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Possible Future Move to DC-Boarding/Training Options

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  • Possible Future Move to DC-Boarding/Training Options

    Hey all-

    So I am graduating from law school this May, and the job prospects are slim to none for new attorneys. I need to start making $$$ right away to continue paying for my horses and pay off my massive amount of student loans.

    I have a possibility of getting a contracting job with the government through my Aunt who live in MD and has been working in contracting in DC for 20+ years. She basically said if I want the job come July (after the bar), it is mine...which I may have to take her up on since I am getting quite nervous about not getting a job...

    So anyways, now that you know the back story...

    I have my 2 year old gelding, and a 22 year old mare that I still ride. I do dressage, and by the time I would move to DC it would be getting close to the time my baby would need breaking/training. Only the baby would be in training, the mare I just putz around on

    What boarding farms/training facilities are there that are geared towards dressage that are not $$$$$$$$$$$$$$?

    Living in South FL right now I pay $600 each a month for full board, but I have a feeling it will be more near the DC area. I do want turnout and an indoor (I am from FL, and have never dealt with snow so this should be interesting), so I know that is $$$ as well.

    Would you guys recommend VA or MD to board in, as well as where I should live?? I know everyone says live closer to the barn which I am fine with, but I know literally nothing about the area, and my Aunt knows nothing about horses so she can't really help me there.

    So I need a few trainer/boarding recommendations (Dressage)as well as the areas I should be looking at apartments... I will not have a trailer, so I will need to board at the trainers, or board where a trainer comes frequently.

    Thanks guys for your help!!
    Samantha Werner

    There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers

  • #2
    Will you be living with your Aunt and if so, where does she live? That will help us figure out what will be available closer to where you will be living. The DC area covers a lot of ground


    • Original Poster

      My aunt lives in Bethesda, MD, but I do not plan on living with her.

      I was told by a friend who is my age that VA might be a better fit for me because she thinks it has a slighty younger crowd?? She told me that most of the younger generation prefers VA and that she thinks of MD as being a slighty more family oriented area, but she could be wrong, which is why I ask you guys!

      She said for the metro live off the Orange, Blue or Yellow line, and I think she mentioned that the below areas are in Arlington which I may like on the VA side:
      Vienna Fairfax, East Falls Church, Ballston, Virginia Square, Clarendon, Court House, Crystal City, Rosslyn, Pentagon City.

      She also said that Middleburg is very horsey and about a 30-45 drive from the Orange line (she thinks). She wasn't sure what other areas had Dressage barns.

      Did she lead me in the right direction, or do you think MD would be a better fit for me and my horses??
      Samantha Werner

      There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers


      • #4
        There are no shortage of dressage trainers in the greater DC metro area. Many trainers will travel to your barn for lessons too. So, you may not wish to limit yourself to only those barns with resident trainers. Working in DC though pretty much guarantees an awful commute. After 13 years of working in DC, I took a pay cut to come work in the 'burbs - no regrets. Here are a few with indoors and resident trainers:

        Compass Rose Farm
        Haymarket, VA

        Homestead Farm
        Catlett, VA

        Looking Glass Farm
        Hamilton, VA

        Kingland Farm
        Lovettsville, VA

        Wyndham Oaks
        Boyds, MD

        Cheshire Horse Hills
        Waldorf, MD


        • #5
          Is the $600/month you pay now for both horses or per horse? With an indoor, most places in the area are $600/horse. With training on top of that. Just to help you with the sticker prices so you aren't too shocked.

          Staying in DC, VA or MD close to the district will give you the younger crowd/night life if that is what you want. Combining night life and horses, only the young will try!!!!! Staying close to the district will mean at least an hour commute to your horse on the weekday. In MD or VA. If you will be working downtown, you could live near one of the RR lines and take the train in so that way you would be closer to your horse. I don't know what farms are near the VA lines, but there are several farms near the MD lines.

          Finding someone to break out your youngster if you don't want to do it is another project. And your youngster won't really be ready for "training" for another year or so after he is under saddle. So you may want a place with access to trails.


          • #6
            Live in Fredericksburg, take VRE to DC keep horses at Glamorgan
            I wasn't always a Smurf
            Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
            "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
            The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


            • #7
              I <3 NOVA but it depends how far away from work you are willing to be. Lots of my friends live in the Arlington area, so that's where I would be looking at if I (hopefully) head to DC within the next year. In my dreams I'd eventually live in Middleburg (esp for horses!), but is probably too far away from DC for you (1.5hrs drive, more in traffic!). Falls Church could also be worth considering.
              "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
              "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


              • #8
                Where will you be working? The traffic here is just horrific, so I would plan everything (horses, apartments, etc) around your work commute.


                • #9
                  Yep, what wanderlust said. PLAN EVERYTHING around your commute, as it is most horrible. The beltway, 95, the Dulles Toll Rd, BW parkway, and downtown all can go at a creep for HOURS. Especially during any rain or snow event or during holidays. Rush hour should be renamed CRAWL hour there. Honestly.

                  Once you figure out where you will be working (hopefully, you can give us a specific location without disclosing the exact address or company), we can give you more recommendations. There are lots of quality dressage trainers in both Maryland and Virginia, many of them compete on a national level and are rated judges, too. It's a great area for dressage.
                  Banter whenever you want to banter....canter whenever you want to canter.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by carolprudm View Post
                    Live in Fredericksburg, take VRE to DC keep horses at Glamorgan
                    Patrick and Lani Tigchelaar are fantastic!


