Ciao COTH! A Newbie here! I would greatly appreciate any information on boarding in the Richmond VA area. I am gearing up for an interview in Richmond, but I am very worried about the boarding situation. Specifically, I am wondering if there are boarding facilities with safe turnout, indoor, excellent care, etc. What is the dressage scene like? Also, could you tell me the cost range for full board in this area? This will be important information in my salary negotiation...
From a COTH Newbie, thanks very much for any information!!
I am originally from Richmond and when we moved back in 2001, I couldn't find ANY barns that did dressage. Granted, I didn't have horses then and was looking for lesson horses so that probably made a difference. The place where I rode charged $450 per month for board and the horses were well taken care of. That price included farrier visits. The full service barn up the road (same owner), I believe charged at least 1K, but it was my understanding that on your riding days, they'd have your horse groomed, tacked, and ready when you arrived. These barns were strictly h/j.
If you do move to Richmond, I'd suggest living in the West End (Henrico Co or Goochland Co) or south of the River in the general Bon Air area. New Kent is a nice area, too, as is Hanover Co. Western Hanover Co is more rural than easter Hanover Co.
PS- I am still going through Ukrops (grocery store) withdrawal...Richmond people will understand.
Welcome! (to Richmond and COTH!)
There are several barns off the top of my head I can think of...
Chestnut Oaks- great place, very nice people, they board and hold schooling shows, owned by a GP rider http://www.chestnutoak.net
Campbell Springs, another great place- I know they board, but I've only gone to their shows I don't know much about their boarding, great facilities, they do H/J, dressage and eventing, I don't know who they use for training... http://www.campbellspringsfarm.com
Aria Farm- hold schooling shows, looks to be a really nice place, I know the trainer of the owner (the owner rides 3rd level i want to say..) http://www.ariafarmdressage.com
Oakdale is a very nice facility. Although I've not ridden there, my husband is their farrier. She's got a nice indoor arena, 3 beautiful barns, 2 round pens, trails, a regulation size outdoor dressage arena, cross country course and a great farrier! They regularly hold eventing/dressage clinics there as well. When I come back as a horse, I'd live there.
Thank you all so much!! These leads will definitely help in my search! I stayed up last night looking online for boarding places in the Richmond area and wasn't coming up with much. I was surprised at how many facilities are near Alexandria, although I suppose I shouldn't be. I am sure that once I am out there I'll find all of the hot horsy spots! Looks like I already have a lead on a great farrier, too!!
3dogfarm, thank you for the info on living around the Richmond area! Your advice comes in very handy as I look for a place to live... making a move like this, by myself, will definitely be an adventure!
Go to virginiadressage.org and look up VADACC. That's the Richmond area chapter. However, 40 minutes north, is the VADAF (Fredericksburg) chapter, and another chapter in the traveling area is SWVADA. Come join us. We have a blast!!
You might want to do what my sister did-if you will be looking at apartments-she drove around the complex of the one(s) she liked not only during the day, but after 5 or 6 pm to see what it was like when the residents were home from work. If you are near one of the major roads (I-64, I-95, 295, 288, etc) it would be a quick trip out to some of the stables mentioned.
PS- I am still going through Ukrops (grocery store) withdrawal...Richmond people will understand.
While I am a transplanted Richmonder, I'm not very much help...I moved away from Richmond over 5 yrs ago because I wanted more/better eventing and dressage training (I became a working student, then barn manager). While I love the horsey part of NOVA, I still miss home sometimes! Especially UKROPS!!!!!! I am a horrible grocery store snob, not only because I spent the majority of my young life shopping nearly exclusively at Ukrops, but also because I was a happy-sappy Ukropian for several years while in high school (meaning, I worked there...Richmonders get it!). Self check out is a wonderful thing for me, since I want to bitch slap most cashiers and I HATE the way 99.99% of clerks bag! I just rather do it myself, since, obviously, I am well taught I am such a Ukrops freak that I am planning a Ukrops stop on our way to Aiken in a few weeks!
As for the horsey side, Campbell Springs seems like a lovely place. It was just really getting started when I was still home (I actually boarded at a near by farm, sadly no longer operating), but I did have friends who ended up keeping their horses there and liking it. I was actually just on their website and noticed that Debbie Rodriquez teaches there regularly. She is well worth riding with. Very correct. Tough, but very, very good. One of my favorite instructors when I was kid teaches there now, as well...although she does hunters and eq (though she taught us a thing or two about dressage!).
