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Boarding barns near Eglin AFB FL

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  • Boarding barns near Eglin AFB FL

    We're relocating to the Niceville, Florida area from Germany and are bringing three horses with us. I'm in somewhat of a panic to find stabling for them since they're leaving here at the beginning of April and should finish with quarantine around the third week of April. I've e-mailed a few places I've found on the net and have got NO answers back. I'm not in full-up panic mode yet, but I feel it coming.

    Can anyone assist?

  • #2
    Jodie Kelly has a very nice barn in Destin. You have to pay a toll and cross a bridge to get there, but it's top notch. She has an evacuation plan for hurricanes. If you want off the coast, look at John Grodoski's barn. It's a lovely barn, John is the best farrier in the area and his wife is a hunter trainer. They're in Crestview and it's an easy drive from Eglin. Eglin used to have its own stable, so make sure you can't just board at the base. I rode at a show at Eglin and the barn is at the end of a jet runway, so beware. You're coming to a fairly horsey area, so don't panic.


    • #3
      I can't give you a ton of help. But being at a military stable this website tries and helps military families out. Maybe it can be some help to you.



      • Original Poster


        I'll look up those links today. I did look at Eglin's site, but they have a two horse limit. I've got three with another on the way. I did board at Langley AFB before we moved to Germany, and it was a bog, near the runway. Then Hurricane Isabelle hit.


        • #5
          I will be interested to hear the replies here as well- We are currently in Germany also (but 2 years left) and Eglin is top of the list of where we want to go from here. I have heard good things about Jodie Kelly (had a friend that looked at a horse for sale there) but would like to hear about other places, too. I would L O V E to live somewhere warm next!! Hahahaha


          • #6
            Jules and N2 -

            Are you all in the military or is your SO? I have recently thought about going into the Air Force, have heard that I could go anywhere in US or abroad only to Germany. I just bought a great schoolmaster last year. I don't think I'd take the AF opportunity if it meant giving him up (however if I went to Germany and could have great dressage training over there I'd be okay with it).
            Any idea about riding and horse ownership while on active duty? I'm fairly sure AF jobs different significantly so this might be tough to answer. I'd be a nurse practitioner and from what I've heard, wouldn't 100% have to live on base, etc, etc.

            Thanks for any info!!


            • Original Poster

              We're looking at the possibility of buying/building a horse property in the area. There are stables that board, but the cost is high, IMHO. I'm getting too old for all the barn drama/politics, too. I just want to enjoy my horses. I'd really like to have the horses at home and trailer to lessons. For the time being, I've found a place near Cottondale to keep the horses until we buy/build.

              We do have sunshine this week near Ramstein, at least, and the snow melted, finally! Now, if the mud would dry ...

              GimmeQ: My husband is retired AF, now a DOD employee. You'd have great dressage training here; my trainer started both my horses and they're doing very well. I've learned a lot, too.


              • #8
                Jules- Snow down here is also gone and the sun is shining!! Yayyyyy!!! Ramstein isn't far but I think its a lil bit warmer there. Who do you ride with? I am leasing a S level schoolmaster and riding with Bärbel Eppinger- a GP rider. I want to eventually buy a young horse to bring back to the States with me. Maybe to Destin! Then maybe you will have your farm and would entertain the idea of having a boarder and a little barn help?

                To answer the active duty question- nope, I'm a spouse and I currently work at an after school program. While it leaves good barn time the pay is rather crappy


                • #9
                  In Cottondale, try Mary Jane Benson at Willow Bend farm. She has an indoor arena and a quiet setting. Region 3 sponsors an annual USDF adult dressage camp only a short distance from Eglin, like a few miles. It would be a good way to meet people. The Emerald Coast group organizes two recognized shows every year in Pensacola at the city equestrian center, very nice with a covered arena. You could go to the DSDCTA (Deep South Dressage and Combined Training Association) website and look at the Emerald Coast club. That crowd is almost entirely in the Niceville area. Someone from the club should be able to tell you every place to board in the area.


                  • Original Poster

                    norton: That's where the horses are going. I'm pleased, as my in-foal mare needs a quiet place. I've exchanged a few e-mails with her over the last couple of days, and made my decision yesterday. One less worry!

                    n2: My trainer is a small-time local trainer, but she was trained by the old German cavalry officers as a child, and she is really good. Common sensical. She's trained my Friesian/Appaloosa up to the equivalent of Second level, and my six-year-old I bred here is doing well, too. She'll be visiting me in FL.