                    • Original Poster

                      PaintLady-Thank you for the list of barns ...I don't plan on driving to work, I would want to live near the metro so I can just hop on and end up a work without driving...did you mean that the commute on the metro is bad as well? Or did you mean driving your own car into the city?

                      gailbyrd- the 600 a month is per horse that I am paying right now, so 1200 total, but once I decide if I am going up there I will most likely have one of them on pasture board if the farm I choose offers that. The baby could still use pasture board for a couple of years while he is young, and then perhaps my old mare (maybe just in the summers...she is 22 and has never seen a real winter and she is a baby when it comes to the cold) at some point. So I figure paying around the same price as down here then??
                      "Staying in DC, VA or MD close to the district will give you the younger crowd/night life if that is what you want. Combining night life and horses, only the young will try!!!!!"
                      haha yes that's me When you say RR lines, do you mean the metro or is that a different thing??

                      Thanks carolprudm- about how far is that from DC, and would I be able to take the metro/train to work from there??

                      Event4Life- my friend told me Arlington as well!! Now I just need to decide between VA or MD and where to keep the horses!!

                      NotGrandPrixYet-Yes, I do not want to commute, hopefully just take the metro, but do you all still mean that is a pain as well?!?!? Once I know the exact location I will let you all know
                      Samantha Werner

                      There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers


                      • #12
                        The Metro is awesome. You can live anywhere that there is a MARC train station as well. You will save the parking money and headache as a bonus!
                        Banter whenever you want to banter....canter whenever you want to canter.


                        • #13
                          The train is the RR lines I mentioned. Both VA and MD have a decent train system.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by paintlady View Post
                            Patrick and Lani Tigchelaar are fantastic!
                            Another vote for Patrick & Lani! They are just delightful people!
                            Watermark Farm
                            Watermark Farm Facebook Fan Page
                            You Tube Channel


                            • #15
                              If you focus on a location that allows you to get really quickly to a Metro or MARC train, then you can read/sleep/whatever on the road and not feel like it's such a drain. I have done the drive/park/walk/train/switch to another train and it's exhausting. If you go online you can look at Metro maps (WMATA) or google the MARC trains - look at some stops and you get an idea where urban sprawl has reached. But that mostly means limited farmland with barns, etc. in those areas. Sort of a balancing act in finding an answer to everything.


                              • #16
                                You can live on Capitol Hill (fabulous for younger professionals) and be at your stable in 25 minutes in Upper Marlboro. I have all the amenities you have now (indoor, etc) for under $600. We have top notch dressage coaches that come every weekend. I will PM you the contact info!
                                "I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
                                as a thoroughbred horse."

                                -JOHN GALSWORTHY


                                • #17
                                  Virginia train system
                                  I wasn't always a Smurf
                                  Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                                  "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                                  The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


                                  • #18
                                    I never drove to DC when I worked there. You can't really drive during rush hour unless you have multiple people in your car due to HOV restrictions. Plus, parking costs a small fortune. Living in VA, I've done a variation of Metro, OmniRide (commuter bus) and VRE (commuter train). Here is a good website on the various DC commuter options -

                                    Commuter Connections

                                    My last commute was the "straw that broke the camels back" for me. I live in Western Fairfax County - 30 miles west of downtown DC. I don't have the option to live closer since my husband works in the complete opposite direction in Leesburg, VA. I drove 1.5 miles to a Metro park-and-ride, hopped on Metro bus which took me the Vienna Metro Station (30 minute minumum drive due to traffic), then took the Metro from Vienna to Farragut West (30 minute minimum trip), then walked about 3 blocks to the office. On an average day, my commute took 1.5 hours each way. On a day when Metro was broke or the bus never showed - sadly this happened at least once a month - it could take upwards of 3 hours.

                                    I now drive 10 miles on a parkway to get to work. Plus, my horse is boarded 5 miles from my house. :-) My dressage trainer will come to my barn for lessons. No indoor, but I have a trailer and access to an indoor for a small fee.

                                    Keep in mind though that if you choose to live closer to work, then you may have to travel further out to the barn. Rush hour traffic heading westbound from Arlington can be rough. As someone else said, it's a balancing act in finding the answer to everything. There are many barns closer to Arlington in Fairfax County (Great Falls, Clifton, Fairfax Station, Centreville), but most are small and do not have indoor arenas or resident trainers. I posted several suggestions for barns closer to Arlington in this thread - http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=341328

                                    With that being said, I absolutely love the Northern Virginia area. We have a very vibrant horse community with lots of trainers and opportunities to show - especially in dressage.
                                    Last edited by paintlady; Mar. 13, 2012, 11:53 AM. Reason: Added link to another thread about barns near Arlington


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Tasker View Post
                                      Another vote for Patrick & Lani! They are just delightful people!
                                      Patrick & Lani travel up to Northern Virginia regularly for lessons. They have several students at Olivers Stable in Fairfax Station, VA:



                                      • Original Poster

                                        Thank you everyone for all of the advice!! I will update when I know more about the job and it's location
                                        Samantha Werner

                                        There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers