I just accepted for a job in Winchester, VA! I know it's supposedly horsey country, but I'm not familiar with the area. Anyone have any suggestions for a place to board my mare?
Quality care is my primary concern. She's only ever been stall-boarded, but she might be a good candidate for pasture board. I think she would love being out 24/7, but I have never pasture-boarded a horse before and I'm nervous since she's just recovered from a ligament tear.
Before she got injured, we were doing jumpers but my goal is to event eventually. She's only just coming back into work and I dont think I'm going to push her much over the next year, so discipline and lessons are less of a deciding factor. Trails would be awesome! I don't know if an indoor is necessary in VA like it is in PA.
Also, what sort of price is common for the area? I'll be living off a stipend, so I need to figure out how much to budget for my mare's rent vs my rent
Thanks in advance for any advice/recommendations. I'm really excited about the opportunity I have professionally; being able to take my horse along with me is a cherry on top!
Welcome to VA! I'm not sure about boarding in Winchester, although it being the Shenendoah Valley there will likely be lots of places. I do know that it is less than 45 minutes from Winchester to Leesburg, so if you run out of places to look on your side of the hill, try looking over the hill on our side.
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Thanks for the suggestion. What is traffic like heading to Leesburg? I lived in the Rockville/Silver Spring area for a few years and discovered that I am allergic to traffic (DC traffic anyway). I was excited when matched to Winchester since its more rural, but I've discovered that it seems to be pretty influenced by the city. Cost of living-wise anyway.
I've never field boarded a horse before. Someone made a comment about it not being a good idea bc of humidity/bugs in the summer, but the majority of places I've found offer it. Any insight?
My horses always field boarded in VA (except the one summer I had my mare at Foxcroft) and they were fine. The only thing I'd be aware of is shade. Ideally the water trough should be kept in a run in so it doesn't get too hot, and there should be plenty of shade, whether its run in or trees, for every horse. Bugs wise they really seem to do fine. Obviously make sure your horse is UTD on west nile and all that, which you'd do anyway. As for humidity just try to avoid riding in the middle of the day and you'll be fine. Mornings are way cooler than evenings as the ground hasn't had a chance to warm up so heat wont be radiating from it as much. I used to get out at 5-6AM over the summers.
Location wise, from Winchester I'd be looking into The Plains and Middleburg. They are both about a 30 min. drive and I don't remember the traffic being too terrible. You are going away from DC so you should be ok, and both are far enough away that you shouldn't have too much commuter traffic.
I'm really jealous, you are in my dream location. Hopefully I'll be in the vicinity too once I finish this pesky thing called grad school.
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I'm not super involved in the horse world right now (but I still love lurking on COTH) but I know of a few barns.
First is Sandstone Farm in Boyce (very short drive). Pretty much all field board. No indoor but a very nice outdoor ring. Trail access. Hosts schooling shows in the summer months.
Second is Elmington Farm in Berryville (still pretty close, not over the mountain or anything). Has indoor and outdoor. Gorgeous turnout and I think I remember the barn being nice too. Not sure about trail access, can't say one way or another. Hosts schooling shows in the summer months.
Third is Foxrock in Purcellville (further drive, over the mountain in Loudoun Co). Beautiful place with turnout, a dirt track, and an indoor. Pretty sure there is trail access here. Honestly not sure about an outdoor ring though. They started hosted schooling shows this winter, not sure about the summer. This barn is new but the BO has been in the business her whole life.
These are only the places I have personal experience with. With a little research, I'm sure you'll find way more.
Last edited by chicken_derby; Mar. 27, 2013 at 10:29 PM.
Reason: more info