                    GimmeQ: Would your potential job involve being deployed for long periods? That might be something to think about if you want to bring a horse here, having a back-up caretaker if/when you're away.


                    • #11
                      jules57 - Mary Jane is very, very nice. I've judged shows at her place and stayed at her house. It's a friendly atmosphere and Mary Jane has a lot of experience. You definitely don't need to worry. She has clinics at her place with a very good trainer and a schedule of shows.


                      • #12
                        Hi Jules,

                        I would not be deployed at all. I would work within the US or Germany. Granted, I have not spoken to a recruiter, but a friend/coworker currently in the program (and, you know, the internet....). While I could potentially have to move a lot, wouldn't be away from the horse (except for Germany, and I wouldn't subject him to that international move).

                        I think my minor health issues will exclude me from the program...I have to make some calls, I guess!


                        • #13
                          LOL - I knew you were going to Mary Jane's as soon as you said Cottondale - it is about the only place there (it is a hike to Eglin though). I am a private barn/breeder and only 5 mins from Mary Jane and you will like her facility (Bennie is a great farrier too on site).

                          For near Eglin, Jodie Kelly is prob the best place around over there although she can be pricy from what I have heard (but worth it).

                          Tyndall's stables - don't think they are stil lopen? And if they are I would hesitate to use them, they were pretty run down the last time I was there (several years ago). Don't know if Eglin has any??

                          Welcome to the area! Also, check out the DSDCTA website for contact info and shows etc (Pensacola also prob has barns although I'm not sure who all is there).

                          (also, I'm an AF brat and graduated from KAHS! )
                          Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!


                          • #14

                            Where are you riding in the Stuttgart area? I was riding there about 35 years ago?

                            Not many places for Americans back then.

                            Let me know!
                            “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                            ? Albert Einstein


                            • Original Poster

                              acottongim: I need the horses to be in a good place while I organize the move form here to there, so her place looked like the best, even though it'll be a drive until we build/buy a horse property. Having shows, a trainer, and clinics handy won't hurt, either.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post

                                Where are you riding in the Stuttgart area? I was riding there about 35 years ago?

                                Not many places for Americans back then.

                                Let me know!
                                Well, first i was riding in Boeblingen but their horses were either lame or crazy... Then a friend in the US hooked me up with Baerbel Eppinger- a GP rider in Muensingen which is quite a drive but worth it! Baerbel's sister Iris rides for Valhalla Trakehner in Florida Baerbel is there now giving a clinic!!


                                • #17
                                  It is such a small world... N2D - I remember Boeblingen when I lived over there and it was not the place that you wanted to go if you were "serious". I also breed TKs and know Iris and Jean (at Valhalla).

                                  Jules - Mary Jane's is safe and she has Jan Gille in quite often whom I LOVE to ride with, Bill Woods (who is a hoot as well as a good clinician) comes in at least once or twice a year, and there are the occassional other one that will come around. She is doing 2 - 3 rated shows a year now (sport horse in hand as well as dressage) and she will also do a schooling show about once a month give or take. It is def a relaxed atmosphere!
                                  Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by GimmeQs View Post
                                    Hi Jules,

                                    I would not be deployed at all. I would work within the US or Germany. Granted, I have not spoken to a recruiter, but a friend/coworker currently in the program (and, you know, the internet....). While I could potentially have to move a lot, wouldn't be away from the horse (except for Germany, and I wouldn't subject him to that international move).

                                    I think my minor health issues will exclude me from the program...I have to make some calls, I guess!
                                    Be very cautious of anyone who may try to tell you you would be undeployable. My "undeployable" cousin, who is in the USAF, has been to Iraq 2 times! They simply reassigned her to a new job to make it happen.

                                    ETA- I think I should add that even though she has been deployed twice, my cousin (actually my cousin's wife) LOVES her job and has made a lifetime career out of the USAF. Both my cousin and his wife joined straight out of HS. The AF sent them through college, she has a BS and he has a Masters. Both are now officers and are very happy with the life the AF has given them.

                                    Sorry to hijack. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
                                    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett