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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2012
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    Default Info on eventing trainers in Seattle?

    I'm moving to Seattle in a couple of months and I need to find an eventing barn and trainer for my horse and I. It doesn't need to be "eventing" per say but I would like having both a dressage and a hunter or jumper trainer available.

    Background info: I've been riding for a long time but never at a high level (rated shows), just local stuff. I want to be able to start training for a much higher level. My horse is a project horse of mine and she's almost 3 now. I've had her for over a year. I've done a lot of ground-work with her and she's started under saddle (not backed yet). Previously I was a working student and I would be interested in something like that again, especially something along the lines of working off part of my board costs since I know Seattle is expensive.

    What I'm looking for is a place with nice facilities near the Redmond/Sammamish area. I'm hoping to keep my board at around $600 a month. I may choose a separate barn/trainer to board my horse with and a different to ride with since I won't be taking lessons on my horse. These are the trainers I've been considering and any feedback on them would be helpful:

    Patterson Creek Equestrian Center
    Trainer: Leigh Mesher

    Eremon Farm
    Trainer: Joanna Jackowich

    Traumhof Dressage (listed because they have a working student position available)

    Five C Farms
    Trainer: Alexis Lind

    Stone's Throw Farm
    Trainer: Sarah Lorenz

    Legacy Hunters and Jumpers
    Trainers: Sharon Kerron and Betsy Christianson

    Rockmeadow Equestrian Center
    Trainer: Keri

    Emerald Glen Stables
    Trainer: Tina Waters

    KGF Equestrian Center
    Trainer: Jill Pierce

    I'm leaning towards PCEC and Eremon right now. Any other barn recommendations are appreciated and I'd like to hear feedback on the ones on my list. Thanks
    Last edited by shinobi; Dec. 14, 2012 at 06:13 PM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2003
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    WA, Land of the damp Thongpend
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    Do you mean Keri Bailey at Thumbs Up? They are at Rock Meadow. Keri is fabulous! Keri stays at home even though Thumbs Up goes to shows.

    Shelley Kerron and Betsy Christianson is also great. Both Legacy and Thumbs Up will be heading to Thermal by the time you get here. Both of these are high end h/j barns.

    My trainer teaches quite a few eventers, some of them are pros, even though he doesn't event. Encanto Valley Farm is an h/j farm in Maple Valley, Morgan Carr is the trainer. He is really good with young horses too. He can manage the dressage part as well. http://www.encantovalleyfarm.com . I think we are going to Arizona in February for two weeks.



  3. #3
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    Apr. 30, 2002
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    When choosing, be very mindful of distance and traffic/travel time. Redmond/Sammamish is horrific for traffic.
    "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." -- Emerson
    www.eventhorse.wordpress.com


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Oct. 22, 2001
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    5,203

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    Keri Bailey taught me to ride longer ago than either of us probably care to admit. She is hunter jumper, as are the rest of Thumbs Up, but they are good. Rockmeadow used to be a very doable commute from Seattle, but it has probably gotten worse since then. I do recall that they had pretty limited turnout though. Indoor was gorgeous.

    I would look into Melissa Beardsley if she is still teaching and has boarders. Former 4* rider, used to have a good barn just further up the plateau from Rockmeadow. Pretty sure there are Advanced riders who live in Seattle currently riding with her. Also look at Meika Dechert/Polestar farm - may be too far a commute, but she's great.



  5. #5
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    Aug. 11, 2007
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    rainy but eternally green washington
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    Both Shelly Kerron and Jill Pierce mostly focus on hunters and will be a lot more pricey than $600. Plus you have to combine board and training with them, which is around $2k/mo. Legacy is in Redmond/Woodinville though, which is great location-wise. And there's minimal turnout at KGF... but besides that, I've heard that Jill doesn't really believe in turn out anyway.

    Those are the only two I'm familiar with as I'm from H/J land



  6. #6
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    Dec. 14, 2012
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I haven't found any info on Melissa Beardsly as of late. I'll have to check out encanto valley since I had a couple of nice pms suggesting them as well.

