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Dressage within 1 hour of San Francisco?

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  • Dressage within 1 hour of San Francisco?

    I live and work in San Francisco and have only been back to riding for about two years after a long career-induced break. I bought my dream horse in November but my current trainer just told me she is moving, so I am looking to COTH for options and ideas of a trainer/boarding facility within an hour's drive from downtown San Francisco--with traffic, that's the hard part!

    I work at least 50 hours a week and do not have a flexible work schedule, so my gelding is in full training and I also need a trainer that is willing to teach lessons a few evenings a week and a regular weekend lesson. I am riding at Training/First level (same for my gelding, though he was trained through Second but needs time/muscle to get back to that), and my long-term goal is to show a bit and get my bronze medal eventually.

    My gelding is 18hh, so stall size/turnout is also an issue. It seems that nothing is easy with horses!

    I am open to North Bay, East Bay, and especially Peninsula recs--as long as the drive from downtown is about an hour or less.

    Please feel free to PM me with suggestions--and if you have an idea of ballpark board/training costs for recs, even better.

    Thanks so much in advance, COTH!

  • #2
    If stall size and turnout are an issue, stay away from the Peninsula! Turnout is horrible and prices are ridiculous.
    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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    • #3
      Would you consider Napa?? It is pretty much a full care facility, with 16x18 box stall available. All day turn-out in private paddock is included.

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      • #4
        Well I am moving to Riverside Equestrian Center on Sunday to work with a very talented young trainer who is working in the barn of an FEI level trainer/rider. They have big stalls and turnout, and they do have a wait list for some huge paddocks that are the size of a turnout in most places.

        I'll let you know how it all goes if you are interested. Riverside is certainly a nice facility with lots of shows/clinics/trainers/etc.
        http://www.riversideequestriancenter.com/

        I love the facility I board at currently in the East Bay, and it's well within an hour of SF, but if you want to be in training I do not recommend it sadly - especially since it's only 10 minutes from my house
        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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        • #5
          Christine Rivlin is excellent, at Riverside Equestrian in Petaluma.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by chryssilynn View Post
            Christine Rivlin is excellent, at Riverside Equestrian in Petaluma.
            Well that is nice to know, it is the barn I am moving to tomorrow! They certainly seem very nice, and the horses were in lovely shape and well ridden and trained.
            On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by LoveDusan View Post
              Would you consider Napa?? It is pretty much a full care facility, with 16x18 box stall available. All day turn-out in private paddock is included.
              That sounds good, but Napa is definitely over an hour from downtown SF, and with my work schedule, an hour each way is what I've found is my limit. I was hoping, perhaps unrealistically, to find something closer--I live close to 280 in the Mission Dolores area of SF, so that's why Peninsula recs are especially welcome.

              Does anyone have any experience with Petra Beltran at Clermont Equestrian? Clermont looks like a nice facility, board prices on their website not too outrageous, and the location would be great for me...

              It takes 30 minutes just to get to the Golden Gate bridge from my house... But Woodside/Portola Valley is 45 minutes to an hour max and Clermont is 35 minutes.

              I am open to East Bay, but Livermore (Greenville Eq. Center) is just too far--I tried a horse out there during my horse search and with traffic it was way over an hour. To do that regularly, especially during prime commute times, as I must, would kill me. Where do SF dressage riders go? Or do they just not work 50-hour-week career/desk jobs so the horsey commute is (slightly) less painful?

              Thanks for the recs so far! I will definitely look into those, and would love any more that folks have. And good luck Perfect Pony, I would love an update when you've settled in!

              Comment


              • #8
                Maybe sharing your gelding with us is not foremost on your mind with this thread, but I would Luuuuvvv to see some pics of this big boy.

                Good luck in your search. I feel for you - my commute to the barn from work is two hours. from home, 40 minutes, but during the week its hard hard hard. Hope you find the right place.

                Cheryl
                Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

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                • #9
                  There are several at GEC that work in the city - but they do it the opposite way. They live out here (near the barn or out in the East Bay like Pleasanton or San Ramon etc) and BART into the city for work every day. They still get home in time to ride around 7pm or 8pm daily plus weekends they are close and that works for them for showing.

