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  1. #1
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    Aug. 2, 2006
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    Default Hunter/Jumper Lesson Barn near Sacramento/Auburn CA

    I'm posting this question on behalf of a co-worker who has been relocated to the west coast and has a daughter who is in her third year of riding lessons. This little girl (9 yrs old) wants to continue riding lessons when they move. They expect to be moving to the area of Auburn, CA which is about 30 miles northwest of Sacramento.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on hunter/jumper barns with decent lesson programs for kids in that area. This child does not own her own horse and would need a program with school horses.

    Many thanks for any suggestions.



  2. #2
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    I sent you a pm.



  3. #3
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    I don't know of any in Auburn, but there are quite a few in the Roseville/Penryn/Granite Bay area. These cities are about 20-30 minutes from Auburn.

    I've ridden at Patriot Farms in Granite Bay, they have a decent selection of school horses and ponies. Their lesson program is definitely geared toward younger riders and they allow their students to take the horses to shows.

    Also, have her check out www.baen.com. There are pretty good listings of barns in the Norcal area.



  4. #4
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    Nov. 14, 2003
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    Patty Ball. Best trainer in that area by far. She trainers Haley Webster, who is one of the top up and coming kids in CA. (916) 804-9363. She is about 15 mins from Auburn, right off I-80. Great lesson horses and ones to lease.



  5. #5
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    I boarded at Los Lagos for about a year, the trainer was actually helping me sell my event horse as a jumper. Really liked it there, laid back friendly people. I know they have quite a few lesson horses, as well as horses to lease. I would say from Auburn it's probably about a 10 minute drive. You can check them out at llhorses.com.



  6. #6
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    Jan. 7, 2009
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    California
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    Patty Ball is -absolutely- the best, without question. I've ridden with her and learned a TON, even after having ridden for many years. She has an amazing scope of experience, an incredible eye, and a knack for finding creative ways to teach so that her students really learn things (For those who've ridden with her, you'll recognize: "Stop looking down, or I'm going to make you wear the glasses again!"). And to top it off, she's (in my opinion) a fantastic person who's easy to get along with and also completely professional.

    She does have lesson horses, but if this girl starts to move up the levels, she'll have to consider leasing or buying - last time I was at Hunterville, the schooling horses were all 3' or below. This may have changed in the months since I've been there, though. I miss Patty since I've moved to Australia!



  7. #7
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    Feb. 16, 2008
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  8. #8
    luv_warmbloods Guest

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    I would be wary of Patty Ball and Hunterville, from personal experience and feedback from other clients.

    First of all, she is a medals/equitation ONLY barn. Jumpers will find themselves very frustrated with the lack of courses and jumpoff practice, combined with exercises that rarely exceed 2'6". When first speaking with her, she will welcome jumper riders, but the jumper portion of the training (or lack thereof) and classes she wants you to be in at shows do not reflect this. Students are heavily encouraged to be slow, smooth and pretty which works fine in the medals that she prefers, so jumpers or aspiring jumpers should know this.

    A couple of things about Hunterville: 1. Patty Ball never actually rides any of the horses and has no professional riders employed to do so, only exercise riders. 2. She is gone to shows 5 - 6 months out of the year, usually with only 2 or so clients, and if you do not go to the shows you will get no lessons or training for the duration that she is gone, but you will continue to pay full training rates.

    She is an excellent hunter/equitation/medals trainer and finds clients very nice and competitive horses, but my experience left me looking for a better overall balance. The barn seems empty these days, so maybe others feel similarly.
    Last edited by luv_warmbloods; Jun. 23, 2010 at 09:07 PM.



  9. #9
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    Do you feel better now? You must have just left her facility as I smell a little bitterness in your post...

    First of all, most show barns are gone that much. I grew up in the area and know all the barns....any decent one up and leaves, with the assistant, to the A shows. If you are at an A show barn and don't show then I would expect to still pay the full care rate and not get much. The only barns I know that have someone at home are very big operations. You won't find that in the Auburn area.

    I'd love to hear who you would recommend in the Sacramento/Auburn area that is as highly respected by fellow professionals and competitors alike? What about someone with an equally stellar resume of riders and horses that they produced over the years?

    You obviously must not have ridden with her much....if you can properly tackle a Patty course in her big Saturday lesson then you would find yourself more than well prepared for any jumper class in the state.

    Now if she kept you at 2'6, it was probably for a reason....

    And for the record, no, I do not ride with Patty. I have gone to Patty for help with my ponies. She is one of those trainers where you walk away from a lesson feeling like you got something out it plus a little homework for the road.



  10. #10
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    I've heard great things about Patty's training program. I see her all the time at shows and her riders and horses always look nice(including jumpers).

    I used to ride at Los Lagos. Carrie and Jill are awesome but there are no lesson horses and it isn't cheap. Half leases cost $700+. If the parents have the money and the girl wants to jump big and show a lot, it's a great place. Nice facilities, friendly atmosphere, right down the street from the lake.

    The barn I ride at now is about 30 minutes from Auburn; Five Oak Farms with Jenifer Warren and Jeri Lou Paul-Ellison. Jen is the barn owner and lower level trainer. Not only are lessons affordable, but she has 6-7 very nice lesson horses. If the girl can lease and is advanced enough, she can move up to Jeri Lou, who is a wonderful trainer. Although a bit of a drive from Auburn, it's worth it! Nice small barn(only 30-40 horses, most privately owned show horses), very affordable, and great people. PM me if you want more info on Five Oaks or Los Lagos.



  11. #11
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    Sep. 21, 2005
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    If the little girl doesn't own her own horse yet, an A show barn like Patty's may be overkill, or give her parents sticker shock. I agree that Patty is a fabulous trainer though! Sami Milo runs another show barn located at Patty's place, and perhaps has cheaper rates? I don't know, but I know she has a bunch of kids.

    I also second Patriot Farms and another one (sorry can't remember the name now, maybe someone else can help) - I think they are at Granite Bay Equestrian Center now. Maybe Haley Winger is the trainer? Nice and low key with school horses and kids.

    Five Oaks is a nice family oriented place, and Jen the barn owner is very nice. Might be too far from Auburn though.



  12. #12
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    Haley is (or was, last time I spoke with her) at Royal Oaks Farm in Granite Bay. Its mainly an eventing barn, but it does do H/J type lessons too.

    Sami runs Cavallo Stables, her rates are pretty much on par with the area ($60 for a private I think)

    Patriot Farms is now headed by Kristie LaFreniere who worked for Kelly VanVleck for many years and I highly recommend her!



  13. #13
    luv_warmbloods Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by LovesHorses View Post
    Do you feel better now? You must have just left her facility as I smell a little bitterness in your post...

    First of all, most show barns are gone that much. I grew up in the area and know all the barns....any decent one up and leaves, with the assistant, to the A shows. If you are at an A show barn and don't show then I would expect to still pay the full care rate and not get much. The only barns I know that have someone at home are very big operations. You won't find that in the Auburn area.

    I'd love to hear who you would recommend in the Sacramento/Auburn area that is as highly respected by fellow professionals and competitors alike? What about someone with an equally stellar resume of riders and horses that they produced over the years?

    You obviously must not have ridden with her much....if you can properly tackle a Patty course in her big Saturday lesson then you would find yourself more than well prepared for any jumper class in the state.

    Now if she kept you at 2'6, it was probably for a reason....

    And for the record, no, I do not ride with Patty. I have gone to Patty for help with my ponies. She is one of those trainers where you walk away from a lesson feeling like you got something out it plus a little homework for the road.
    I actually left some time ago, along with a number of others. I just happened upon this post while searching for something else and was surprised to not see any of what I mentioned. I don't see how I am bitter, I am merely pointing out some facts about the barn.

    One other thing I didn't mention is the winter riding or lack thereof. The arena there has extremely poor drainage and is closed for weeks at a time during the rains. Your only option is to have your horses put on the equisizer or take lessons in the covered roundpen, which is in the middle of the equisizer. There is no true indoor as is offered at many other barns. For $1200 per month, I at least expect to be able to ride in something other than a roundpen in winter

    I also expect the trainer to be able to school my horse, or employ a professional who can. I believe many other trainers in the area can accommodate this.

    Regarding other trainers I would recommend, it would depend on what you are looking for. If it's an A show hunter/equitation barn, Patty is a great trainer along with KVV. Otherwise, Jeri Lou, Carol Wright, Debbie Stone or Leone would be my top picks. Leone is significantly less expensive than some others, including Patty, and has Jill, a rider that went to the World Cup, regularly schooling and looking after the horses.

    Lessons were commonly 2'6"-2'9" for everyone. You leave the lessons with skill and confidence to jump challenging exercises, but not at a jumper pace or style. I believe in doing courses and jump off practice on occasion, it's a great confidence builder for some. Patty said on a number of occasions to clients that she doesn't favor the jumpers, preferring hunters and medals. That is fine, but potential jumper clients should know that in advance.

    Sorry if I hit a sensitive spot with you, but I believe people should be able share opinions and help others make informed decisions which can be difficult in the show barn world.
    Last edited by luv_warmbloods; Jun. 23, 2010 at 01:36 PM. Reason: double quote



  14. #14
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    Nov. 10, 2009
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    Northern California
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    I'd second Carol Wright and Debbie Stone.

    Here is Carols website: http://melodicfarms.com/

    and here is Debbies website: http://nighthorsefarm.net/



  15. #15
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    Dec. 5, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv_warmbloods View Post
    I actually left some time ago, along with a number of others. I just happened upon this post while searching for something else and was surprised to not see any of what I mentioned. I don't see how I am bitter, I am merely pointing out some facts about the barn.

    One other thing I didn't mention is the winter riding or lack thereof. The arena there has extremely poor drainage and is closed for weeks at a time during the rains. Your only option is to have your horses put on the equisizer or take lessons in the covered roundpen, which is in the middle of the equisizer. There is no true indoor as is offered at many other barns. For $1200 per month, I at least expect to be able to ride in something other than a roundpen in winter

    I also expect the trainer to be able to school my horse, or employ a professional who can. I believe many other trainers in the area can accommodate this.

    Regarding other trainers I would recommend, it would depend on what you are looking for. If it's an A show hunter/equitation barn, Patty is a great trainer along with KVV. Otherwise, Jeri Lou, Carol Wright, Debbie Stone or Leone would be my top picks. Leone is significantly less expensive than some others, including Patty, and has Jill, a rider that went to the World Cup, regularly schooling and looking after the horses.

    Lessons were commonly 2'6"-2'9" for everyone. You leave the lessons with skill and confidence to jump challenging exercises, but not at a jumper pace or style. I believe in doing courses and jump off practice on occasion, it's a great confidence builder for some. Patty said on a number of occasions to clients that she doesn't favor the jumpers, preferring hunters and medals. That is fine, but potential jumper clients should know that in advance.

    Sorry if I hit a sensitive spot with you, but I believe people should be able share opinions and help others make informed decisions which can be difficult in the show barn world.
    I certainly have no dog in this fight but somehow this (and the poster's previous post) seems not only bitter but completely unnecessary. Everyone has their opinions and if they want to share their negative experiences, I believe this is what the PT is for.
    Become a Posse and help keep kids on horses and off the streets.
    http://www.comptonjrposse.org/



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
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    NorCal
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    Patty Ball, hands down. She has a nice line of sane school horses that would be perfect for a 9 year old. There are a couple of horses that go above 3' if she is that far advance. The environment is very laid-back for an A barn and incredibly supportive.

    A very well-kept secret at Hunterville is that Patty cannot ride because of a disease that came about pretty recently. She still rides occasionally, but it is almost physically impossible for her to ride. The only shows she has gone to this year have been the Northern Winter Classics, Let's Show Murieta, Capital City, and Golden State. That is five weeks out of the year so far whereas other trainers in the area have been away much longer than that. Professional rider/trainer Sami Milo is now at Hunterville under Cavallo Stables and Patty's clients now have the option to have Sami ride their horses. Talks of a new indoor arena have been circulating, but everyone has never complained about the drainage in the arena. It usually dries out in a day or two.

    At the moment, Patty's two barns are filled and there are only a couple stalls open in the new barn. Sami Milo uses Patty's lesson horses, but she has some incredible leases available for the more advanced riders. Sami has more younger riders than Patty, so this may be a factor if your friend's daughter would feel more comfortable riding with kids her own age.

    I also recommend Chris DeVere at Black Bay Equestrian who has trained under Patty. She is located in Auburn and use to teach children lessons at Patty's.

    From a defendant in Loomis.



  17. #17
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    May. 23, 2001
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    I second the recommendation for Kristie LaFreniere at Patriot Farms. I rode with her for many years while she worked with Kelly Van Vleck and she is a fabulous horseperson and great with kids as well. I know she has many lesson horses of various levels available.
    (Kelly Van Vleck is phenomenal but is not close to Auburn.)

    http://www.patriotfarms.org/

    Feel free to send me a PT if you have specific questions.



  18. #18
    luv_warmbloods Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverinseptember View Post
    Patty Ball, hands down. She has a nice line of sane school horses that would be perfect for a 9 year old. There are a couple of horses that go above 3' if she is that far advance. The environment is very laid-back for an A barn and incredibly supportive.

    A very well-kept secret at Hunterville is that Patty cannot ride because of a disease that came about pretty recently. She still rides occasionally, but it is almost physically impossible for her to ride. The only shows she has gone to this year have been the Northern Winter Classics, Let's Show Murieta, Capital City, and Golden State. That is five weeks out of the year so far whereas other trainers in the area have been away much longer than that. Professional rider/trainer Sami Milo is now at Hunterville under Cavallo Stables and Patty's clients now have the option to have Sami ride their horses. Talks of a new indoor arena have been circulating, but everyone has never complained about the drainage in the arena. It usually dries out in a day or two.

    At the moment, Patty's two barns are filled and there are only a couple stalls open in the new barn. Sami Milo uses Patty's lesson horses, but she has some incredible leases available for the more advanced riders. Sami has more younger riders than Patty, so this may be a factor if your friend's daughter would feel more comfortable riding with kids her own age.

    I also recommend Chris DeVere at Black Bay Equestrian who has trained under Patty. She is located in Auburn and use to teach children lessons at Patty's.

    From a defendant in Loomis.
    My sincere apologies regarding Patty's disease and riding, I had no idea.

    If Sami is indeed available to ride horses, that is a great asset to the barn, I've heard good things about her.



  19. #19
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    Jul. 13, 2008
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    Does anyone have any experience with Jane Rohwer at Penryn Oak Stables?



  20. #20
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    Jul. 25, 2009
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    I do not recommend Patriot Farms--I used to go watch a friend's lessons there and several of the school horses were consistently lame and shuffling about. She'd get pulled off one horse and stuck on another constantly. I understand that lesson horses are rarely young and spry but it was frustrating to repeat this week after week.
    I took lessons at Los Lagos and while Carrie & Jill are very talented they have very little time or interest in training riders who are not committed to showing/buying a horse. (I ride dressage and take h/j lessons on the side, as practice for IHSA).
    Nighthorse Farm has been absolutely fantastic.



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