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Best Hunter Trainer/Barn in North Atlanta Area

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  • Best Hunter Trainer/Barn in North Atlanta Area

    I am looking for recommendations on the best hunter trainer/barn in the North Atlanta area (Roswell, Alpharetta, Milton, East Cobb) for a pony kid heading to Pony Finals this year on a pony she owns. Our preference would be a trainer/barn that has a strong hunter background and has had good success not only at Pony Finals but also in the BigEq competitions.

  • #2
    No question....Hunt Tosh.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Does he train clients other than his daughter?

      Comment


      • #4
        I moved out of the area a few years ago, but back in the day Roger Brown at Brownwood was the one you went to if you wanted to be competitive with ponies. He's located in Alpharetta. Kat DeMas Mulkey is further than the area you are searching, and she runs a fabulous program in Madison at Four Seasons Farm.

        Comment


        • #5
          Holly Hugo-Vidal is north of Atlanta as well.
          www.midatlanticeq.com
          Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
          November 11-13, 2016

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey there, you have a ton of options in that area. So the question is, what is your budget?

            You are going to find a wide variety of board prices and training programs, so deciding what your limit per month will help you narrow your choices. The GHJA website has a list of trainers you can reference, so start there.

            Since I'm up in North Forsyth (which may be too far), my suggestion is Patchwork Farm with Janet Salem.
            www.englishivyfarms.com
            Hunters, Jumpers, & Welsh Ponies
            All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. ~Author Unknown

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by englishivy View Post
              Hey there, you have a ton of options in that area. So the question is, what is your budget?

              You are going to find a wide variety of board prices and training programs, so deciding what your limit per month will help you narrow your choices. The GHJA website has a list of trainers you can reference, so start there.

              Since I'm up in North Forsyth (which may be too far), my suggestion is Patchwork Farm with Janet Salem.
              Thanks. Yes, North Forsyth is likely too far, unfortunately. Our budget for board/lessons/showing is pretty flexible as long as the barn provides great equine care and excellent rider training and has experience and success at shows like Pony Finals, Maclay Finals, WIHS, and similar.

              Comment


              • #8
                I actually disagree that there are a ton of options if you are looking for a trainer that is routinely going to Pony Finals, Maclay Finals, and indoors. There are a lot of trainers in Atlanta, but not really a lot that do all of those shows. Given that you say Janet's barn would be too far, you may want to specify what areas would be ok, because that is going to limit your options even further.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Madison, I think she was saying englishivy's farm was too far, not necessarily Patchwork.

                  But I agree, the number of trainers in Atlanta really catering to the larger A shows/pony finals/big eq market is not huge.
                  Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DMK View Post
                    Madison, I think she was saying englishivy's farm was too far, not necessarily Patchwork.

                    But I agree, the number of trainers in Atlanta really catering to the larger A shows/pony finals/big eq market is not huge.
                    Ok it is good that I misunderstood because it's a small list to begin with if you want PF, BigEq finals, and indoors

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Madison View Post
                      I actually disagree that there are a ton of options if you are looking for a trainer that is routinely going to Pony Finals, Maclay Finals, and indoors. There are a lot of trainers in Atlanta, but not really a lot that do all of those shows. Given that you say Janet's barn would be too far, you may want to specify what areas would be ok, because that is going to limit your options even further.
                      Yes, I was saying English Ivy was a bit too far. I agree that there seem to be a lot of trainers, but a small number who really focus on and are successful at the big shows, so I would love to know that short list of the trainers who do and are!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        clarifying my statement: you have a lot of options of barns in that area that are of varying degree of price (and therefore level in competition). Depending on your budget, you may have only a couple to a handful to shop (ie, if you have an unlimited budget, you can check out all the barns that do the Big eq/finals. If you have a limited budget, your options go down). All that said, Janet is probably your best bet IMHO.
                        www.englishivyfarms.com
                        Hunters, Jumpers, & Welsh Ponies
                        All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. ~Author Unknown

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Who is new trainer at Atlanta Hunt? And where did Brad Spragg go? He was so successful with Bergen Sanderford!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Limerick2017 View Post
                            Who is new trainer at Atlanta Hunt? And where did Brad Spragg go? He was so successful with Bergen Sanderford!!
                            Brad moved and Michael Newman had taken over Atlanta Hunt Club, and was coaching Kat Fuqua but now it seems she lists Jimmy Torano as her trainer so who knows what the deal is there!