    Turnout isn't a major priority as long as when they are turned out there are mud free paddocks available. The facilities at Gold Creek look nice and are in my price range and now Sarah Lorenz works out of there.

    Oh, and has anyone heard of Archway Equestrian?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDansere View Post
    Both Shelly Kerron and Jill Pierce mostly focus on hunters and will be a lot more pricey than $600. Plus you have to combine board and training with them, which is around $2k/mo. Legacy is in Redmond/Woodinville though, which is great location-wise. And there's minimal turnout at KGF... but besides that, I've heard that Jill doesn't really believe in turn out anyway.

    Those are the only two I'm familiar with as I'm from H/J land
    Yeah, I listed some people who were out of my board price range because I wanted opinions on them as instructors. I may keep her at a less expensive barn than the one I take lessons at. Do you have any recommendations/suggestions from the H/J world that weren't on my list?



  7. #7
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    Oct. 28, 2003
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    Beavercreek, OR USA
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    Just wanted to say "Welcome to Area VII!" Lots of great adult amateurs - definitely join the Adult Riders group - we have a super-fun camp in May and it's open to all levels, including pre-compete.
    Rachel Kosmal McCart
    Equine Legal Solutions, Inc.
    www.equinelegalsolutions.com



  8. #8
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    Aug. 11, 2007
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    rainy but eternally green washington
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    Archway is another nice but pricey mostly-hunter barn. Probably one of THE priciest in the area, besides Thumbs Up. I'm not sure a lot of the H/J trainers do lessons where they teach you at your own barn, although I'm sure you can haul-in to theirs.

    As far as quality of intructors, Shelly seems really strict but has a lot of success with her students on the H/J circuit. I would recommend her.

    I hear not-great rumors about Jill Pierce, but they're only rumors and I can't really verify them. Her students seem to do okay at the shows, but she seems to cater to.. higher end clients.

    You might look in to Hillcrest in Woodinville, with Heidi Snider; I've taken a lesson with her, she's tough and pushes you but seems to really know her stuff. Another mostly-hunter-based trainer, but pretty nice facilities.

    I don't know much about Phoenix Farms, but it's on my list to check out for when I have time to get back in to horses.

    FYI... Mud-free pastures around here are pretty much non-existant from Oct-May. It's more about degrees of mud. Some barns will alternate grass pastures in Summer to smaller gravel turnouts in the rainy times. Some gravel pastures are more successful at keeping mud at bay than others.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2001
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    For any of the h/j barns you are considering, you are going to be looking board alone somewhere in the ballpark of $1k. That may or may not include turnout/blanketing/extras. I think you are going to be hard-pressed to find full board with an indoor in the Sammamish/Redmond area for $600. It's a crazy expensive area to keep horses.

    I love Keri Bailey, and also think very highly of Megan Chagnon who also works out of Rockmeadow. Board there is $900+ depending on the stall size, horses get out for a couple of hours a day, and even when it is muddy, it isn't too bad. The only time they don't go out is if it is icy or pouring buckets.

    For trainers, I like Shelly Kerron, I also like Heidi Snider very much- she is very good to her horses. For eventing trainers, I've heard very good things about Leigh Mesher although have no personal knowledge.

    I don't know anything about Alexis Lind or Sarah Lorenz... which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it also means I haven't heard anything bad!

    From either first or second-hand experience, I'd avoid Jill Pearce, Emerald Glen and Eremond.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2011
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    79

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    Melissa is at Blackwood Farm in Redmond. The farm is currently for sale, so I don't know if they are still accepting boarders. Last time I checked, board was about $800.

    Jordan Linstedt is also in Redmond at Saddle Rock Stables. Board is in the $600 range, I think. I haven't ridden with her, but I've had several personal encounters and she is really, really nice, and helped me out in a tough spot (truck trouble) with a smile and no hesitation.

    Kelsey and Maris are out of Two Mountains. Not sure if they board, but I know they do lessons and they host a lot of great (affordable) clinics.

