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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 20, 2006

    Default Looking for suggestions on Bay Area Barns

    The family and I are moving to the Bay area and my hubby will be working in Foster City. I'm looking for two types of barn: a place to keep my brood mare and her baby that is affordable but with turn out ( realize this may be further out) not necessary for me to commute to daily - maybe just every week or so.

    I'm also looking for a barn for me that has good jumper trainers who have a high standard of teaching but that dont expect a client who shows each week spending thousands on showing. I'd Iike to show at A shows but probably not more than once a month or so and more locally A shows. I'd also like for my daughter to take some lessons (she just turned 4) with a view to progressing to shows, etc.

    We are considering living in the east bay. Possibly Danville/Dublin or anywhere within a reasonable drive of FC that has good schools.

    Thanks for any advice.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2004
    San Francisco

    Default live here for a while

    I have lived in the bay area for over 35 years. There are parts that I still don't have a clue about how long it takes to drive.

    And there is local knowledge that is hard to access until you are here.

    for example, I keep my horse by the coast. On super surfing weekends I don't even try to drive to see him. traffic backs up forever, and don't get me started on Pumpkin weekend traffic.

    When I moved from Contra Costa to San Francisco, it took almost a year before I was ready to move my horse as there is so much to consider.

    the thought of commuting from Danville to Foster City gives me a panic attack.

    perhaps others of the many bay area posters can give you more input.
    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2012
    In a far far away place....


    Hi Emma, if you go to, you will find listings of trainers, boarding facilities, etc... in all bay area locations. There are alot of great trainers here, Vanessa and Buddy Brown are at Stanford Equestrian Center, There is Portola Valley Equestrian Center with quite a few trainers there. Toni and Collin MacIntosh are great trainers, (MacIntosh Stables) leaning more towards the jumpers. Good luck and welcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007


    It was 150 years ago, but my favorite BA mare/baby place was Fancier Farms in Acampo.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 19, 2010
    A Yankee in Red Sox Nation


    When I was little, I rode at Hillcrest Farm in Sunol in the summers. We lived in Pleasanton - great town BTW - adorable downtown, awesome Farmer's Market every Sat morning. Good schools when I went there.

    I just remember Hillcrest had HUGE fields (of course, they were the lovely brown of most CA rolling foothills are), also a huge indoor and outdoor. They mostly did western, but also taught english. Don't remember seeing jumps, but I was there for like 2 weeks at a time. I do remember they had experience with broodmares. They were also pretty cheap last I checked. So maybe a better place for the brood and baby until she's ready to go back into F/T riding.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Bay Area, CA


    Danville to Foster City is doable, painful, and awful, but doable.

    In the Danville area you have a lot of options, Heidi Cowley at Boundary Gate, Hilary Johnson at Iron Horse Equestrian, Diane Yeager at Graceland Equestrian, Denise Borges at Crystal Image, Irene Lorimer at Windmill Ranch, Barbara Endean at Horizon's East, Sarah Marchant at Manhattan Farms, Kelly Maddox. They are all listed on Bayequest I think, and if not you can google the farm, barn names.

    Where you ride is I think dependent on where you live or work, since you want to be close to one.

    "Local" A's, you'd want to ride over on the Peninsula, where you will be close to Woodside, which is closer to Foster City, just not sure what you want to spend on housing, but then you'd probably want to live over there too if you are riding and working there.
    If only horses would use their athletic powers for good instead of evil. ~ MHM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2001


    I suggest you look into Woodside and Portola Valley area, you can shoot down highway 280, or highway 101 after work. I would not suggest anything in the east bay as you will have to do a bridge during commute times which can be horrific in that area.

    There are (as mentioned) some great trainers. I second Vanessa and Buddy Brown down at Stanford. This would be most time effective for you I believe. Not a bad drive at all once you get up to 280.

    As for the mare I would look at Bay Area Equestrian Network as suggested, you will find everything in the area. Also check the services section as some smaller barns offer space at times.

    If you have any questions please pm me anytime. I have been in the area all my life in the horse industry.
    Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Pacific Northwest


    check out McIntosh Stables in Menlo Park, off Alpine Rd on the 280, at Portola Valley Training Center. They would be a perfect fit for your riding. Mostly amateurs, and it is not a crazy show barn. Colin and Toni McI are from New Zealand and really nice. As for a place to keep your mare and foal, don't plan on anything around there. Most of those are kept out in the Sacramento or San Joaquin valleys, or up by Petaluma, or down by Gilroy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2009
    Out West


    This is a bit in the opposite direction, but not a bad drive from Danville/Dublin area -- Stephanie Simmonds (Stillwater Equestrian) out at Leap of Faith in Walnut Creek. She has very high teaching standards and also has some young kids just starting to show.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2007
    Northern Va


    When I was in high school, I rode with Barbara & Sam Endean at Horizons East. They were great - always had nice horses, good lessons, and the care was very good. There aren't a whole lot of A shows "local" to the area. I think the closest are probably Pebble Beach and Menlo Park. Danville is a lovely lovely lovely town and I loved growing up there!
    "A canter is the cure for every evil."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2009
    San Francisco


    I ride a jumper with Toni and Colin McIntosh at Portola Valley Training Center and my kid competes in the hunter/equitation classes. They are superb trainers, highly professional and ethical, and super fun personalities.

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