Need eventing trainer near Alexandria, VA for green horse (w/ video!)
It's been a while since I've really posted. I know there are many threads about finding barns in Northern Virginia, and I have read a lot of them already. I still would love your input though! My horse is a 9 yo OTTB, and I've owned him since he was 5. He's not really "green", but I've only ever done low level hunters/jumpers, and the only things I know about eventing are from what I've watched, read online, and a few lessons I was able to take from LAZ 2 springs ago. In June 2012, I did a Starter level horse trial at her place, and have not done anything with my horse since.
He has been in light work for the last year with 2 adult amateur hunter riders who basically just hack him a few times a week and jump very small courses on rare occasions. After that Starter level horse trial, I moved to California, then got pregnant, and had a baby this past July, so I have not ridden at all since I moved. Now we have moved again to Alexandria, VA. I want to find a place to move my horse here, get both of us back in shape, and hopefully start eventing next season.
Ideally, when I first move my horse here, I will put him into a full training program at least for a couple of months. I will only have time to ride once or twice a week, if I'm lucky, and I want a trainer on him the rest of the week to keep in him shape and schooled nicely for me. I will also want this trainer to be able to put more dressage work into him and get his canter more balanced (something I've not been able to do myself very well). If weather permits (since we are heading into fall), I'd like my horse to get schooled over more cross country type jumps and ridden out of the ring more too.
Basically I am just looking for a trainer who will be able to do this for me this fall/winter, and who will be able to give me lessons as well. In a perfect situation, I will find a barn where I can occasionally take lessons on a schoolmaster to show me the ropes, since I have never evented before.
One additional note: my horse is a head shaker, so this can interfere greatly with his flatwork depending on the time of year (he does not do it while jumping). I have learned to tolerate it, but I would need a trainer to be patient and understanding with him, and to learn the difference between my horse resisting the bit and actual head shaking, so he does not get punished for it.
I do not really plan on riding during the week for the time being since I have such a young baby and a husband who works long hours, so rush hour commutes don't matter as much to me. I would like to find a place that is 45 minutes away or less on the weekend. I live in the Landmark area of Alexandria.
Any recommendations for a trainer or barn that might work for me?
For fun, here is a link to his dressage from the horse trial last summer. You can also see his stadium round.
I think Yvonne Lucas (Yventer here) would be a great match. She takes great care of the horses (with lots of turnout), she has evented at the upper levels as well as bringing them along from scratch, and she is particularly strong in dressage.
The only downside is that she is in Berryville. But it is a pretty straight shot up Rt 7 when it is not rush hour.
Lat year. when I went on an extended vacation, and I was trying to sell Chief, I sent him to Yvonne to keep him in work. She was doing a great job, so I left him with her until he sold.
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).
If you're thinking VA, I'd second the recommendation of Tiffany Catledge, who works out of Aldie. She has access to good hacking and regularly takes horses to local events and schooling, as well a dressage/smaller H/J shows. Don't know if she has room right now, but if she does, I think she does a lovely job with green horses and is very patient with them. She's not a big name, but I've been impressed both by how her horses and her students' horses look, and her attention to detail and horse care. From Landmark, it's going to be 45 minutes plus/minus depending on traffic (and on how easy it is for you to get onto 66 or the toll road).
We have a great program here at Windchase that would allow you to set up training and schooling rides on your horse. We have cross country courses here at the farm and a selection of different trainers to help bring the horses along. We have a few boarders here that hail from the Alexandria area. It's a bit far of a drive, but well worth it for the facility and care we offer!
I used to have a headshaker so I can sympathize with the struggle, I found a nose net that was a huge help as well as just accepting that riding in a sprinkly rain was never going to happen!
I'll be the bearer of bad news - 45 minutes will be the lesser of the travel time, best to plan on almost any place taking you an hour, the good news is there are lots of good places within an hour and this area also has several competition venues within an hour or so drive. If you want your horse in training I'd second any of the suggestions given so far; and there are a couple of good places in Maryland as well - one you could check out in MD would be Destination Farm. If Yellowbritches sees this she's another who give offer up some recommendations as well. Welcome back to the area