Eventing lessons in Greenville, SC (or Tryon/Landrum)?
I took some years off riding seriously for a few years due to college. I have had some great opportunities to practice dressage on and off during this time, but I'm itching to ride regularly and especially JUMP!
The caveat? I live in Greenville and work in Spartanburg (~45-55 min drive) and work the night shift. My current scheme is: When I get full time, 9 to 5 status in January, I can leave from work, drive ~30-40 min for an afternoon lesson in the Tryon/Landrum area and drive ~35-45 min home. Since the area is sort of equidistant between the two cities, my work commute will be combined with my horse commute.
Until January, I'll need to settle for riding on the weekends. The problem is that I don't think I can bring myself to drive longer than 1 hour round trip to do so. I've searched COTH and read great things about Amy Nichols and other people in Anderson and beyond, but the thought of adding that much more driving to my week hurts my brain/soul.
I called Janna Ritacco, who was mentioned in another Greenville thread and is practically in my backyard. Unfortunately, she isn't taking new students until mid-winter.
What I'm looking for: Suggestions for lessons within 30 minutes of the Greenville area that are currently taking new students OR suggestions for Landrum/Tryon trainers that I can start with in January. (Of course, if there's someone in Greenville that I really like riding with, I'll just stick with them )
Honestly, I don't necessarily need an eventing trainer. I would really like to be able to jump again though. Of course, I miss cross-country jumping but I'll be happy just riding. I would prefer a lesson program since I'm out of practice, but I'll take anything I can get. (Can you smell the desperation yet?)
Oh and I have the Tack Shop's list of area barns and trainers and I've Google/Facebook stalked most of them, but a COTH forums' recommendation would carry a lot more weight for me.
I mentioned the Tryon/Landrum area since it has such a strong English riding community, but come January, I'd be fine going anywhere between Sburg and Gville. That includes anywhere reasonably accessible via Highway 29 (Wade Hampton Blvd), I-26 or I-85.
I understand the thought of driving an hour for a lesson is rough, but I have to say that Amy is a fantastic trainer. I would consider talking with her (at least) about suggestions if driving was an issue.
I work full time (days) and thus I cannot lesson during the week. She does teach most weekends. I haul my horse down (it is an hour drive for me) and find it worthwhile. She does have a fantastic school horse if you don't have one. take the time one day to visit and chat.
I too had looked around the Greenville area, looked at the Tack shop list and did not find anything viable for my eventing needs, but then I work with Amy. Amy Barrington is up in Tryon and having done a couple of clinics with her, found her another fantastic instructor. Carolyn West is a Dressage trainer in Campabello, very very good, but she too would be a good source for jumping trainers (she tends to clinic with Eventing/Jumping barns). If you PM me I can send you contact information about a H/J rider who is pretty connected in the area and could give more advice.
Many of the trainers on that list are between Greer and Gowensville, on the south side of Landrum..
I do also second the idea of Eric Dierks as well as Betsy Pack. Betsy is currently more of an HJ trainer, who has some top riders in the Jumpers as well, but she has trained it all over the years.. Both of them are a hike from Spartanburg/Greenville.
I can recommend Cathy Schwartz in Landrum, Smokey Hollow Farm. She's great with flat work, jumping and XC. She is about a mile from the FENCE show grounds so a little closer for you. http://smokeyhollowriding.com/
I live between Simpsonville and Gray Court/Fountain Inn and its just under an hour drive. I was a fox hunting addict for the last 10 or so years and I just got used to spending 2-3 hours round trip hauling a trailer twice a week to hunt in the Tryon area.
Audiobooks are your friend!!
Feel free to PM me for more local info. There are a couple more places out my way that might suit you.
Thank you so much for the replies so far! I'm really excited to start riding in the Tryon area; the resources are truly amazing.
Since I was asked in a PM, I might as well clarify that I do not currently have a rideable horse. I'd be happy riding lesson horses, but I'm also open to half leasing, so if anyone knows of such opportunities, I would love look into them. I know in the OP I was talking about wanting to jump, but I am perfectly willing to ride young or green horses. At this point I'll ride anything that's sound.