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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2002
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    Delaplane, VA, USA
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    Default Barns near San Francisco

    I have a daughter who lives and teaches in SF. She's finally reached the stage where she feels like she has time and money for a horse out there and I have a horse that is reasonably suitable for her but we're hunting for a good spot for the mare to live. This mare needs a few things that are not negotiable to stay happy and quiet and I'm wondering if anyone knows places that might work.

    --Must have turn out -- this mare hates being in a stall and is much happier living out. Decent fences, but she is very good at taking care of herself and staying out of trouble so perfect fencing is not critical.
    --Must have hay or pasture 24/7. She gets a little ulcery which leads to other undesireable things. Good hay that she does not have to fight other horses for heads all this off. So a place that throws enough hay that every horse has plenty at all times and space to eat it in.
    --Mare is very solid under saddle but a touch cranky on the ground so needs to be handled by knowledgeable folks. People who would neither be intimidated by her grumpy faces (she does not actually do anything) or really get after her which won't help either.
    --Lighted ring and trainer coming in regularly would be good but not as important -- DD would like to do low level hunters.
    --Ride out nice too.
    --Fun, friendly barn with no drama.
    --DD is on a budget but as I am already paying to keep this mare I'd probably help out if the board were more than she could afford.

    Thanks so much!!!
    Kate



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
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    Default

    The two things we need to know are:

    1- exactly where does she live in San Francisco - the city proper? or one of the other Bay Area cities?

    2 - what is your budget?
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  3. #3
    kt-rose is offline Working Hunter Premium Member
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    Default

    Thanks for the lightening fast response Poltroon !! Should have thought of those... She lives in the city -- area called The Sunset. She probably does not have more that $400 to spend but I cannot imagine finding a decent spot for that -- and sort of wonder if pasture board is even an option out there -- so I would be prepared to match that for the right spot. So a top of $800 with lessons additional would be doable...though a cheaper pasture board situation would suit both DD and mare better.

    Thanks again!!
    Kate



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2003
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    Default

    It's been a good 12 years since I lived in the Bay Area, but $800/month may well be the going rate for pasture board! I'll let others chime in with actual names/places/prices.

    I just wanted to say that you are a great mom to support your DD by offering her a horse and $$ too!
    "Ponies are a socially acceptable form of child abuse." - said by a friend when asked if she was going to find a pony for her 5 year old daughter.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
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    Bay Area, CA
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    467

    Default

    Does she have a car? There is nowhere to board in the city proper.



  6. #6
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    Apr. 25, 2006
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    out west
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    Default

    My broodmare is being leased out and lives in Livermore. They have pasture board for around 400? They also have some trainers there, but most are eventing. Livermore is about an hour to 45 minutes from San Fran.

    They don't have a hunter trainer I don't think, but it seems like a nice place.

    Spacely has her horses there. Maybe she will chime in.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
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    Bay Area, CA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Samotis View Post
    My broodmare is being leased out and lives in Livermore. They have pasture board for around 400? They also have some trainers there, but most are eventing. Livermore is about an hour to 45 minutes from San Fran.

    They don't have a hunter trainer I don't think, but it seems like a nice place.

    Spacely has her horses there. Maybe she will chime in.
    Diamond Hills has pasture board for under $400 and H/J trainer.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 2, 1999
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    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
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    Default

    http://www.bayequest.com/ is your friend.

    Options could include: North to Marin/Sonoma
    Gorgeous, and a great place to be. Places you'll find in Marin will be more towards the coast and not necessarily a nice commute. You can probably find exactly what you want in Petaluma, (maybe Novato?) if she doesn't mind driving that far.

    East, and I would suggest more southeast like Sunol rather than as far out as Livermore. (Personally, if I were going to do an hour commute, I'd rather do the North Bay, but her mileage may vary.)

    South gets you to some interesting territory like Half Moon Bay. But, I think not so much "pasture" there, and it's probably the most expensive option.

