Hello COTH! It's been a while. Almost 2 years, in fact.
My horse got hurt (twice), was retired, I graduated from college and then moved up to DC and decided to stop doing the horse thing for a while in order to get my career jump-started.
So, here I am. Living on Capitol Hill and working in the heart of downtown, and the only equine-interaction I get is when I'm in Tennessee sucking up to SUBK or on rare trips out to Middleburg to visit friends.
I've been telling myself I didn't miss it that much, but then it was 70 degrees on Tuesday and, as I jogged down the national mall for the 10,000th time, I realized I've been totally lying to myself.
I have several questions-
1. Does anyone have knowledge of barns that are public-transit accessible? I've been looking at Reddemeade and Rock Creek, but can't tell from the websites how the facilities are.
2. Does anyone commute out of DC to a barn somewhere that has a lesson program that wants a carpool buddy? Or just to chat about how non-conducive DC is to this whole horse thing?
3. As you can perhaps glean from the context clues, I'm currently carless. My truck is sitting in my mother's driveway in Tennessee because I haven't felt the need to pay to maintain it in a city I don't have to drive in. Am I going to have to bring it back up or is there a way to do this and remain carless?
Any other musings? Thoughts? Complaints about how terrible Metro is?
"My shopping list is getting long but I will add the marshmallows right below the napalm." -Weighaton
It would help to know about your experience and what you're really looking for out of your lessons. I was living in DC last year and pretty much went through the same thing.
I visited and took intro lessons at a bunch of the barns around there and found that they weren't really what I was looking for. Reddemeade, Rock Creek are both typical lesson barns, mostly catering to lower level riders in group lessons. I have no idea if they're accessible by public transport. I would say that Rock Creek is more likely to have that than Reddemeade. I believe that the closest H/J facility is Meadowbrook.
I was looking for an eventing barn where I could take lessons on their horses and not feel like I was just trotting around in circles for an hour. I ended up having to drive over an hour out to Waredaca weekly and occasionally make the hike out to Middleburg for a lesson with Stephen Bradley.
If all you're really looking for is a horsey fix for an hour a week or so and you don't mind going on an escorted trail ride or taking a group lesson than Rock Creek might work. If you want something a bit more advanced I think you're going to have a hard time finding it within public transportation access. Or, if it does have access it's going to take you forever to get there.
I hope you can find someone to carpool with! If I was still around I would totally be up for it, though that doesn't help you now. Have you thought about a car rental service like CarsToGo? I haven't tried it but it's an option.
Your best bet is probably Meadowbrook - better than Rock Creek you could check if they have any adult classes; most of the barns, if they are on a bus line chance of them being right near a bus stop are pretty nil. In DC public transit is pretty expensive so if you're having to take metro and bus, you're probably better off getting a zip car
Just as a suggestion, I have two horses that need a rider a couple days a week (both OTTBs), and would be more than happy to try to coordinate with you to come help me out. I drive past most of the major stops, but it depends on what your schedule is. My farm is in Germantown (north on 270 from DC). It takes me about a half hour without traffic to make it to the mall, or georgetown, etc.