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Moving to Ballston Spa, NY, and looking for a vet, farrier, instructor...

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  • Moving to Ballston Spa, NY, and looking for a vet, farrier, instructor...

    Hello my longtime peeps (yeah, I'm a lurker, but you're still my peeps). Husband and I finally moving to the farm of our dreams, and now I need recommendations from anyone in the Saratoga/Ballston Spa, NY, area. Looking for suggestions about all things equine in that area. I'm assuming there is no lack thereof! Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I would recommend Betsy Joyce at Shadow Rock Farm in Ballston Spa very highly. She is mostly in the H/J world, but very old school and straightforward.

    I have had good luck with the vets at Rood and Riddle in Saratoga when I was there for the horse show.

    The Cheshire Horse in Saratoga is a good tack shop.

    No ideas on a farrier, sorry.

    Bread Basket Bakery in Saratoga for breakfast and lunch.


    • #3
      My oldest home! I don’t have any horse suggestions because I haven’t lived there for a long time but my cousins still do and the make the best pies around. Mourningkill Pies. You won’t be sorry! 😍
      We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


      • #4
        There are excellent vets in the Saratoga area -- Rood & Riddle, Equine Clinic at Oakencroft, Dr. Axel Sondhof. (FYI, Dr. Sondhof just built a new equine hospital next to the Skidmore College riding center).
        For farrier, try Devon Lent in Ballston Spa, or Precision Hoof Care (Ashley Gaskey)
        The Cheshire Horse is the best tack shop in the area. They also sell certain brands of feed. There is an equine-related consignment shop that just opened in downtown B-Spa.
        Downtown Saratoga and B-Spa both have lots of interesting shops and excellent places to eat. Impressions of Saratoga has lots of horse-themed gift items and apparel. My personal favorite restaurant is Karavalli for Indian cuisine.
        The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is open year-round and is a worthwhile place to visit, even if you aren't especially into racing. Then of course, there is the flat track (late-July through Labor Day). Polo matches are also held near the Skidmore riding center during track season.
        The Saratoga Racino features harness racing, restaurants, and video slot machines.
        Not too far away is the Stockade Polo and Saddle Club - site of many dressage, western dressage, etc. shows.
        If you are interested in carriage driving, the Saratoga Driving Association has an annual driving trial every October in Valatie (about an hour south).
        Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE Equine) holds several events throughout the year, including a Horsemen's Social in February, a conference in late spring, and a farm tour in late summer.
        What discipline are you looking for instruction in?


        • #5
          Barb Sanford, Winterwood Farm, Ballston Spa, has many equestrian contacts. Dressage is her game.
          Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

          Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks to all of you. I would have replied earlier but I had an... incident with my horse. Now I know what a bad groin pull feels like. Here's the deal with me: I am a former eventer (I'm 62 now). I went to training level 20 years ago... didn't really enjoy the competitive aspect of it... ended up doing a lot of hunter paces, a season or so of foxhunting, and some competitive trail riding that culminated in a 25-miler up in VT. That was with my old girl, who has since gone to the big pasture in the sky and is running with the other TBs. Now I have a 12-year-old ISH who has a wonderful personality but has dumped me more times in the 4 years I've had him than in 17 with my mare. I love my current teacher but I'm (obviously) leaving her. Guess I'm looking for someone who can help me work with this horse, who is so very different from my previous. Every time we start making progress jumping--and I've been at a hunter/jumper barn, so most of that has been in an arena--we have a setback. I'm contemplating whether I should stop jumping. This latest was, though, in the middle of a course, everything was going great, and then I made a turn and he bolted. I don't know why. And I'm sure I was loosened up and hanging on for dear life, and then he bucked. I could've probably managed the bolt or the buck separately but not together. He may have been stung by something or he may have spooked at something on the road behind us--I don't know. So I'm getting ready to take this horse off to NY with me but in the back of my mind I'm wondering whether we'll stay together or whether I need to look for something quieter. Thing is, he's a lazy oaf in general. Does not have much of a work ethic unless we're out in the woods (which he does love). Sorry for the long post. Horses....


            • #7
              "This latest was, though, in the middle of a course, everything was going great, and then I made a turn and he bolted. I don't know why."

              The first thing I would do, if you haven't done so already, is have a vet out to determine if maybe there is a physical cause for him bolting like that. I had a horse who would bolt out of the blue - turns out, he had arthritis in his spine, neck, and elsewhere - and he was a young horse!

              I second Barb Sanford - she is wonderful! She's primarily dressage but as a previous poster stated, she has lots of contacts and could probably point you toward a good H/J instructor. You might also contact Skidmore College - they have a riding team and might also know of someone.

              Good luck!