full care board and dressage lessons near Portland, OR
I posted this a while back in the Off Course forum but thought I'd try again here for more recommendations. It turns out we are making the move to the Portland area (most likely Lake Oswego) in November or thereabouts.
I'm using the Flying Changes website but could use some firsthand insights and suggestions. We may be relocating from the Eugene area (and a barn I love) to the Portland area. If we move we'll most likely be living in Lake Oswego. I have one 9 yo Arab gelding I'll need to find a great barn for. Here's what I'm looking for:
reasonable driving time from Lake Oswego (<30 min)
year-round turnout at least half of the week (large groups are fine, he is currently turned out with 10+ other geldings in a large pasture daily)
dressage or combined (eventing would be great too) training available on site, but being in a training program is not required
trail access would be awesome but not necessary (I don't have a trailer)
some sort of support network suitable for a first-time horse owner of less than one year (i.e., helpful barn managers, trainers, etc.)
I am currently paying $360/month for a 12 x 24 stall, awesome quality hay and daily turnout. I don't expect to find a comparable place near Portland, but if possible would like to stay below $500/month. (Maybe I'm hallucinating.)
I am not looking for a super-serious dressage barn -- my horse is an Arab, not a fancy WB, we are not likely to progress beyond the lower levels (not as much his problem as mine, as my time is short) so the sorts of places where everyone is gunning to show at upper levels probably won't work for us. I am rather social and would prefer a barn where people are around most of the time (current barn is 60+ horses, I like it fine) and do things together, I don't mind sharing the arena at all, I hope to show locally at some point and would love show buddies. My horse and I both get along well with the other kids and cause zero drama, and I tend to be immune to it anyway.
Any recommendations would be swell. Tips on places to avoid would also be swell. PMs are fine. Thanks!
You are probably going to have a tough time finding anything that fits your criteria in Lake Oswego that is under $500. I know there are a lot of barns in the Sherwood area but I'm further North, so I'm not super familiar with them-- I'm familiar with Hillsboro/North Plains/ Portland on the West side/ Beaverton.
Gallops Saddlery tack shop might be a good place to connect with and check out their bulletin board for barns. They are in Lake Oswego :
Yeah, lack of turnout is definitely a problem. We stopped by to check out the hunt club a while back and the arena and cross-country schooling field looked nice but I definitely want year-round turnout if I can find it.
Not to hijack, but I am also looking to move to the Portland area this year (Beaverton). I will be bringing my Hanoverian filly who will be ready for starting next year. Can anyone recommend trainers in that area who are good at starting warmblood babies? I contacted Danica Yates, but she doesn't start horses.
Honestly, there are a couple of nice dressage trainers in the area, but I can't think of any that either start young horses or who I would want near my young horse. If I was looking for a trainer, someone I could send my horse to and feel *absolutely* comfortable that the horse would return with super life skills, I'd send my horse to Dave Williams. No question. He's a nh person, so there will be flack there, but he's started a lot of horses of all different types including HJ and dressage. I know if one absolutely beautiful dressage horse that was started by him. No problems at all with communication for intended sport.
You can probably find contact info through shady springs farm (website of that name).
Cam Reeves is in Maple Valley WA, about 2.5hrs from Portland. He has started many of the WBs in the area, including one of mine and results have been good. He does just the basics though, WTC and quite a bit of riding out on the property as well as in the arena. The care is impecable. I know that may be to far for comfort for you. Jessica Wisdom may start the young ones too and she seems to have a soft hand and forward riding methods, but I cannot speak from experience.
Just seconding Dave Williams for starting. I've ridden two young horses that he's started and they both were very reasonable, respectful, easy to be around green horses. I've ridden my horse, who was started by Connie Tuor, in a few of Dave's clinics as well. If you google shady springs farm, he's got a short profile on their site. Good luck!
For the boarding inquiry, you might look into Crescendo Farm in Beaverton. I'm just moving from there, the rate is $575 per month. They offer year-round, all-day turnout on grass pastures, which is hard to find around PDX. Rosey Sramek of Intune Eventing trains from the barn, it's easy backroads from LO, training isn't required, and there are a few short trails loops. The barn owner also offers training and can help with horse new horse owner questions/isues. PM me if you have more questions.