    One of the odd factors in California is that places that have pasture are usually barely developed - with more marginal barns, marginal if any arena - and places that have arenas and trainers and more solid barns tend to not have pasture. Pasture tends to be on land that is less accessible or where the land is owned by a 3rd party (often Pacific Gas & Electric) and so development, even for stables, is not really allowed. Thus, you may find that "has pasture" and "has trainer you like" may be somewhat at odds. You may also find that the fencing on a larger parcel is field fence or other non-ideal types.

    People love pasture and there are some real gems around in surprising places that are quite affordable, generally with waiting lists.

    There's also the issue that in winter it can be very muddy and in summer it would be very dry; large flat expanses of grass are not easy to come by.

    With the $800 budget and enough time to commute, you should be able to find something that works. Just make sure she tries the drive at the time she'd be doing it before committing. I don't drive out of SF during normal commute hours, so I don't have a good sense of what is the worst or best.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  9. #9
    kt-rose is offline Working Hunter Premium Member
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    Default

    Thank you all for your help!!! I knew I could come here for ideas !! She does have a car and as she teaches she could be on her way to the barn by 3:30 or so every day which I would hope would beat the worst of the rush hour out.

    Poltroon -- great website and advice, thank you!! She's thinking South Bay now but as she is likely going to be doing her PhD at Berkeley next year (and we are not planning to send the horse til spring) the Petaluma/Sonoma option might be smarter.

    Void -- thanks!! Where is Diamond Hills? This is a pretty nice horse but not completely simple and I'd really feel happier if their partnership were overseen by a good trainer.
    Kate



  10. #10
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    Oct. 2, 1999
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    Default

    South has the advantage of no bridge tolls. The bridge tolls would probably add $100 a month to her expenses.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Default

    Will she continue to live in the City or move to Berkeley once in school?

    She may wish to move in that direction. She may find it easier and cheaper to rent there and commute by BART to SF. In addition, that means she can go east and north or south on that side of the bay to find the horse situation she wants.

    A car is necessary. Parking may be easier in Berkeley, depending on where she lives. Craigslist can be great for housing, but you must read and act on good posts very quickly. Good, affordable housing is at a premium in the Bay Area and everyone knows it.

    Barns will be a bit cheaper in the East Bay in comparison to what you will find within commuting distance of SF on the Peninsula or in Marin/Sonoma counties. For the Northern option, know you will have to drive pretty far in order to find an inexpensive barn. Getting to Petaluma (the southern-most cache of barns) will involve some time on some clogged stretches of 101.

    In general, you want to avoid a commute through SF and across bridges during rush hour if you possibly can.

    If she remains in SF, however, finding a place that puts her close to 280 will be good. That's the quickest (and prettiest) way to get to barns in Woodside and Portola Valley. You sometimes find private barns within hacking distance of training barns there. But T/O will be limited and board will be more than $400.

    A while back, there was a thread a while back about boarding/training barns near UC Berkeley. Do a search and see if that one helps.

    Best of luck!
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2001
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    Default

    I lived in the inner sunset area for a couple of years- the best option within that budget is going to be Clermont Equestrian at Cypress Ridge. Its south on 280, up on Skyline Drive. I believe they have pasture, but they also have a stall option with daily group turnout, including blanketing and 3 meals a day (unheard of in the bay area without paying an arm and leg) for under that $800 price point. There's nothing else south that is going to have any pasture fencing but barbed wire, unless you find a small private barn.

    I used to go over to the East Bay from SF, but I wouldn't wish that bridge commute on anyone. It was well over an hour to get from SF to Castro Valley anytime after 3pm. The north bay is going to be a similar issue- anytime a bridge is involved, it is going to be a giant time suck.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kt-rose View Post

    Void -- thanks!! Where is Diamond Hills? This is a pretty nice horse but not completely simple and I'd really feel happier if their partnership were overseen by a good trainer.
    In Livermore, there are a lot of places for pasture board in Livermore with some decent H/J trainers.

    The time-suck of commuting is hard and can be a real drag on money, if she moves anywhere in the East Bay on the BART line for commute to SF it will open up her options. Going East anytime between 2-6pm will take her a while to get to the barn, whereas going West, North or South will be a bit easier. Sunol doesn't have that many barns that I know of (I live in the Fremont area) with either Pasture + Trainers of repute.

    There are some places in the Oakland Hills. Unsure about pasture board though, might want to check Fox Ridge I think its called. Maydo owns it I think.

    Bayequest will be your friend!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2009
    Location
    Northern California
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    Default

    My daughter has a friend who boards her horse here:

    Creekside Equestrian Center‎
    5001 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Woodacre, CA‎ - (415) 488-4006‎


    as long as your daughter is looking to do low level hunters this might be the place for her. nothing fancy but trainers do come in to give lessons. The stalls have attached turn outs and there is pasture as well. There is a large lighted indoor and tons of riding trails and people to go on them with you.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 1999
    Location
    Northern California Transplant To Middle Tennessee
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    313

    Default Another consideration....

    when you look into the pasture board situation in the SF Bay Area is a charming () feature of Northern California called "Adobe". Adobe clay is the predominate soil (if you can call it that) type in most areas, and what Adobe is in the winter is a bottomless, sucking, goo that devours horseshoes like a Great White Shark, and is totally impossible to ride on. In the summer, Adobe hardens (bakes, actually) into a concrete like surface with deep jagged fissures throughout. Adobe Bricks are a real and useable construction items! In the wintertime, the Northern California hills are covered with lush green grass, and I used to daydream about galloping my horses across the rolling green hills. But to daydream is all you can do...No way could you actually ride a horse across those lovely green pastures! So...unless an indoor ring, or a really bullet (Adobe bullets) proof outdoor arena is available, riding is a non-event. Besides, in the winter, all the shoes vanish into the mud the first night the horse goes outside! There are SOME Adobe free areas, and if you can locate one of those in an affordable and commutable area, go for it, but those areas are hard to find within a two hour drive of SF. Good luck in your search.



  16. #16
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    Nov. 30, 2006
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    CA
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    Another recommendation for Clermont Equestrian at Cypress Ridge. It's not horrible to get to from the city, and you don't have to deal with the traffic out on the 580 when getting to Livermore after work. I tried that...and it took me well over an hour to get out to Livermore in the evening and by the time I got there I was all stressed out. Not worth it.

    It's about a 40-minute drive from the city in evening rush hour. Added bonus: It's so peaceful up there!

    They have pasture board that runs from $350-450/month, and also have two lighted arenas, one covered, and trainers on site for H/J and dressage.



  17. #17
    kt-rose is offline Working Hunter Premium Member
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    Thank you all so much for your help!! I've suggested DD create her own logon and chime in here because I, here in Virginia, really don't quite get the logistics. She's riding at a farm called Springdown now and that is a touch far to get to 5 days a week though it seems like a wonderful place. SF doesn't really seem more expensive than this area, which surprised me. But the whole issue of how you get from one place to another, bridges etc, has me all confused !!

    Thanks again!!
    Kate



  18. #18
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    Dec. 31, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by kt-rose View Post
    Thank you all so much for your help!! I've suggested DD create her own logon and chime in here because I, here in Virginia, really don't quite get the logistics. She's riding at a farm called Springdown now and that is a touch far to get to 5 days a week though it seems like a wonderful place. SF doesn't really seem more expensive than this area, which surprised me. But the whole issue of how you get from one place to another, bridges etc, has me all confused !!

    Thanks again!!
    Spring Down is in Portola Valley, which is on the southern San Francisco peninsula.

    Petaluma is a long, long way away from Berkeley.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dun Ciarain View Post
    Petaluma is a long, long way away from Berkeley.
    Agreed. I'd do Petaluma from SF but not from Berkeley. On the plus side, once in Berkeley, the many east bay options become much more attractive.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  20. #20
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    Jul. 13, 2007
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    CA
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    Default

    If she is going to Berkeley, Castro Valley may make more sense. There are several HJ programs on Crow Canyon Road.



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