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Stanford Dressage

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  • Stanford Dressage

    Hi everyone!
    I recently got into Stanford ea, and I am thinking of bringing my horse (if at all possible).
    I was wondering if anyone has information about the barn, trainers, dressage team, etc. For example:
    1) What is the horsecare level at the barn?
    2) Do many dressage riders bring their own horses? (really just out of curiosity)
    3) Is it possible to be on the team and care for your own horse simultaneously? (any thoughts on college dressage in general would be great, too)

    If not, maybe info about other trainers in the bay area?

    Any replies and PMs much appreciated!
    Thanks so much!

  • #2
    I do not attend Stanford, but rode at the Red Barn for about four years, so I think I can help you out

    The level of horsecare at Stanford is fantastic. Vanessa and her team do a really great job looking after the horses. I still remember one time, one of the grooms (a new groom, I might add) noticed that my pasture-barn horse was stocked up in the back, and called my trainer to let her know.

    There are many dressage riders at Stanford, though I cannot honestly remember how many Stanford *students* brought dressage horses. Stanford does have a IDA team that competes with other universities, and weekly dressage lessons, so there is a fairly strong contingent of students at least interested in dressage.

    The main dressage trainer at Stanford is Rachel Williamson, who is absolutely fantastic - extremely supportive and knowledgeable. Lisa Wilcox has cliniced at Stanford in the past, and I believe Heidi Gaian (of Villa Rosa) comes down once in a while.

    As for being on the team while caring for your own horse, that is definitely possible. I personally know of at least five students who both owned horses and rode with the team (one even served as Team President for a year while having her horse at Stanford).

    Let me know if you'd like more information!


    • #3
      I currently board at Stanford, and while I'm an eventer, I currently have my horse in training with Rachel Williamson who is the resident dressage trainer. She is AMAZING! The dressage team is fairly new at Stanford, but they have been really successful and sent a rider to Nationals last year. I watched an IDA show that Stanford hosted last year and loved how supportive the Stanford riders were of each other.

      Rachel also brings her trainer up for clinics and Brian Sabo comes up once a month for dressage and jumping lessons.

      There would also be the possibility of doing a half-lease if you found you didn't have time to ride your horse as often as you would like. I don't think any of the dressage team members have brought their own horses, but as ens0613 wrote, students who ride on the english and western teams do bring their own horses.

      My suggestion is that you get in touch with Rachel, and have a chat with her before you make your decision. PM me and I'll get you her contact information.

      The level of care is outstanding at Stanford.
      Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


      • #4
        Dressage at Stanford

        I also have lots of experience at Stanford; just sold a horse who was boarded there for 3 years. It is a fantastic facility & the management does a great job. Students get good discounts for board which makes it as cheap as any other place around for them - places that can't compare in the quality of the feed, riding arenas, staffing, etc. I know of one student who decided to keep her horse elsewhere, but that was partly because she wanted to trail ride frequently. Rachel Williamson is a very talented teacher and horse trainer; her assistants are excellent too. There are only a handful of other dressage trainers in close proximity to Stanford. The only downside is that the private hunter/jumper trainers at the barn take over too much ring space - especially when the weather is bad and all riders are confined to the covered arena. However, you find that problem in all big riding facilities. At least at Stanford there is a huge covered ring and a covered round pen - plus 3 other arenas including a full size dressage court with full length mirrors. You are lucky both to have a horse you can bring to school & to be coming to Stanford!