                            The BigEq is the real rub in what the OP is looking for - there isn't anyone in Atlanta really specializing in the Eq and producing students who are competitive at finals. Janet Salem and her daughter Lauren Kissel definitely do ponies and horses, so I agree they are worth checking out, and they . Sharon Enteen had a couple of people qualify for some of the Eq. finals last year, but the facility isn't as nice as Janet's and their program isn't for everyone. Kat Mulkey is wonderful and Stephanie Cumming also does pony finals, I believe, but they are both further than the OP is looking for. Julie Curtin has hunters that are successful at indoors, but she doesn't do ponies or the Eq. I think Harrison Ford had a student or two picking up ribbons at indoors last year too. There are other people who live in Atlanta and keep there horses here and meet people like the Geitners or BigEq trainers at the bigger shows. So, you can find people who will check one or two of your boxes, but to get PF, BigEq and indoors all in one place here in Atlanta is tough.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Michael Newman definitely checks all the boxes. The Fuquas switched over to J T during WEF
                              "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                              carolprudm

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by mroades View Post
                                Michael Newman definitely checks all the boxes. The Fuquas switched over to J T during WEF
                                It looks like Michael Newman is in Florida now though, right?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  With Newman, I would be curious how much time he actually spends in Atlanta vs their Florida location.

                                  Also, I am not super impressed with Kat’s lack of deep heel any heel that worsened under his tutelage so I would consider the equitation/safety factor here as well. I’d want a trainer that would pick up on that instead of just taking my $$. Perhaps there is a physical limit ration for which I’m not aware but I’ve seen some of her rides that we really iffy at that 3’6” height. Of course, I’m sure that he was also under a lot of pressure to move her up before her body was really ready for it, which may have also contributed to this ongoing issue. Kat is talented, but these separate the top riders from the bottom as you move up the ladder and up in height.

                                  One could also consider Jenny Darst. I thought she did a lovely job bringing Kat up from ponies to her rather large Children’s hunter, Hippo. That was safe and beautiful to watch. Jenny unfortunately didn’t have the big pony finals win but she also didn’t have a Brighton in her arsenal of ponies. The big spending really took off with the move to Newman so he had an advantage there in pony power which is something to also consider. How much spending power will you have and what portion of the success is the trainer vs. that talented ride that was purchased for the child. Both play a role in additions to the child’s talent.

                                  If I had serious pony finals and Big Eq goals is I would find a local trainer for pony finals and get a top (out of town) equitation trainer for the Big Eq. You won’t find what you need here for both if your goal is to compete and have a chance to win it. Ashland Farms, for example, has locations in Wellington and Lexington. Otherwise you could consider the New York metro area BNTs.

                                  If your goal goal is to get around and come out with a smile, then there are a few in the ATL that can get that done for you as mentioned above. When I was younger and knew I wanted to go to the top of my riding, I ended up with a trainer that was 5 hours away and kept another horse at home so I could keep riding. It worked for me and was a much better experience in the end than working with the local trainers who were good but didn’t have that extra level of experience and finesse. But I was also at a point where I had learned what I could from them and was able to thrive in a remote situation.

                                  Best of luck wirh whatever direction you choose! Lots to consider!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It may be a little far, but you should definitely check out Lee Hughes - Promenade Farm in Athens. It's a smaller program, but your daughter will get a lot of personalized attention. Lee has a strong background in the Equitation and hunters.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by NorcalH/J View Post
                                      It may be a little far, but you should definitely check out Lee Hughes - Promenade Farm in Athens. It's a smaller program, but your daughter will get a lot of personalized attention. Lee has a strong background in the Equitation and hunters.
                                      Lee is fantastic!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Michael is in Tryon with a very nice group of kids at the moment.
                                        "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                                        carolprudm

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