Richmond is a cool place. Not sure where you will be coming from. If you aren't used to southern culture, it may be a bit of a shock. Richmond can be very southern, both in good ways and in bad ways. You may find some real Richmonders friendly, but a little stand offish. Don't take offense, it's just the way it is. They are very proud of their heritage (a local magazine has a "You're a Richmonder if" list every year that is hysterical and very true!). The city is very fun and very cool (don't judge it by the view from 95 ), and the surrounding areas are lovely.
I moved to Richmond almost 3 yrs ago and live southside (near Midlothian) depending on your age and interests, it is suburbia- lots of couples/kids- not as good for singles and social world- downtown and west end are far better- the Fan/Carytown are brilliant for that- I love the fact I can take my dogs to the river on a regular basis and go hiking within 15 mins of my back yard! Lots of dog-friendly places/people as well!
full board is $385 and there is a great, fun energy at the barn and most everyone gets on very well- there is a great cross-section of us dressage folks, as well as hunter/jumpers (lessons and competetors) and eventers (great cross country course) and wonderful western folks as well-
feel free to PM me if you've any further questions- good luck with you move- Richmond is great and you will really love it!
Thanks Everyone! I am a single professional, mid-30's, moving from Indiana (Bloomington) where I have lived all of my life, except for the stint during grad school in Urbana-Champaign, IL. I would really like to find a nice, safe, place where I can have some kind of social life; a small house would be ideal or a condo with green space... no apartments for me, as I have a Great Dane who EXPECTS to go out in his OWN backyard.
I am very intrigued by Ukrops... is it a natural food co-op type of store? We have a local organic/natural food co-op store, Bloomingfoods, in Bloomington. I will definitely miss Bloomingfoods!!! We're a bunch of nature-loving, granola, freaks! Just kidding!!!
Les, I looked at the Campbell Springs Farm web site yesterday and thought it would probably suit us well... do you board in the small or larger barn? The small barn would probably be better for us. I just want my horse to be safe and happy, take dressage lessons, do a little trail riding, and have fun getting to know everyone. It looks like we might find those things at Campbell Springs! My horse is a wonderful 16yr old social butterfly who has had joint issues, so we're not ever going to be competitive. Having said that, I am very serious about riding and hope to have another horse one day that I can be competitive with. I will PM you, because I do have a couple of questions that you can probably answer.
The city of Richmond does have its share of crime; however, it is mainly in certain areas of downtown where the projects are. I was raised out in what is known as the West End (Henrico Co). The Short Pump area is really growing and quite congested but lots of conveniences. It is also quite close to many stables located in Goochland Co. I would say with 288 and 295, you would be within a half hour of most of the stables located in the outskirts of Richmond. The Equine Expo is held in Richmond every year.
Ukrops is a local, family owned grocery that caters to the working professionals. (Dare I say Yuppies?). Great place to stop and grab a quick dinner-eat in the cafe or take it home. Unbelievable salad bar, sushi, take and heat meals, you name it, they've got it!
Drjonesmvb- I love Campbell Springs!!! I'm planning on going to that show on the 19th...
I had no idea their board was so reasonable... Gosh, if they were only closer to my house!!!
My horse's show name is After the Storm- I'm Samantha, look for us at the show! (don't look at our scores haha... first show with a baby!!) I love to meet fellow COTHers
Thanks for that inside info, JRey! It really does look like a nice place! Ebony and I would probably be very happy there!! It's not a for sure thing, yet, but I want to be prepared to move quickly if I do accept an offer... moving myself is one thing, but moving Ebony is another! He is so happy where he is and I wouldn't rest at night if I thought that he wasn't safe and happy. Actually, I probably wouldn't make a move unless I felt good about the boarding situation.
Another vote for Chestnut Oak - Barbara Wiefelstede is the owner/trainer and is fabulous to work with - she's also a "R" judge. Horses receive excellent care and facility is beautiful. She has Debbie Bowman coming in monthly (may even be twice a month) for clinics. If you are really serious about dressage, its a great place to be. Samantha listed the website above and phone number is 804-994-2331.
Lea Ann Hansen - Glamorgan Manor - also offers boarding and an indoor facility. I don't have her number but you can google her farm and should get you to her website. She is about 5 minutes from Barb's.
Those are two very nice facilities - about 25 minutes north of downtown Richmond.
hey Samantha37- my new OTTB and I will be trying the combined test as well- baby levels, but it will be a blast! (if not VERY funny!!) i'll look for you- I'll be on a bay named "Danny" (or "Dance Vice"- don't know if i'll bother with the formal name!)
good luck and looking forward to seeing you on the 19th!