    Redmond seems to be the hotspot for horses. I'm not from Seattle, but I do a lot of clinics up there. Whoever said it was right, commute at peak hours is a b*%>€. However, if you can do it at off hours, it was really not bad at all (but I'm talking 6am on a Saturday).

    Good luck! Welcome to Area VII! Be sure to check out our Area website http://www.areavii.org/ and join adult riders http://www.areavii.org/AR/index.htm



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2012
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    4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDansere View Post
    Archway is another nice but pricey mostly-hunter barn. Probably one of THE priciest in the area, besides Thumbs Up. I'm not sure a lot of the H/J trainers do lessons where they teach you at your own barn, although I'm sure you can haul-in to theirs.

    As far as quality of intructors, Shelly seems really strict but has a lot of success with her students on the H/J circuit. I would recommend her.

    I hear not-great rumors about Jill Pierce, but they're only rumors and I can't really verify them. Her students seem to do okay at the shows, but she seems to cater to.. higher end clients.

    You might look in to Hillcrest in Woodinville, with Heidi Snider; I've taken a lesson with her, she's tough and pushes you but seems to really know her stuff. Another mostly-hunter-based trainer, but pretty nice facilities.

    I don't know much about Phoenix Farms, but it's on my list to check out for when I have time to get back in to horses.

    FYI... Mud-free pastures around here are pretty much non-existant from Oct-May. It's more about degrees of mud. Some barns will alternate grass pastures in Summer to smaller gravel turnouts in the rainy times. Some gravel pastures are more successful at keeping mud at bay than others.
    My horse isn't backed yet which is why I'd keep her elsewhere; I'd still need a lesson horse. I wouldn't need to do hall-ins. Thanks for the feedback on those farms! It's helping paint a clear picture of the area for me.

    Is there ever such a thing as a truly mud-free paddock? Haha. I just need a place where I don't have to go knee-deep in mud to retrieve my horse. Gravel paddocks are fine for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by wanderlust View Post
    For any of the h/j barns you are considering, you are going to be looking board alone somewhere in the ballpark of $1k. That may or may not include turnout/blanketing/extras. I think you are going to be hard-pressed to find full board with an indoor in the Sammamish/Redmond area for $600. It's a crazy expensive area to keep horses.

    I love Keri Bailey, and also think very highly of Megan Chagnon who also works out of Rockmeadow. Board there is $900+ depending on the stall size, horses get out for a couple of hours a day, and even when it is muddy, it isn't too bad. The only time they don't go out is if it is icy or pouring buckets.

    For trainers, I like Shelly Kerron, I also like Heidi Snider very much- she is very good to her horses. For eventing trainers, I've heard very good things about Leigh Mesher although have no personal knowledge.

    I don't know anything about Alexis Lind or Sarah Lorenz... which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it also means I haven't heard anything bad!

    From either first or second-hand experience, I'd avoid Jill Pearce, Emerald Glen and Eremond.
    I think I mentioned this in another post but I'm probably not boarding at the same place as I'm taking lessons. I found a few places with indoor or at least covered arenas around my price range (it's ~$600, $600 isn't the cap it's the ideal number). But you're right it's not common and it is difficult, which is why I said "around" that area (that way people could give suggestions a little farther out) I'm not attached to being in Redmond or Sammamish proper. It'll be sooo much easier when she's done with training because then I won't need a fancy trainer on the farm.

    GoldCreek seems to have nice prices and Sarah Lorenz operates out of there. Have you heard anything of them? From the pictures the place looks nicer than the place I'm currently boarding.

    Thank you for your honesty and help. I know Seattle is a bit more expensive than where I currently am (average board where I live is about $500, $400 if you do what I did and drive farther away from the city). The last thing I want to do is move over here unprepared. I never want to put myself in a position where I have to sell my horse.

    Does it often pour buckets in Seattle during the winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by CupcakeTough View Post
    Melissa is at Blackwood Farm in Redmond. The farm is currently for sale, so I don't know if they are still accepting boarders. Last time I checked, board was about $800.

