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Looking for an amateur friendly barn in the Seattle area

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  • Looking for an amateur friendly barn in the Seattle area

    I just recently moved to the Seattle (live in West Seattle, work in Renton) area and am looking for a lesson barn. From viewing previous threads, there is definitely no shortage of programs of all calibers. For context, I'm from New Orleans where I used to compete in APHA/AQHA/4H in my youth years as well as local A shows in hunter/jumpers. I've been at a super chill (and awesome) barn that does local and A shows around the country. I sold my last horse, an OTTB that I retrained, a few years ago and have been a more casual and sporadic rider since.

    I would love to find a barn that is welcoming to amateurs and has a lesson program. On a related note, I would love to connect with horsey people from the area as well! Making friends as an adult is difficult.

    Any suggestions welcome!

  • #2
    How much driving are you willing to do and where will you be coming from?
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    • Original Poster

      I have been driving an hour one way each time I go to ride and am willing to keep doing similarly if necessary. I'm living in West Seattle.


      • #4
        Shannon Hendrickson? Nancy Free? I am afraid anywhere decent is an hour +. Legacy has a lesson program in Woodinville. Shannon Peavey of Novella Farms would fit the bill.


        • #5
          These were the professionals recommended to me via a Facebook cry for help. Friends and friend of friends pitched in to make this list... I'm a bit further north but these were all in seattle area! Teri Douplass (H/J), Paige Stroud (QH/All Around), Larson Performance Horses (QH), Paragon Farms (H/J I think), Aleron Training Stables (H/J --HIGHLY RECOMMENDED), Bear Creek Far, Thumbs Up Farm, Equestrian Performance, Shelly Kerron (Legacy Hunters and Jumpers--HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)! I can't verify anything but the people who suggested were all great friends of mine who run AA barns, A few that own world champion QH's , to family barns or eventing barns~


          • #6
            MKP Hunter Jumpers too!


            • #7
              Thumbs up farm is very welcoming and the owner is lovely. However, prices might be higher than other places as it is on the Plateau.


              • #8
                I've never heard of the Plateau??
                COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                • #9
                  Shannon Hendrickson and Starfire (Tami Masters and Jenn Hansen) are the two that I typically suggest south of seattle. Legacy is also a great place.

                  OP - what's most important to you? Do you want a super show-oriented barn? Nancy Free's barn is also very nice and has a lovely group of amateur riders, but it's pretty show-oriented. And Aleron (mentioned by EventHorse) is very show-oriented. As such, neither are on the cheap end of the scale. Equestrian Performance has Anne and Vinton Karrasch and a top notch lesson program. I have several friends that ride with them and rave endlessly about it. But also not on the cheaper end of the scale. But out of the bigger H/J barns, the deciding factor may be as simple as whether they have lesson horses or not as I know not all of those programs do.

                  TheJenners - it's east of Bellevue (Sammammish).
                  Last edited by PNWjumper; Jan. 9, 2020, 04:58 PM.
                  Flying F Sport Horses
                  Horses in the NW


                  • #10
                    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                    • #11
                      I agree with PNWjumper . For a low key AA, I would not recommend Aleron, TUF, Brass Ring, or some of the bigger programs. They are well run, with great horses, trainers, and show results. They also do not often have lesson horses and are very A show focused.

                      For the more local, fun, but still very quality programs, I would recommend Shannon Hendrickson at Signature West Farm in Spanaway, Shannon Peavey at Novella Farm in Redmond, and Sienna Massey who teaches out of Mercer Island Saddle Club (you would have to find a horse lease or share to ride here, but its a very nice group of people and the closest to West Seattle and Renton).

                      Come to the Lake Washington Saddle Club shows and events - its a good way to meet local horse people!


                      • #12
                        I'll echo the suggestions from PNWjumper and @costco_muffin. There is a good variety of options, but it will come down to what are your goals, expectations and budget.

                        I'm an amateur and live/ride in Woodinville. I spent the better part of the last 5 years lessoning in a program before buying my own young horse to develop. I showed a couple times but definitely didn't have the budget to show regularly or keep a horse in a bigger program.


                        • Original Poster

                          Thank you all for so much information! I definitely don't mind an hour+ drive since I'm used to it. Additionally, my focus is more on local, fun, quality programs over showing at this point. I still like the option of competing, but I find that I don't miss the show ring too much after competing so heavily in my junior years.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by costco_muffins View Post
                            I agree with PNWjumper . Sienna Massey who teaches out of Mercer Island Saddle Club (you would have to find a horse lease or share to ride here, but its a very nice group of people and the closest to West Seattle and Renton).

                            Come to the Lake Washington Saddle Club shows and events - its a good way to meet local horse people!
                            Siena doesn't work solely out of Mercer Saddle Club. She lives in Monroe and travels to different barns to teach. She keeps her horses at Equidae in Monroe so teaches out of there most often. I will say that she is very good and is an excellent teacher. She's in my Pony club so if you want contact info, let me know.


                            • #15
                              costco_muffins also has a good program, if she's close enough to you... I am not familiar enough with what I call "Seattle-burbs" to know drive times, to me basically anything south of Everett all the way to Tacoma in a circle around is Seattle-burbs. The joys of embracing Island Life.
                              COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                              "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                              • #16
                                I am of course biased, but I ride with Laina Summers at Bayview Farm. Very amateur friendly, we have an awesome group that does the local shows, to Thunderbird, to Thermal. She is very big on horsemanship and equitation. Very positive environment. PM me if you want more info or Laina’s contact info


                                • #17
                                  There are lots of barns around Seattle, especially eastside and north of Woodinville. Check the WSJHA website for trainers and Flying Changes for its directory. An A barn with lesson horses is hard to find, but there are some. Brick Road Farms in Snohomish/Monroe, Legacy Farms on the eastside, maybe Hillcrest in Woodinville, . . . Good luck and enjoy the never-ending traffic from West Seattle to ANYWHERE!


                                  • #18
                                    I ride at an under-the-radar barn that's actually in Seattle proper (just barely). Been there for 100 years, same family. No frills but the horses are healthy, you can ride the trails nearby, and the trainer (Katie Pinney of Seattle Equestrian Sports) may not be well known but is an absolute gift. No barn drama, either! PM me if you want a more complete scoop. I think there may be a couple open leases right now, but if not we get at least a few coming available every year.