I've been reading the forums for a while now as I start my search for a Sacramento/NorCal trainer. I rode when I was in my early teens (15+ years ago) but stopped as I entered high school. I'm now self-employed and at the point where I would like to start riding again.
I'm looking for a hunter/eq trainer who works well with adult riders and understands that I don't have a limitless pocket book. I would like a trainer who understands I'm not a fearless as I once was and my body, well, isn't as in shape as it was when I was a teen. I would like to start with lessons and work my way up to local SAHJA and B shows, with the opportunity to do an "A" show once a year or so. A good/supportive barn atmosphere would be ideal, since I'll be spending a decent amount of time with fellow barn members. Also, if anyone knows of a good tack store in the area, please let me know! I need to purchase breeches, boots and a helmet before I start my lessons and would appreciate sound advice.
The big tack stores around here are Golden State in Galt (although they have their mobile unit at Ranchi Murieta right now, there are two HJ shows there for the next two weeks) , Christensens in Loomis, and Brenda's in Woodland.
Golden State Tack (formerly Blue Ribbon) is no longer open at the store location. They have moved to the owner's facility in Galt and you must call and schedule a time to go down. I'm not a huge fan of giving Christensen's my money. But that is a personal preference among me and quite a few of my friends oddly enough! (all different experiences, not one thing as a group!) I highly recommend the used tack stores in the area. You have a Bit Used in Fair Oaks, Twin Cities Tack in Galt and up here we have Wild Horse Tack in Shingle Springs. She carries a lot of really nice stuff and has a TON of it! We also have a little place called Saddles and Spurs in Diamond Springs but a lot of their stuff is western. Oh, there is Saddle Connection up in Auburn also. And in the next few weeks we have the Horses Honor Tack Swap at the Auburn fairgrounds (it's really nice! Nov 3-4th or whatever the first Sat/Sun of Nov is) and the next weekend is the one at Rancho Murieta. That is a first time thing so we will see how it is. There is also a tack store in Woodland. Tack Warehouse?
I think Peterson Equestrian is somewhere near Yuba City. Nichol is nice and her clients all seem happy and get along well. I know she goes to the SAHJA shows. I think she will be at the show at Historic Nelson Ranch on Nov. 3rd. Brenda's (also known as Tack Warehouse) in Woodland is a good tack store.
Thanks for the help! Peterson Equestrian moved to Sheridian (sort of by Lincoln) so they are out. I would prefer a Sacramento area trainer, as I spend most of my "free" time there. Has anyone used Kim Rollison at Rollison Ranch? A few people pm'd me and mentioned her name but hadn't used her.
I had no idea there was a used tack store around! That is a great idea to get a few items for lessons, and then buy new if I want a certain brand.
Again, thank you for all the help! Sacramento's horse culture has grown so much from the last time I was riding, so I feel like I have no idea who is in the game anymore.
Kim will probably be at the HNR show too. Her students do well at the shows, and aeem to like her. I'd say they are more serious in their interactions than Nichol's group, but that may be more to your liking.
Kim is also a judge which always gives a little extra insight. I've only judged under her (not recently) Most of the used tack stores have popped up here in just the last few years. I'm really enjoying having them around! I prefer to buy used and try to save some money. Otherwise I buy online where I can save it. There is actually a place just below the pocket on the river. It's called Beach Lake Stables. Don't know who is there and how they are but they will be close to you and worth a look.
I've been to Ironwood though its probably been like 6 yrs ago. A friend was looking for a place to board her horse. Haven't seen any lessons or anything there. Can't say that I hear too much about them. If you are going that far Brookside isn't really that far, if you are looking for something that isn't quite as high class but more of solid foundation, having fun, and some eventing/hunter pace type things with some local shows thrown in there- I recommend Kalli Bowles at Lucky B Ranch which isn't far from Ironwood also. You can easily go to the local shows with them. There is a small group that goes out places. It's where I used to board before moving up here. THey have a covered arena, a dressage arena and the huge outdoor arena. So lots of different options. This is the website though its not super updated but Kalli's contact should be on there or if you pm me I can give it to you as well. She isn't real expensive either and we always had fun group jumping lessons! http://luckybranch.jigsy.com/
Hands down, my favorite hunter-jumper trainer in the area is Kelly Van Vleck. She does mostly A shows and is gone a lot of the year though, so I don't know that's exactly what you're looking for. One of her former assistants, Kristie LaFreniere, is now running Patriot Farms in Roseville and is excellent also. She's home more, has a quieter environment and does more local B-shows. Neither is really on your way to work, but both trainers are worth the drive.
If you have trouble finding them or want more information feel free to PM me; I rode with both for years.
As a client of Kim Rollison's, glad to hear she gets some respect in the very full world of hunter/jumper trainers in the Sacramento area!
Just back from Lets Show Halloween and we won one of the Eq for a Jumps!! And the Jack's Place Long Stirrup, and both CCEA medals, and a second in the Almaden against 25!
Anyway, enough bragging. Kim's is awesome for the 'normal' human who doesn't have $75K to drop on a horse and is willing to show at multiple weeks of rated shows. She gets you to ride whatever it is you brought to her barn the best you can, and gets your horse to be the best it can be. We do four to five rateds, most of the Leone/Starr Vaughn/HNR SAHJA shows.
Generally, Kim's riders do very well at the shows, despite being low key and on horses that all cost under $10K 90% is putting in a perfect round. We almost never lounge our horses, we don't use anything to calm them down, our riders just know how to get on and go. She doesn't really do jumpers though, just eq and hunters. I am pretty proud of my barn and Kim's awesome and better yet, I can afford it