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Adult beginner barns in N.Va

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  • Adult beginner barns in N.Va

    I have a colleague who would like to learn to ride and become part of the eventing community. He is mid 20s, very athletic, well educated and well employed. Wants to volunteer, help with events and hang out with horsewomen. Are there any barns in the area that would help him not only learn how to ride well, but become part of the community from the start?
    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

    "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

  • #2
    He should just do the following:

    1. Go with Y-O-U to regular equestrian events and volunteer to network with others. Introduce him to people that you know and trust. Don't send him out with his pants down around his ankles looking for love. He needs to seriously think about whether or not he is capable of being a horse person after soaking up as much information as he can. If he just wants an equestrian babe, there are currently plenty of cash-strapped barely legal ladies on the dating websites looking for guys to finance their aspirations/hobbies.

    2. Learn the basics of riding before even considering Eventing. There are probably a few low-key Eventing barns in close proximity to the MD state-line that would be useful for him to learn basic riding skills and network socially with Eventers. He may find out he's just not cut out to be a horseman so he needs to start small with riding lessons. Northern VA is primarily H/J show and lesson barns, many of which are "hostile environments" for men so he should tread carefully if he wants to stay on this side of the Potomac.

    3. Get a real breakdown of the time and money involved in being an active equestrian around here. The last thing he needs to do is dump a bunch of money into something with today's economy.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by LexInVA View Post
      Don't send him out with his pants down around his ankles looking for love. If he just wants an equestrian babe, there are currently plenty of cash-strapped barely legal ladies on the dating websites looking for guys to finance their aspirations/hobbies.

      Leave it to Lex to say it how it is!
      Amwrider: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their genitalia and may their arms be too short to scratch.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        So, here is a guy, totally willing to work hard and volunteer, has money to afford the lifestyle and who happens to like the type of women who do eventing (confident, competent, independent) and the response is..what..? Certainly not positive.

        Now I feel really bad about this. He came to me and asked about learning how to ride and knowing his temperament I suggested that he learn to ride at an eventing oriented barn because I thought that would be most fun for him, in great part due to the the support the community gives to one another. He knows its going to be a while before he is a really good rider and he looked forward to being able to participate by working with events and volunteering.

        I am so depressed by the response.
        "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

        "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Stacie View Post
          So, here is a guy, totally willing to work hard and volunteer, has money to afford the lifestyle and who happens to like the type of women who do eventing (confident, competent, independent) and the response is..what..? Certainly not positive.

          Now I feel really bad about this. He came to me and asked about learning how to ride and knowing his temperament I suggested that he learn to ride at an eventing oriented barn because I thought that would be most fun for him, in great part due to the the support the community gives to one another. He knows its going to be a while before he is a really good rider and he looked forward to being able to participate by working with events and volunteering.

          I am so depressed by the response.

          Don't be depressed. . . the post sounds like an ad for a dating service. Why can't he hang with men that do eventing as well? I was recently chided for thinking that another poster was a female HI Lex. . .

          He sounds delightful and single. We welcome anyone who is interested and especially of they want to volunteer.

          BTW Lex, I went on your web site Is that a Macanudo (sp?)
          RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

          "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Eventer55 View Post
            Don't be depressed. . . the post sounds like an ad for a dating service.
            Well it sort of is, isn't it? But for a BARN
            "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

            "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

            Comment


            • #7
              Send him over to us hunter folk, we'll appreciate him
              ---
              They're small hearts.

              Comment


              • #8
                He should call Waredaca.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think it's great he wants to learn about and get involved in eventing. Besides Waredaca, and Urbana Riding Club in Frederick, MD (which has a XC course and does clinics with Buck), it doesn't seem that many eventing barns have lesson horses. That seems a shame.

                  For the adult beginner rider, the H/Js definitely have more to choose from. Maybe someone else more in the know will chime in. I'm trying to think of a place in No Va that does eventing and has a lesson program but can't think of any.

                  Hey, all you eventers in No Va, maybe this is a niche that needs to be filled!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sadly, there really is nothing in Northern VA for him if you're trying to steer him towards Eventing in a barn environment and Waredaca is a significant drive for him. The best thing for him to do is to find a decent barn in his immediate vicinity that specializes in teaching basic horsemanship to inexperienced adults. The problem is that most of the barns here are little more than lesson mills and show sheds for ankle biters so if you want to find him someplace that caters to adults, you will have to look very carefully.
                    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Does Tailwind have any lesson horses? They seem to have a good program geared toward adult amateurs. It'd be a pity to push someone away who might really like eventing - or bore them by hours of up-down around a circle. I've found with reasonably athletic adults that they sometimes do better starting out just farting around a bit on a safe horse, rather than a strictly regimented program - if they start out having fun, trail-riding, etc., it's not long before they want to start improving for the sake of figuring out how to make it work.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        MY suggestion is...my barn! They *may* have slots for the spring season, and while it's not an eventing barn per se, it's a balanced seat barn that teaches the basics well, and can get him as far as low level dressage and starting over fences, at which point *he* can decide whether he wants to pursue eventing, hunter/jumper or dressage.