    Jordan Linstedt is also in Redmond at Saddle Rock Stables. Board is in the $600 range, I think. I haven't ridden with her, but I've had several personal encounters and she is really, really nice, and helped me out in a tough spot (truck trouble) with a smile and no hesitation.

    Kelsey and Maris are out of Two Mountains. Not sure if they board, but I know they do lessons and they host a lot of great (affordable) clinics.

    Redmond seems to be the hotspot for horses. I'm not from Seattle, but I do a lot of clinics up there. Whoever said it was right, commute at peak hours is a b*%>€. However, if you can do it at off hours, it was really not bad at all (but I'm talking 6am on a Saturday).

    Good luck! Welcome to Area VII! Be sure to check out our Area website http://www.areavii.org/ and join adult riders http://www.areavii.org/AR/index.htm
    It's a pitty that Blackwood is for sale. I had someone recommend them to me and couldn't find their website or anything. It looks like the business is closing? That's a real shame. I had no idea Melissa was associated with them. I will have to give Jordan Linstedt a look as well. The clinics tip is great! I LOVE clinics. Thanks for the nice welcome and I will check that site out!!

    I keep hearing about what a nightmare Seattle traffic is... Gives me an icky feeling.

    Thanks for the help guys. SO MUCH information to process!



  12. #12
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    Sep. 6, 2003
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    Weather - mostly misty, drizzly, with intermittent showers, rarely buckets like the east coast. That is the winter, which last from October to at least April, sometimes June. Then there is summer proper, which starts sometime around July 5th. It can be hot and dry. This year we broke records for consecutive days without rain. We rarely hit 90 on the west side of the Cascades.

    The paddocks at EVF have hogs fuel in them to keep the horses out of the mud. Most places that don't have packed gravel use hogs fuel. It's wood. Smells good.

    EVF has an indoor, and an outdoor ring that is in the process of having the footing redone, completely redone from the bottom up.

    Where in Seattle are you going to be living? North, down town proper, South, East, West? Sometimes you can't get there from where ever you are. I know it takes me up to one hour to go 14 miles from Kent to Bellevue if I use I-405. I never go up I-405 except on weekends. Back roads and going through Issaquah is much easier. At least I'm moving and not in a wall to wall parking lot.



  13. #13
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    Oct. 12, 2005
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    Issaquah, WA
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    Depending on your goals, Tower Farm in Sammamish might work for you. They have full turnout that is mud free (seriously), and an indoor. Board ranges between 470 and 720 depending on what you want. Example: green horse on 24/7 turnout, no arena usage for her would be 470.

    From Tower you are minutes away from Rockmeadow. Trainer is on site at Tower and might fit your desires.

    PM if you would like more info



  14. #14
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    Oct. 15, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinobi View Post
    My horse isn't backed yet which is why I'd keep her elsewhere; I'd still need a lesson horse. I wouldn't need to do hall-ins. Thanks for the feedback on those farms!
    Ah, that changes things. Not many of the trainers listed have school horses. Rockmeadow has a lesson program, but you wouldn't be riding with Keri or Megan (they don't have lesson horses, just owner horses in training)- you'd be riding with Rockmeadow's lesson horse instructors. I'm not sure who is teaching their school horse lessons now.

    Shelly/Legacy does have a nice lesson horse program, I'm not sure who is doing the teaching there now (it wouldn't be Shelly or her assistant), but they are are generally quite good.

    Hillcrest/Heidi Snider have a boutique lesson program with some very nice lesson horses, and I believe either Heidi or her assistant do the teaching for the lesson program.

    Can't speak to whether the rest of your list has lesson horses, but I'd start with Hillcrest or Legacy for quality horses and good instruction.

    Seattle traffic isn't great, but I've lived places it is worse. Coming out of Seattle, I found it pretty easy to head across 90 to Issaquah/Sammamish, rather than to try to get over the 520 bridge. However, that was before the plan to implement tolls on 520, so 90 may be significantly more congested if that went through.



