on building a stronger foundation this winter. Thanks in advance!
Oct. 20, 2011, 03:10 AM
I highly recommend my trainer, Caitlin Casey. She has done incredible things for my horse, who adores her, since we've been in training with her since March. She is an incredibly elegant and effective rider and an excellent teacher as well. She works with all levels of horses and she has a wonderful way with all of them from the youngsters up to FEI. She worked with Jan Ebeling for two years, eventually working up to assistant trainer there.
We just moved with Caitlin a few weeks ago from Riverside to a gorgeous dressage-focused barn in Petaluma called Woodbridge, and my horse has never been happier. Real turnout, good hay, groomed bridle paths and places to hack out, peace and quiet--all seems to be agreeing with him as we've had the best rides ever since he got there. They have a paddock coming available on Nov. 6 (next to my guy) and a stall on Nov. 15.
Feel free to PM me, too!
Oct. 20, 2011, 11:15 AM
what is your budget and what type of training are you looking for ? just lessons? full training ? something in between?
are you looking to show or is showing not important? do you want your horse out 24x7 or in?
please give more specifics and i am sure we will be able to point you in teh right direction :)
Oct. 20, 2011, 04:44 PM
Thank you so much for the responses!
Stratosphere- I looked at her website and it sounds amazing! I have already sent her an email and hope to go visit soon!
mbm- ideally we would be in a half training situation with 2 lessons a week or so. $1000 a month max for a really good trainer and nice facility. Eventually i would like to do some eventing, but my main goal is just to have fun with my horse. We are looking for a pasture situation, but somewhere that has decent shelter. Trail access/ proximity would be a definite plus :)
Oct. 20, 2011, 05:29 PM
Woodbridge is a lovely facility and the owner is a very, very nice person, there aren't any nicer in the area.
Woodbridge is also just next door to Chocolate Horse, which is an awesome facility with lots of great people and a really good event trainer. They are a really fun group, have pasture board and a cross country course.
If I lived in that area I would board at either Woodbridge or Chocolate Horse.
I was in training for a while with Caitlin but it was just way too far for me. She is a good horse-person and very good with the horses. And Stratosphere is one of the nicest people I have ever met. I also really like Andrea Pfeiffer. If I were you I would go visit and meet both.
Oct. 20, 2011, 08:51 PM
We too had a young mare in training with Caitlin and she did an amazing job with her. She was very careful about bringing her along at a pace that allowed her to mentally and physically mature and be confident in the ring and in her training. With Caitlin our mare was high score of the first show she ever went to and continued on to get champion of the following show with a score of 77%. Sadly, In July after 6 months of training I ended up having to sell my mare because of a divorce. Caitlin helped me with finding her a dream home and I couldn't be happier with the ending. You can see some photos and a video ( about 5 months into training under saddle ) of our mare Fabulux and Caitlin here.
Oct. 21, 2011, 04:53 PM
Zabou Cullum at Santa Rosa Equestrian Center (http://www.srequestrian.com/) if you are wanting non-FEI dressage and eventing. Zabou is the protege of Yves Sauvignon. She's is a wonderful rider/trainer, instructor and human being.
Oct. 22, 2011, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the info! Dressage-ryder- your horse is very beautiful! I'm sorry you had to sell her. I am going to check out Flying Cloud and Woodbridge tomorrow, I think that the equestrian center may be a bit pricey.
Oct. 24, 2011, 04:20 AM
If eventing is your goal, right up the hill from Woodbridge is Chocolate Horse, Andrea Pfeiffer and Kelly Prather are the trainers there. It's a lovely facility and their dressage basics are very good, and they are a TOP eventing barn. (I have both my retired TB and my young mare there). If your goal was FEI dressage you'd probably need to trailer out a bit for clinics from there (they do ride, show and train through FEI, but personally I'd want more of a European style training then), but they are excellent with young horses and all around training and care.
You can also just ride down the hill to all the clinics at Woodbridge from there. (the board is cheaper at choc horse for full care).