                  I know at least 1 person who lives/works in SF proper and commutes out to Yarra Yarra and she works a lot as well.
                  RoseLane Sportponies
                  Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
                  Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
                  Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion

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                  • #10
                    We're in San Ramon and several commute from San Francisco...works pretty good for them...
                    Bethe Mounce
                    Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
                    https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
                    Brentwood CA

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                    • #11
                      Wyvern in Martinez, perhaps? Don't know who trainer(s) is/are there, but everyone tells me it's a lovely facility.

                      I'm a commuter, Concord to SF, get home at 6PM and head straight to the barn (in Walnut Creek), but my young horse is not in full training (can't afford it), and I trailer weekly to my instructor in Livermore on the weekends, work on my own the rest of the time, so my arrangements would not work for you.
                      Last edited by Sandy M; Mar. 1, 2011, 04:48 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sandy M View Post
                        Wyvern in Martinez, perhaps? Don't know who trainer(s) is/are there, but everyone tells me it's a lovely facility.
                        Courtney Kelley is a beautiful rider and excellent horseman and works out of that facility. Their rates are also quite reasonable.
                        http://www.wyvernfarm.com/

                        Tracy Hill is also there but seems to focus more on the upper level clients.

                        The only disadvantage to Wyvern is there are not a lot (or any?) after work riders, so I have always resisted going there. If you have your horse in training during the week and ride mostly weekends it would be an excellent place. It is a little isolated and dead after work.
                        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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                        • #13
                          We have a mare in training with www.crcdressage.com and I can't begin to say enough wonderful things about Caitlin. Caitlin has a super feel with horses and the changes in our mare in the 8 weeks she has been there have been superb. She is very fair and tactful. Christine Rivlin is also great.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
                            Courtney Kelley is a beautiful rider and excellent horseman and works out of that facility. Their rates are also quite reasonable.
                            http://www.wyvernfarm.com/

                            Tracy Hill is also there but seems to focus more on the upper level clients.

                            The only disadvantage to Wyvern is there are not a lot (or any?) after work riders, so I have always resisted going there. If you have your horse in training during the week and ride mostly weekends it would be an excellent place. It is a little isolated and dead after work.

                            Heck, I am alone 80% of the time when I ride in the evening. However, since BOs are on the property, they'd PROBABLY find my body when they do late night checks before they go to bed. ROFLOL Seriously, there's only one other person who regularly rides after 6:30 P.M. There are a couple who are there when I arrive at the barn in the evening, but most of the time they are leaving just about when I start to warm the beastie up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sandy M View Post
                              Heck, I am alone 80% of the time when I ride in the evening. However, since BOs are on the property, they'd PROBABLY find my body when they do late night checks before they go to bed. ROFLOL Seriously, there's only one other person who regularly rides after 6:30 P.M. There are a couple who are there when I arrive at the barn in the evening, but most of the time they are leaving just about when I start to warm the beastie up.
                              Oh I understand that, it's just that Wyvern is very remote, down a couple miles of single lane, unlighted, rural road in a isolated valley. You would have to make the drive to realize why I would not want to drive out there and ride alone at night!
                              On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I sent you a PM about dressage at Stanford. Not only is Rachel Williamson fantastic, we are also fortunate enough to have Brian Sabo come up and teach for two days once a month.

                                The other bonus is that Stanford is very close to the Horsepark and Webb Ranch both of which host some great dressage shows.
                                Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
                                http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
                                http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg

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                                • #17
                                  http://racheldressage.wordpress.com/about/ at Stanford
                                  OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

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                                  • #18
                                    I second Stanford

                                    Originally posted by jenm View Post
                                    I sent you a PM about dressage at Stanford. Not only is Rachel Williamson fantastic, we are also fortunate enough to have Brian Sabo come up and teach for two days once a month.
                                    Rachel's fantastic. Works well with all ages of people and all types of horses. She's extremely versatile, a rarity!

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                                    • #19
                                      I'm going to third/fourth (?) Rachel Williamson. She's enthusiastic, knowledgeable, versatile, and just a fantastic person to be around and work with

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        For sanity, I would go south if I were you. Commuting east over the bridge or north over the bridge is going to be expensive in tolls and gas that's going up 5 cents a gallon a day, and put you in traffic and take a lot of time to commute. I would go south on the peninsula towards the Woodside area. You have a fair number of good options. Carrie Coe and Pam Miller of Seven Oaks have been doing it a long time and work out of Portola Valley. You have others mentioned above, and there are lots more.

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