                        And we have quite a few boys and men who ride and certainly not a 'hostile atmosphere'. It's in southern Maryland, so a bit of a trek, but might be worth it.

                        http://www.wheatonparkstables.com/
                        Manes And Tales

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As a male eventer I must apologize for the snarky response you received. I don't think it sounds like a desperate cry for horse babe love either, so consider the messenger before taking it too seriously. I find that most women at the barns I visit are very friendly and happy to help and would love to see more men engaged in the sport.

                          As for my own experiences, I learned to ride by leasing a horse near some good ride out, taking a lesson every week or so, and going out on trail rides with friends who were better then me. Did I fall off? Yes. Did I learn how to fall? Yes. Did I learn what not to do? Yes. That horse and I now do low level eventing and hunt first field, so we must have done something right.

                          I have ridden with people who spend years and lots of money going around in the ring and jumping over poles that fall down with an instructor analyzing every move that they make. These same people are terrified when they get outside of the ring and have to deal with uneven ground, a hot horse, and jumps that don't fall, without an instructor telling them what to do. So learning the basics is important, but after you can post, sit a canter, and know how to use a pulley rein for god's sake get out of the sandbox and do some trail riding.

                          Give George Wiltshire a call at Mosby Springs in Middleburg, he may be able to start your friend. Also consider the barns that offer shows with combined tests (jumping and dressage), this is 2/3's of an event. Two that I can think of are Lucia Farms in Lovettsville and Sandstone in Millwood. They may have lessons programs geared towards budding eventers.

                          And Lexi, stop taking yourself so SERIOUSLY...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            And because I realize it wasn't clear. I'm not the owner, just ride there .
                            Manes And Tales

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by johnl View Post
                              I have ridden with people who spend years and lots of money going around in the ring and jumping over poles that fall down with an instructor analyzing every move that they make. These same people are terrified when they get outside of the ring and have to deal with uneven ground, a hot horse, and jumps that don't fall, without an instructor telling them what to do. So learning the basics is important, but after you can post, sit a canter, and know how to use a pulley rein for god's sake get out of the sandbox and do some trail riding.
                              Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply or PM me with helpful suggestions.

                              johnl, your observation is something to consider. I taught my husband through trail riding and now *he's* the one galloping about on the trails on the 4 year old.
                              "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                              "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I told george about this thread ,and he would be happy to see the young fella out at his barn. he could get some lessons ,maybe lease a horse ,and be trail riding in no time. By the fall he'll be foxhunting.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think its great the guy wants to get into eventing and hang out with horse chicks. And while Waredaca would be a great place to start, I think if he's in NOVA, its probably too darn far.

                                  I have two recommendations:

                                  1) There is a woman named Natalie Gregory who teaches out of Clifton/Ffx Station, and I BELEIVE she has some steady-eddy school horses. I think she teaches pony clubbers, so while I've never seen her teach, my suspicion is that she's quite capable of giving someone an introduction to the sport, and she is definitely eventing focused.

                                  2) Another option is the American Academy of Equestrian Sciences in Leesburg. Ignore the somewhat pretentious name, but Marina Genn (the head trainer) is a grand prix dressage rider and REALLY knows her stuff. It is primarily a dressage barn (although they do jump). I don't think it will get him into eventing, but if he's never ridden before, it would give him a very good dressage/flat work foundation until he's ready to move up/on.

                                  Those are the only places I know of with school horses that are not h/j focused.

                                  Good luck!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    also, depending how far down 66 he is willing to go - "Northern Virginia" is getting rather large.

                                    Try Prestige Training - Jim Moore. He has a website: prestigetraining.com he is really good with the basics and has a good group of eventing riders.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I know you sent me a pm regarding this a few weeks ago, but between being swamped and not sure what to tell you, I didn't get back. It IS sad that there is nothing really that fits the bill, at least in NOVA. Waredaca is the very, very best bet, but that is a haul. If I had a good beginner horse capable of toting a full grown man regularly and comfortably, I'd say send him here (for completely unselfish reasons. ), sadly, the horses that bigger are not suitable, and the ones that are are ponies or honies.

                                      I'd say if he was willing to make a weekly trek to Waredaca, that would be the top solution for him. Good instruction and the chance to be totally immersed in eventing by way of volunteerism.
                                      Amanda

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Stacie -- I sent you a PM.
                                        www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                                        "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                                        Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

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