I'm possibly relocating to the San Luis Obispo area and am wondering what the horse scene is like? I'm a H/J rider (mainly hunters and equitation) but I know the area is mainly eventing, dressage, and western. I would be keeping my horse back east, so I would need something with a lesson program. What's within an hour of SLO?
I was out there years ago, but there are barns around. Check in Santa Ynez, Arroyo Grande, and Nipomo. I recall a few lesson barns around. There's an English tack store in Arroyo Grande - I'd call to get some barn names. There's a little h/j show circuit in Santa Ynez, but yeah, more Arabs, western, dressage, eventing, and natural horseman stuff overall. But not too bad if you do some exploring. My trainer was in Santa Ynez, but she's overseas now with family. Not sure if program is as good now, so not naming farm.
Ron Keller, Richard's son and a fine fellow and horseman has a barn thereabouts. He just did a clinic at nipomo, perhaps at marcly. Then, there's the woman who is her own reality show, so you have to call and visit, or perhaps just check out the daily adventures on facebook, that would be Kristinmedallsimpsonhardin. A dynamic and wild all around horsewoman...
Hate to say it, but there is not much in the way of H/J here. To get to a decently attended show, you have to go all the way to Santa Barbara or Gilroy-ish. And I say that as the manager of a small schooling show series. There are some schooling shows (Vulcan Mesa, Marcly Farms, Shadow Hills, and SYVEA which used to be much larger but has suffered a board that treats the English contingent as second class).
There are bigger show barns in Santa Ynez. In SLO, you're looking at Oak Park and Coastal Equine (I'm not sure if they have a trainer?). I can't recall Lisa Morr's business name, but she's in SLO as well. In Los Osos (15 minute drive from SLO), you have Shadow Hills Riding School that runs out of Los Osos Valley Equine Farm. In Nipomo, you have Marcly Farms where Ron Keller teaches (25 minute drive from SLO).
I have not heard of Buttonwood. I don't think Morning Star has a trainer. Stonegate used to be more Eventing, but maybe they have changed focus?
As for tack stores: Classical Horseman in Arroyo Grande closed a few years back. There is Whitehorse in Paso Robles, Farm Supply in SLO, Paso and AG but it's mostly a feed store and some western tack. LOVE Farm has an onsite tack shop.
Feel free to PM if you have any other questions. It's a great area, with some really fun horsepeople, but the H/J scene is a bit pathetic.
Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"