Any suggestions for eventing stables that offer lessons to horseless riders ?
I'm new to Maryland (baltimore area), sold my horse when I moved. My new job doesn't allow consistent riding time, so having my own horse is out of the question for now. However, I would like to keep riding and take lessons as time allows (once, maybe twice a week). I was competing at the novice level, with long term goal of reaching prelim one day. Hopefully, when I have the opportunity to have my own horse(s) again I won't have to start from scratch.
I've found that it's hard to find barns with "lesson horses" that cater to eventers who aren't beginner riders. Or the ones who have eventing "programs" feel like factories. I rode at Waredaca last year and enjoyed it. I visited nearly every riding stable in the DC area and Waredaca seemed to be the most authentic eventing barn that gave lessons on their horses. I would say definitely go check it out.
They have an Equishare program, which is perfect for people who are getting back into riding and aren't in a position to buy a horse, and who don't want to make a commitment to a full lease. You can get back into riding again by electing to ride as often as is practical for you (once a week, twice a week, etc.), and they have a good selection of nice horses to choose from, as well as qualified instruction.
(I taught there years ago, and when I was there I did the evaluations of the riders who wanted to sign up for Equishare--mostly women between the ages of 25 and 45 --asked them about their previous riding experiences and their goals, and gave them a "mini lesson.") I would then rate them based on their experience and skills, and they would be put in one of 3 or 4 groups according to this. (I don't know if they still do this, but I'm sure they assess incoming potential Equishare riders in some similar way.)
Someone like you would probably be put into a more advanced group (and therefore have access to the slightly more complicated Equishare horses ), and would be able to sign up to go to competitions off property once you had been riding there for awhile and had taken some lessons. They do go to Horse Trials, I just saw their rig at Loch Moy last weekend! They have some nice horses, and Jane Seigler--who still runs Reddemeade--is a delight; thoroughly professional, knowledgeable, and a class act.
Worth checking out, anyway.
"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
"It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")
I'll second Reddemeade if it is not too far away. I did the Equishare for a month only while I was in MD; it was great! I rode 2-3 a day for 3-4 days a week. I really like the way they run the program. Horses were in general happy and healthy and were appropriately ranked, IMO.
I've been to Full Moon both to watch a friend's lessons and to school at one of their cross-country schooling days. They have multiple lesson horses, the husband events, their young daughters compete (and do well!) in eventing, and they host cross-country schoolings, jumper shows, horse trials, and clinics. So you wouldn't have a shortage of things to do to get you back into it! With that said, I'm not sure how many school horses they offer that you would be able to move up on, but I think that is any barn. You may be able to find a lease through one of their sale horses or from outside the barn and continue lessons there, but I think their focus is mainly on kids and starting them in the sport. They go to a local hunter show series I attend and all their riders are secure, nice riders so that speaks for the quality of instruction, at least for starting out. I cringe when I see loose, sloppy riders that don't know any better, but this is NOT one of those lesson stables (though it is big).
I have to put in a good word for Playland Equestrian Center in Union Bridge since I board there. Love the barn owner/trainer and love the other boarders (mostly teens and adults)! I was mostly a hunter/jumper rider that just wanted a good place to board where I could ride every day (my horses are a home without an arena) but now I'm definitely hoping to start attending some eventing-related things! I don't even take lessons with her (or anyone) and the whole atmosphere makes me want to go event! They have a few lesson horses, at least two of which are very good jumpers and I believe were her old event horses.
You are welcome to come by and try our farm, An Otherwise Perfect located just 10 minutes from the Hunt Valley exit off of 83. We have an indoor, dressage arena, outdoor jumping ring, and a cross-country course. I have students in a variety of disciplines and horses/ponies to teach on! (dressage and eventing horses/ponies). Super friendly atmosphere (If I do say so myself!)
Check out Reddemeade:
Jane Seigler--who still runs Reddemeade--.
Nope- Jane and Paul no longer run it and I am not sure how much it has changed since they left last year.
Worth checking out but not sure what you will find- if the horses are decent, Equishare can be a great thing for the more experienced rider who can;t do horse ownership at the moment for whatever reason.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)