Well, I've been lurking on the COTH forum for a couple of years now since getting out of the Army and moving to Vermont. I recently read the thread about the lack of men in riding & I'm here to help boost the numbers (+1)!
So, here is my first official post & it is a request (sorry)...please help me find a good riding instructor! I have been thinking about getting back into riding after a long time out of the saddle since college & having travelled the world with the U.S. Army. I used to ride both H/J & Eventing as a "C" level USPC member growing in up in Rhode Island with my OTTB. My family and I have now settled into a small 15 acre farm in Alburgh, Vermont on the Champlain Islands of Lake Champlain. I have been searching online for an instructor that specializes in eventing, but I haven't found to much information online. Unfortunately, most people around here seem to ride western (if at all) or are backyard trainers without quality school horses, tack and indoor facilities for our lovely cold & snowy Vermont winters.
I'm not your typical pre-teen horse-crazed girl, I'm a 34 year old, 6'1" tall, 190 lbs man so, when it comes to saddles & schoolies I'm a much harder fit than most! So, basically my plan is to find a qualified instructor with a horse big enough to carry me with a saddle I can fit in and an indoor to ride in. Once I am back in the saddle & feeling comfortable with the basics refreshed enough to knock the cob webs out of the system and confirm that I still enjoy my childhood passion for riding, then I might consider purchasing a horse again. If that's the case then I would like to get my children into lessons as well as continue my lessons with the end goal of purchasing a couple of horses/ponies for our small family farm and doing some smaller showing and/or possibly learn to fox hunt.
So, if you think you know of someone who can work with a man of my age & size please let me know where I can possibly take lessons in Northwestern Vermont! Please feel free to post here, PM me, or e-mail me, thanks!
Thanks guys for the suggestions, please keep them coming!!!
I sent John an e-mail & we'll see what he says! I spoke with Triple Combination Farm listed in the USEA Area I trainer listings but, they unfortunately only have 15H school horses...so once again my size is a limiting factor.
I have e-mailed anyone I could find on USEA Area I, ARIA, craigslist, etc. that I could find within an hour & a half drive of my house. Just as a reference, I am about an hour drive north of Burlington, VT & live in the most Northwestern town in VT bordering NY State & the Canadian border. So, if you might have any suggestions for Northeastern NY or even something south of Montreal, Quebec I would be happy to check those out too!
John is great - as is Jane Hamlin at Mary's. You might also want to give a call to the Landrys at La Criniere in Napierville, Quebec. Don't know if they go south. Awesome facility, awesome people, and may be closer to you than we are. Well, ok, certainly closer than Mary's. We also have Triple Combination - again, great place and great people. Yup, we're spoiled around here!
I have sent an e-mail off to the Landry's in Napierville, QC. They are only a 40 minute drive from my house...sweet! I'll keep y'all posted when I hear back from the folks I have e-mail over the last few days about lessons. I really appreciate all of the help & post guys! If anyone can think of anyone else to recommend I will definately check out all of your suggestions and weigh my options accordingly.
You might try Willow Hill in Keeseville, NY. They look to be about an hour from you, so not super close, but I thought I'd let you know about them. When I was there as a fifteen year old they had mostly ponies, but they did have a few horses that could probably handle 190 lb. A decade later, they might have gotten some larger horses.