  15. #15
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    Jordan Linstedt is a pretty good egg. I never trained with her, as she wasn't doing upper levels when I was last around their barn, several years ago now. I've seen her in some tough situations with family, etc. and she always handled things with grace. I thought she took good care of her horse around Rolex, as well. If professionalism and horsemanship are top priorities, she's probably worth a try.
    Fear is the rocket sauce.
    Jack Black



  16. #16
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    Jul. 27, 2006
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    I don't know how far Maris is from you, but I was impressed with her riding as well as her great sense of humour when I met her down in Aiken while she was training with Kim Severson. I watched her put in an incredible dressage test at a horse trial at Fair Hill in Maryland coming in first with a score of 25. I haven't seen her teach, but if it is anything close to the quality of her riding, she should be an excellent person to work with.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2011
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    Seattle
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    Sarah Lorenz is based out of Gold Creek now and she just recently came back from being in eastern Washington for several years. While I have no experience with her I've heard good things about her. I'd advice against Gold Creek for raising a two year old.

    I think their board costs are a decent good deal for what you get (the back barns have larger stalls than most barns around here do) but the facilities are really run down in the other barns and arenas. I've been there six times and not once did I see the aisle ways swept or things as clean as they should have been. It's not what it used to be, and it's pretty far north in a high traffic area.

    Rockmeadow is pricy. Their facilities are in much better condition than GC's though. Whoever said you won't be training with the head trainers without your horse is correct. Sent you a PM about my experience with them already.

    I'm taking lessons at Archway right now while I look around for barns (I have a friend in the program). I don't know if I'll stay here because they are pricier (however significantly cheaper than Legacy or Rockmeadow) but it's a really great place to learn to ride. Trainers are good and they have a lot of clinics. They are actually sharing a barn with Legacy right now so if you're visiting you can hit two birds with one stone. The only thing is that they're completely full and have a wait list to get in so bringing your horse might be a problem.

    I also sent you a PM about Tina Waters. I won't go into detail about it here but I'll just say for anyone in the future doing research: I have several problems with her business (first hand experience) and lack of professionalism. If anyone has any questions they're free to PM me as well.

    KGF is nice if you can afford it--but their prices are insane.

    Check out Alyssa Pitts--she's up at Cedar Meadow Farm in Snohomish (the facilities at this place area REALLY nice for only $650/mo board). She's mostly dressage now and I don't know if she still offers training in H/J but I would trust her with a green horse.

    You should come out ahead of time, meet with the trainers, watch them ride and train. I'd be wary of any trainer that had an issue with someone watching. The bottom line is that you can ask for recommendations and hear useful and important information about barns with less than stellar business practices but what barn will fit you and your horse is up to you. There are some trainers around here that are really good at what they do, and revered, but they just might not suit you.

    Because of your budget you might not be able to train with the "greats" but you should be able to find a place if you go around and interview people.



  18. #18
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    Oct. 15, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyfreckles View Post
    Check out Alyssa Pitts--she's up at Cedar Meadow Farm in Snohomish (the facilities at this place area REALLY nice for only $650/mo board). She's mostly dressage now and I don't know if she still offers training in H/J but I would trust her with a green horse.
    Oh, Alyssa is great! Didn't realize she had moved out of Norcal, but would absolutely trust her to put a nice start on a young horse.



  19. #19
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    Jun. 13, 2001
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    For sure go down to Aspen Farms (at least to school). http://aspenfarmseventing.com They are holding some of the top events on the west coast.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  20. #20
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    Nov. 28, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinobi View Post
    Does it often pour buckets in Seattle during the winter?
    LOL. Yes, it rains buckets, in a constant sort of grey kind of way

    I would whole-heartedly recommend Jordan... she is a class act!
    I was in pony club with Kelsey, and she has always been an excellent rider and she is teaching now with Maris at Two Mountains... so I would also recommend them.
    Gold Creek has no turnout.
    I am not going to give a thumbs up or down for anyone else on your original list... all I will say is "$$$$$$$"

    Also want to add this resource:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2480...ref=ts&fref=ts

    There was a listing for affordable boarding in the Redmond area posted recently.
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