Hi! My daughter is trying to decide between GA Tech and Auburn. She prefers Tech, has been excepted, but is worried about bringing her horses. She is an eventer with two horses(one mare, one gelding). We are open to private barns, we just want her on the road as little as possible. If she has to drive too far, she can only bring one horse. She has a trainer and will trailer to him. She prefers quiet places. Any ideas or suggestions...?
Keep in mind GA Tech is in downtown ATL just off of Interstate 75/85. You daughter will have to deal with ATL traffic to get to/from any boarding situations if she attends Tech.
Boarding and driving will be 'easier' at Auburn.
The best question to ask is what is her course of study? Both Auburn and Tech are tough schools and the kids I know who attended reduced their activies and/or put many on hold until graduation.
If she plans to attend Auburn and Tech for a specific degree, maybe she should focus on the studies.
If she is undecided on a major, then consider attending a local college to knock down the core requirements and still have time to ride both horses. Then she can transfer to her preferred university and focus on the last 2 years. I know many kids who did that.
"Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
Courtesy my cousin Tim
I can't imagine living in downtown Atlanta and being within reasonable driving time to a quiet barn (distance maybe not too bad, but considering traffic and horrific street design it would take forever to get anywhere!).
I will throw in a vote for Auburn though! I have a small boarding barn in Auburn just 5 min from campus and we are full of friendly and independant eventers. There are several other great boarding options in town that are easily accessible and affordable. There are so many eventers in town, you can always find friends to go to shows with on the weekends or ride with every day.
She needs to go to the school that's right for her for sure. But if riding and competing while in college is important to her, Auburn has a serious advantage in that area. We would love to have her!
I'm from Alpharetta, but I'd imagine no matter what direction, you're looking at a 45 minute drive with no traffic. And as long as she's able to beat traffic (leaving before ~3pm) and doesn't mind spending some time in the car, she'll be fine. I used to go to school in Birmingham, and the barn I rode at was 35 miles away and another was 25. Luckily, both were interstate drives and as long as I planned accordingly I could be at the barn in 30-45 minutes. It's doable but it does eat into your time and gas.
You might want to look at Big Time Eventing, Seven C's, Ashland, Chattahoochee Hills. Private barns are out there; I just don't know of any off the top of my head. I keep my horse at private farm but I don't know if it's best for an eventer. The arena is about the size of a small Dressage arena but it's covered. Access to trails & hills, and has the best care. No jumps. It would probably be about an hour's drive. If you want more info, I'll be happy to PM it to you. Otherwise, try calling Atlanta Saddlery? They might have a good idea of whats in the area.
I do go to school at Auburn now, and I absolutely love it. Like Foxygrl said, horse people are aplenty, too. I don't ride as much as I used to due to school, but it's nice to say that I can be on a horse in 5 minutes. Poplar is an hour away; Chattahoochee/Newnan is 1.5; Pine Top is 4; Aiken is 5. Not to mention, you have some great vets in your backyard if you ever have an emergency.
Good luck with your search! I know it's a tough one!
Having lived in ATL my entire life, I don't think our traffic is any worse than other big city, but yes Tech is in the middle of downtown, and any boarding barn will be at least 25 to 35 miles away, thinking that your daughter won't have to drive is unrealistic. I live 8 miles from Tech and drive to Conyers, 45 miles one way, to Montclair Stables. This is east of downtown and 1 mile away from the Ga International Horse Park, site of 96 olympics. We have a covered ring and also a jumping ring and have resident event trainer (is the owner) and dressage trainer. Covered ring is big positive if riding time is limited ie you can ride rain or shine when you have the time. both rings have lights as well!
Yes there are a few big names south of atl, but Chatt Hills does not take boarders, and neither does Becky Holder, or so I've heard. visit Montclairstables.com and see the barn and get contact info for Nicky Buckingham, owner and event trainer. and if you are worried about traffic, going north of ATL is a mistake, moved my horses from that area 12 years ago because of traffic.
yep, for sure.
Also worth mentioning; Tech is a GREAT school, but it's about 75% guys... and while the odds are good, the goods are ODD if you catch my drift
Hey, I resemble that remark!
There's plenty of boarding around Atlanta if you know where to look. We're about 20 miles West of Atlanta, though we're also new to the area... having moved from Alpharetta / Milton to a much larger farm in Powder Springs this past September. You could take hwy 278 from Tech almost all the way out to us. But like others said, traffic can be gnarly around here.
I'm from Alpharetta, but I'd imagine no matter what direction, you're looking at a 45 minute drive with no traffic. And as long as she's able to beat traffic (leaving before ~3pm) and doesn't mind spending some time in the car, she'll be fine.
Iduhamel- as for the traffic- I have to disagree with you. I have lived in and around several major cities (DC, Atlanta, Boston) and Atlanta was my worst commute traffic-wise both to work and to the barn.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)
Thank you all for the input! I thought it would e-mail me when I had responses. So... I thought all this time that no one responded to my question!! haha
Obviously, its going to be hard in Atlanta. I guess she will just need to go in the next month and start at Tech and drive the various directions to barns and see if she can live with it. If its too much driving, she can try Auburn!!
Daughter can't go wrong with either Montclair Stables or Ashland Farm. Nicky Buckingham has a great crew of eventers at Montclair while Ashland Farm has several topnotch event trainers available (Beth Steltzini and Mary Bess Sigman are regulars and Lellie Ward does clinics as does Bryan Tweed) - Ashland Farm also has an incredible XC schooling field...absolute best care for the horses at both facilities...JMHO
~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan
I graduated from Auburn and now currently live in Atlanta.
IMHO, I would not send my daughter to tech. From the local news, it seems that crime around the tech campus is rampant. I don't know for a fact, but that is the feeling I get from the news coverage. Traffic is hell. I don't know what part of Alabama you are from, but Birmingham 5:00 traffic is comparable to Atlanta at 8 on a Sunday morning. I drive across town for class and it's probably taken years off my life. Boarding is VERY expensive, and it would probably be at least a 45 minute drive to find anything less than $800 a month. There are some great trainers around, for sure, but that will be a commute.
Auburn has a lot of great boarding options, you can pay as much or as little as your budget allows, and a great engineering school. Just don't send her to Bama, haha! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions....