View Full Version : Trainers in/near Tuscaloosa, AL???
Jan. 23, 2012, 04:20 PM
My daughter is a senior graduating in May and is looking at many colleges. We are spoiled where we live in NC, as we are not too far from Southern Pines or Va so we have many events and trainers in the area. In my search I can't find anything near University of AL. She wants to bring her horse, and we would love to find something providing excellent care. We're open to a private facility, like ours, or a larger facility. This may be a shot in the dark but she can't be the only eventer considering going to college in Tuscaloosa. Any suggestions are most welcome, thank you for your time if you're able to help. Thank you!
Jan. 23, 2012, 04:31 PM
Bryan Tweed has been in the Birmingham area for sometime. Very nice guy. I spoke with him when I was looking at a job at UAL in Birmingham. Fran Summerlin is in Steele, but that is pretty far north.
BDCTA clinic schedule here. May give you some ideas of who is in the area: http://bdcta.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=6&Itemid=22
I am sure people more local can chime in with better information
Jan. 23, 2012, 04:34 PM
As far as boarding, there's Westminster which is in Northport, AL. 2 minutes from Tuscaloosa
Nick Cwick is in Birmingham, which is at least an hour drive.
She won't be the only eventer, a few Area III girls are headed to Tuscaloosa this fall as well.
Jan. 23, 2012, 04:52 PM
This gentleman brought a few horses and riders to the Alabama Horse Fair this weekend, and while I don't know him personally, he put on a good presentation and his horses jumped the moon. Not an eventer, but they could point you in the right direction (Westminster).
Also, contact BDCTA. I'm a member and the current group is active and could definitely assist you with suggestions.
Jan. 23, 2012, 06:34 PM
Wow. When I lived in Tuscaloosa, there was Westervelt Farm, which was owned by Jack Warner. Dennis Murphy was the rider/trainer there. The farm was located just off of Watermelon Rd.
There was a Big Lick Walking Horse place across from a trailer park on Watermelon, too. It was a lovely place, even though I do not approve of the way that the horses were treated there.
I have no idea what happened to either facility.
I read the article. I would be a bit suspect of any place/rider that would ride an older horse that is sore, because the rider thinks that the horse wants to show. :confused:
Since I own a home in Tuscaloosa and plan to move back at some point, I am interested in what you find for eventers, too.
Jan. 24, 2012, 06:00 AM
Thank you all for some great suggestions and direction! We appreciate the help!
Jan. 24, 2012, 10:15 AM
Andy kocher is the trainer at westminster. Mostly jumpers and hunters. I have not taken from him but have a friend who just bought a GP horse from him and is keeping him there and she really likes Andy.
Jan. 24, 2012, 10:17 AM
I moved to Tuscaloosa nearly 6 years ago. I brought with me a horse, and had him at a farm called Timber Acres out in Buhl, which is out 82 on the way to Columbus. It is probably a 20-25 minute drive from Tuscaloosa and possibly even a few more depending where on campus she is located. There are shortcuts, however, and I would be happy to show them to her/you if you decide to visit. Timber Acres was the farm of a woman named Peg Whitehurst back in the 70's/80's. She evented, and as such there are lots of trails and open spaces for riding. Cindy Fitts is the owner/trainer now and she is a wonderful person with a ton of knowledge and a practical, common sense approach to horse-keeping. There is an outdoor ring, as well as a covered ring which, for Alabama, is great as the 2 things you want to avoid most - downpours and baking sun - are abundant in these here parts. :D
I actually sold my horse about 6 weeks post-move as a result of job commitments and a lack of time. It wasn't what I wanted to do, but he was special and I couldn't deal with riding/seeing him 4 times a week. I had pretty much lived with him/seen him daily for 4 years in a private/semi-private scenario, so the boarding barn + long drive + new lifescape just wasn't fair to him. I actually took him up to Jim Graham in Florence, who helped me find him a home. I'd taken lessons with Jim for several years prior, and it was a very positive experience. The road from Florence to Ttown isn't as fast as one might think - it takes about 3 hours to haul. If she's self-sufficient with her riding, and benefits from regularly scheduled but not daily/weekly training sessions, he is a fabulous resource.
I clip horses regularly at Westminster and if she wants in-town convenience, this is the only place to be! It is a hunter-jumper facility with a lot of emphasis on young rider programs and development, and has fostered a return to the horse show legacy to which Auburn alludes above. Turnout is limited, as is riding space, but not inconceivable. I actually had a different horse there for nearly a year.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any assistance. I'm happy to help.