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  1. #1

    Default moving to Bay Area and looking for barns!

    Hi there,

    I'm a sort-of-horseless rider... I have a retired horse back east and didn't have the heart to move him across the country. (Though I miss him!)

    I'm aching to get back into riding and am moving to Pacifica this month. (Just south (15 min) of San Francisco - on the coast.)

    Wondering if anyone knows of a good adult barn? Or a great trainer to work with...

    I've been riding for 25 years, so don't really 'need' lessons, but would be open to them, with the right trainer.

    I can't afford to buy another horse right now (though I may be able to lease one) and am mainly looking for a great barn to join, and if anyone knows of or has some horses that need exercise.

    I'm open to dressage, eventing and HJ barns. (My retired guy is a jumper.)

    Thank you so much!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2008
    North Carolina


    There are many barns in that area. The ones I would recommend are Stanford Red Barn, which has a great community lesson program, and any trainers at the Horse Park at Woodside. Both of those might be a little far south for you, but they are fantastic places. Clermont Equestrian is a little closer to you and their trainers are also quite reputable.

    I'd recommend looking at for barns close to you as well Best of luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2010
    VA--> Washington (state)


    My parents live in Napa, so I know stuff there-- Four Star Farm owned by
    Natalie Rooney-Pitts. I took a few lessons with her and she was FANtastic. A bit far for daily stuff but doable on the weekends. PM me if you need more info-
    And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2009
    Northern California


    Welcome to the Bay Area! , as stated above, is a great place to look. if you find a place and have any questions about it, please feel free to pm me about them :-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2002


    There are two barns in Pacifica.

    Shamrock Ranch is the only place within 40 minutes of SF (it's 20 mins to SF from there) that has pasture board that's any good (their largest is 30 acres, compared to the much more overpopulated dirt lots people call pastures in the Bay area) They have stalls, arena, hot water, Western trainers onsite and Grand Prix dressage trainer who visits monthly and also does jumping. Cool mix of boarders, not fancy but relaxed. Horses are usually available to part lease from their owners. Only one kid board there, so the atmosphere is calm.

    Park Pacifica has a massive covered arena, no turnout to speak of and some lesson programs/horses to lease.

    From there you'll travel 10-20 mins down the peninsula on the coast side to several similar options in Moss Beach and Half Moon Bay (Moss Beach Ranch, Moon Valley Ranch, Renegade Ranch, Ember Ridge Equestrian Center and a bunch of others: )

    If you take 280 down the middle of the peninsula, it's 30-45 mins to a lot of more expensive barns and generally hotter weather.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 1999
    San Ramon/Castro Valley/Brentwood, California


    James Alliston is in Castro Valley, right down the street from me, at Graceland Equestrian Center. He's the eventing guy that just won at Galway Downs this past weekend. He is British, lives in America, young. I have seen him school his young horses at the local shows. He has quite the following from what I understand.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2012


    Castro Valley is too far of a drive from Pacifica for consistent riding - and it has bridge traffic to negotiate. Focus on the peninsula barns, I just PM'd you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2008
    Sonoma County, California


    Check out the Sunshine Valley Road area in Montara, just south of Pacifica. I used to keep my horse at a small co-op boarding stable there. Great trails through the community and around a commercial flower farm. I kept my horse at KamRun Ranch and rode with Charles de Kunffy, not sure if the barn is still there but worth driving around and asking what's available now.

    Lots of barns on the Peninsula, where you will find a good selection of trainers. And you could also check into Half Moon Bay and see what's there.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2012



    Thank you so much for your responses and help! I'm really so grateful. Feel a bit blind going into this, so I really appreciate it!

    I will check these out and holler with questions. Having my horse with me (and rideable) would make things easier, too. Actually, maybe not! Because then I'd be asking you re: turnout.

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