May be moving away from my beloved 'ssippi to Texas. An exciting opportunity has arisen that would offer many, many benefits for me. But I'm not taking it unless I can ride the way I want to. I want a barn that is showing most weekends, preferably doing rated shows. Most important though is a great, honest trainer. Fees aren't an issue right now, so all is good on that end. I'm willing to drive up to 45 minutes. A covered/indoor would be nice, but by no means necessary.
I've heard of Switch Willo - anyone have any other suggestions? And can anyone give more information?
You will love Austin. In addition to being a great city, it is very active for h/j. Lots of good barns. But Austin is growing fast, and you may not want to be driving across town. Do you know where you will be living and working?
I've been to Austin many times, and I'm a native New Orleanian so I can appreciate it immensely. No idea about working area, but probably living near St. Edwards, off of South Congress. I know it'll be hard to find somewhere in central Austin, so I would rather not drive across town as you say, but I am willing to drive to make sure I'm at a great place!
I've been in Austin my whole life. I would recommend visiting www.thja.org and looking at the trainer listings. "A" show barn with an indoor limits your selections, but there are a few good options to consider. Some of the barns/trainers that do rated shows regularly are Rio Vista, Switch Willow, Lone Star Stables (has an indoor), White Fences (also has an indoor), Madrone Ranch Stables, Step Aside Farms (already mentioned on this thread), and Caledonia.
Jo is right that a search will help, but so will understanding exactly what you're looking for. Do you require lots of turn out? Do you want a big operation with lots of people and lots of "goings on" at the barn, or something more quiet? How far are you *really* willing to drive, taking traffic into consideration? Is your focus Hunters or Jumpers?
Feel free to PM me with any specific questions, I've ridden at some point or another with everyone on this list.