I am debating,after two years of being horseless, getting a new horse, hopefully one of those CANTER cuties! I moved to PA from my farm in New Jersey three years ago and at the time had started a similar thread as I was looking for board for the horse I had at the time. Long story short, I found a place thanks to you fellow cothers but I wound up moving the horse to my old trainer's barn in New Jersey because of health issues I was going through which eventually caused me to sell the horse and stop riding. Anyway, I would like to find a barn in the Central Bucks area or Stockton/Flemington area. It doesn't have to have an indoor because I'm not thinking I'm going to be competing for awhile if at all. I am anal however about arena footing and turnout quality. I've seen one too many barns out here with rocky turnouts with hardly any grass and rings with rock hard footing. I would also prefer to not have my horse out with several other horses although it seems alot of barns do turnout this way. Good care goes without saying. Last barn I was at there were some days the stalls didn't get cleaned until afternoon. It drove me nuts because it happened on days when the horses were in due to the weather. Board should include boots, blanket changing, etc. It would be great to find a nice group of adults to ride with since I don't know anyone out here that rides. I don't want to be at a barn that does tons of lessons. It would also be great to have trails to go out on. I'm not picky about whether it's a hunter/jumper barn or eventing/dressage but if I had a choice it would be an eventing barn. It does not have to be a show barn. I don't want to drive more than twenty minutes from the Doylestown area. Oh, and they have to be okay with an off the track horse.
So am I asking too much? I was extremely fortunate to have my own facility at home and it was a really nice one. It was easy to bring one in off the track because I could be out at the barn all the time. Its tough when you've done things your way (and to me everything had/has to be top notch) to turn over the reins so to speak to someone else. I was also fortunate to be in an area of New Jersey that was horse country with a plethora of beautiful farms. Thanks for reading this and I hope I haven't come off as someone bashing Bucks County. I don't mean to be, I just need to be educated about all the great barns I don't know about yet!
Have you checked out Mile View Farm in Doylestown? It doesn't meet all your requirements (no trails, no sure about the turnout situation) but a friend of mine has been boarding there and I think is pretty happy (fellow eventer). Last time I was there it had excellent footing in the indoor and outdoor rings.
Good luck! I'm in upper Bucks county; work in Doylestown. Lived in D-town for 10 years, but hubby and I rented a farm in Furlong instead of boarding.
I worked there for a year in 2008 right around when they first opened, and loved it. Jane Cory (formerly of Pleasant Hollow) teaches eventing out of there now, and they have a new dressage trainer.. Olivia somethingsomething.. working there too. Jane is fabulous, and I have not seen Olivia ride/teach, but I know she is very nice. Big lovely indoor, outdoor jumping and dressage rings, lots of space for hacking, daily turnout (in groups or single, big grassy fields), boarders are mostly adults into eventing/dressage, barn is CLEAN and new, and there were plenty of wacky TB's, at least when I was there! It's about a half hour from DTown (that's where I commuted from), so a bit over your 20 mins but worth it if this is a good fit for you!
Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique
Hi, thanks for the suggestions! I'll check out Mile View first as they are closest to me. I've read good things on the boards about Travelda but not sure I want to make that drive to Quakertown. It would actually be easier for me to drive a half hour into New Jersey going on the back roads then be stuck driving up 313 to Quakertown. Anyone know anything about the dressage barn in Perkasie near the horse park? I can't quite remember her name - Laurie Joliffe maybe?
Yup, I work in Doylestown borough and live outside of Quakertown; Travelda's about 10 min past our farm.
On the week days, during rush hour (7:30 am to 9:30 am, 4:30 to 6 pm) the drive is typically 40 to 45 min. It drives me nuts because on "off" times/days it's only 20. Route 313 gets so backed up. You could probably go up 611 instead--a little longer but less traffic.
I actually don't mind it too much because once I'm home I don't have to go back out to another farm, but it's not as close as it may look on a map.
I will say that Travelda is lovely, and I adore riding with Jane when I've got a pony going and need lessons. It kills me that Pleasant Hollow is no longer, but at least we have BCHP.
I live in Newtown, PA, and board across the river in NJ. I had looked at all the farms in the BC area, and have experience with two that might be a possibility for you - closer to D-town that to me. PM me if you need places to check out.
I was visiting Bucks County this weekend, and as we drove around, I thought of this thread. There were a few beautiful farms on Windy Brush in New Hope/Solebury and a few more in the block around the "haunted bridge." Then we passed this goooorgeous set-up with a tricked out sign. I made sure to remember it for you . . . looked it up when we got home, and realized it was a Standardbred stud farm. ;-)
I board at Travelda, the trainer is Olivia Steidle (she is training my youngster). He was on rehab and laid up for several months, lots of "special needs." Travelda's folks were just super in their support and services -- can't say enuf. It's a nice place, nice people.
Long drives are a pain but to get to the kind of care and management you want it's a pretty good tradeoff.
There are some nice farms along Windy Bush. I am always seeing nice farms but it's tough to know from the road whether they are private farms or not. I should probably take a ride over to Bucks County Saddlery and see if they can recommend something. I have in the past driven 45 minutes to an hour to go ride and am currently driving 45 minutes to get to my friends barn where I hack a few of her horses. I just don't have the time in my schedule anymore to add that much drive time into my riding. It's a combination of kids, job, husband, house and also being spoiled from having horses at home!