Horseless Rider - Philadelphia, PA (Dressage/Eventing background) small/low key barn?
Suggestions for a small barn to ride at recreationally on weekends?
I am looking to ride a bit on the weekends, as during the week days my work as an attorney kepts me very very occupied. However, I miss riding immensely and would love the opportunity, as I sold my horse a few years ago and have since taught a few beginner classes here and there, but have not really been able to return to ridding consistantly (but would like to!).
I have a strong background in dressage and eventing, and have ridden since I was a very little girl. I am now 30. Eventing, i competed through training level. For dressage, I competed in college at 1st level, but was training through 3rd. I still have all of my old tack, including saddles etc etc. I am happy to work with a green, or seasoned horse, and more than happy to simply work on polishing some of the basics with a horse that is a little out of training and just needs a few more rides a week. Ideally, the commute from Philly would not be more than 40 minutes. I am not looking for anything special, just the opportunity to ride a bit at a location which is upbeat and not too far from Philadelphia.
I am not in your area, but when you are horse less around where I'm at we do share boarding or pay to ride. I would go to the local barns that seem to be what you are looking for and see if anyone is looking for a share boarder. Also if there is a web site that caters to local horse people usually there will be adds posted for share boarding. the feed stores and tack shops are always a good resource. I have been truly lucky when I retired my horse I could not afford to keep two so share boarding had been a great arraignment. If you build enough connections in your local horse community you may never be with out a horse to ride. Every time something does not work out I have been able to find another one. And now I am share-boarding my dream horse.
Keep an eye on the farm and garden section of the Philly craigslist. There are two dressage barns, one in Chester Springs and one in Glen Mills that advertise a work to ride situation from time to time. Sorry, I can't recall their names off hand. Maybe someone else will chime in.
Another option would be to look in S. Jersey. Sometimes it is easier to get across the river.
Have you found anything to ride yet? I have an older gelding, I am getting back in shape. He's an easy ride, but needs someone with a bit of knowledge in order to get him shaped up again. His canter can be strong, just from being out of balance. Not too shabby for a 22 year old horse who has had about 2 years off from consistent work. He was doing training level and schooling laterals before he was leased to a family. He was a trail horse and beginner school horse for them until this past winter when he came back home. He's safe, no buck rear, or anything like that. Just needs to get tuned up and put the muscle back on. He's a good size at 16.2. I've been riding him twice a week the past couple weeks just trying to lighten him up and get some back muscles to return. Started canter again this week. I have two horses, and next month my hours will be picking up at work and i'll be starting some classes so I don't know that I will have the time or energy to ride two. Depending on how things go my green mare might be available if you wanted an extra ride.
They are both at a small, drama free barn in Mullica Hill, NJ. We have an indoor with lights and outdoor area to ride as well. It's nothing fancy but workable and my horses are happy there. It takes me about 25 minutes to get over the Ben Franklin. There are a number of dressage trainers in the area that will come out to teach as well if your interested in taking any lessons.