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Cross post from H/J- Boarding/training in East Bay SF area?

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  • Cross post from H/J- Boarding/training in East Bay SF area?

    My company is relocating me from downtown SF to San Leandro. Good bye, fog and I am thinking of moving my horses from Woodside to East Bay to save money and keep commute reasonable (I live in Redwood Shores)
    Any suggestions/comments/warnings on facilities and trainers are welcome and very appreciated, as I do not know anything about horse scene across the bay.
    I am hoping to find all around dressage trainer either with H/J experience or with opportunity to take lessons from another trainer, as I do both disciplines, and one of my beasts cannot do any jumping due to injury. I do not care about big name trainers, but hoping to find someone who knows what she/he doing and cares about horses and people in her/his care.

    I do not care about fanciness of the place or number of shows trainer goes to, but I do care about good footing, decent turnouts and ample arena space.

    Please share some insight

  • #2
    http://www.rdlaequestrian.com/ had H/J + dressage + semi-monthly clinics with BNTs. Large all day turn out is better than in most barns + miles and miles of trails with a gate to EBMUD - love, love, love that! Prices are ala carte ($450-$635, but you'll need to pay extra $ for hay or shavings if you'll need more than a pony sized amount). About 70 horses. No hot water. Only porta pottys. Has a large cross country corse. Hardly anybody in the arenas in the morning and early afternoon - love that! 3 arenas (1 covered with wall of mirrors, doesn't flood at winter) with various footing: some arenas are deeper or more level than others, but I would say that footing is the weakest point of that facility from the dressage point of view.
    Last edited by Dressage Art; Aug. 12, 2009, 01:10 AM.


    • #3
      Another barn that comes to mind that has both H/J and dressage is http://leapoffaithfarms.com/. It's one of the most expensive barns in East Bay, but it's bigger (about 150 horses) and fancy, fancy brand new with great bathrooms. 3 arenas (1 indoor with wall of mirrors) It has limited turn out, great footing and many miles of trails with gate to Mount Diablo. I’m guessing that price is probably the weakest point of that barn (almost everything is included in the price $595-$995)
      Last edited by Dressage Art; Aug. 12, 2009, 01:13 AM.


      • #4
        Oh!!! yet anohter one with H/J and dressage, there is also http://www.shilohwest.net/ almost everything is included in the price ($540.00-670.00). They have 4 arenas, (1 covered with wall of mirrors and 1 indoor with wall of mirrors) They have a few miles of privet trails, its older facility, but well maintained with great bathrooms and showers. Good footing as well. Arthur Kottas comes to that barn for regular dressage clinics. For me, the very small, limited turn outs would be the weakest point.

        PS:Boarding at the "mare motel/pipe corral/shed-row" or boarding at the paddock with a cover/run in shelter will cost you less. To save more $ on stall situation, you will have to board pass the 580/680 freeway crossing (more traffic) or forego covered arena (flooded in December-March?)
        Last edited by Dressage Art; Aug. 12, 2009, 01:16 AM.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks DA!
          I will definitely be choosing among places in Castro Valley, its only 7 mi from new work locations.
          I remember Shiloh West from Kottas clinic, it seemed very nice and footing in covered arena was amazing, but yes, turnouts are kinda very small.
          I never thought about flooding, but I guess its a problem for many places in Castro Valley.
          I will definitely be checking out RDLA and Shiloh West. Another one which was suggested is Graceland Equestrian Center. http://www.gracelandequestriancenter.com/
          It looks pretty good from pictures. They also have pastures, in case my older guy does not improve after surgery. Any insights on this one?


          • #6
            Graceland seems to be a nice, new, fancy facility. They have an issue with the covered arena: they covered only a smaller part of arena and rein does get in to it (flooding?). There is something with the permit of how much of arena they can cover. No arena mirrors. But that's the only concern that I know off.

            If you will look in to Shiloh West, I would think that their 3-day event trainer Jaimi Martin (Silver Medalist) could be a good fit for you: she is schooling dressage at GP level with her own trained-up horse and scoring in 60%+ at I-2 + she jumps! The turn outs are only for 1 hour with trainers get a first pick = no turn outs until 1-3pm for boarders. When it reins those small sand turn outs are not friendly.

            At RDLA there is a Bronze Medalist 3 day eventer Kathy Gilliland, she is schooling PSG now with her trained-up horse and she jumps as well. RDLA would be more laid back facility than Shiloh West, but at Shiloh West there are more opportunities for further advancement: clinics + GP trainers. I would personally board at both places; it's really a coin toss for turn outs or higher quality of training right at the barn. I wish we could have it all!
            Last edited by Dressage Art; Aug. 12, 2009, 02:44 PM.


            • #7
              DressageArt- I was at Graceland last month (looking for boarding), and I thought I remembered some mirrors. At any rate I was impressed by Graceland, it was a lovely facility.
              "It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes" ~ Douglas Adams


              • #8
                FleetwoodStarr, yes, Graceland is very nice. I've visited it last time several years ago for Joao Oliveira (RIP) dressage clinic, so they might have made many improvements since then. Did they cover the rest of the arena or it's still covered only in the mid section?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dressage Art View Post
                  FleetwoodStarr, yes, Graceland is very nice. I've visited it last time several years ago for Joao Oliveira (RIP) dressage clinic, so they might have made many improvements since then. Did they cover the rest of the arena or it's still covered only in the mid section?
                  They cannot cover the rest of the ring because of laws regarding the area. The original owner built what is there illegally and was actually in a fight with the city to whether he had to tear it down. I would assume since it has sold that was resolved, but I know there was a huge meeting a year ago that determined that it could not be finished.


                  • #10
                    Lucky Acres in Walnut Creek is probably too far from you. Older barn, covered arena, no jumps. But right next door to Sunny Hill Farm an H/J facility, and access to all of the Walnut Creek Open Space and Mt. Diablo. Probably the least expensive barn in the area that has a covered arena (approx $460 depending on what you want fed, hay-wise, 2x, 3x, grass/alfalfa). All stalls have paddocks, from standard 12 x 12 to as big as the one my horse is in - approx. 150 X 24. A little rustic and far from fancy, but not expensive and centrally located. Probably too far for you, but just thought I'd mention it.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mjrtango93 View Post
                      They cannot cover the rest of the ring because of laws regarding the area. The original owner built what is there illegally and was actually in a fight with the city to whether he had to tear it down. I would assume since it has sold that was resolved, but I know there was a huge meeting a year ago that determined that it could not be finished.
                      Do you know why there are other near by barns with covered arenas and yet G-land is not allowed to cover theirs? Shiloh-W is a throw stone away from G-land and they have 2 covered areans! G-land barn is really, really nice, but the lack of fully covered arena would be a killer for me since I really depend on the shade in the summer and some kind of rain cover at the winter. It's really a shame.


                      • Original Poster

                        For anyone interested, Graceland is hosting a 2 year anniversary party this uncoming Saturday. I will be there in the morning touring facilities and will report later on burning question reartial roof