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Show barn accessible from NoVA (max 50 min. drive)

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    Show barn accessible from NoVA (max 50 min. drive)

    I am looking to show in the Adults and eventually, the AOs, regionally, perhaps to go to Ocala when my work/life allow at some point. Have the horse, can't really explain much more there. No WEF goals. I have found several helpful threads recommending Clairvaux, any other ideas? The gist is that I am looking for a competitive show barn with excellent horse care that I can drive to in the evening in under 50 minutes from NoVa or NW DC. Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Looking for a relatively unpretentious environment. Thanks very much!

    #2
    Traffic there is atrocious, so you'll need to define your idea of evening and perhaps where in Nova or NW DC you'll be coming from. Lots of good barns in the area, but 50 minute drive could be tough depending on when/where. Used to take me about 50 minutes to get from Norrh Courthouse in Arlington to the barn in Great Falls, VA, and that was many years ago.

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      #3
      Alan Lohman in Poolesville MD though I have no idea how long the drive will be. We have several folks who commute from DC and northern VA

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        Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks for the replies! I am familiar with the traffic, though COVID has certainly made it much better than before and could mislead. I would be looking to ride at 7 or 8pm, coming from Arlington or downtown DC, though I could come at different times of the day if it made a huge difference in tiime. More than the distance, my issue is that I don't understand how the stables compare with one-another in terms of what they have to offer in terms of good maintenance of show horses, turnout, etc.

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          #5
          50 minutes at that time in the evening, coming from downtown, will be tough. Will happen sometimes but likely more often not (and/or you’ll be spending quite a bit of cash on the toll road, esp. to get to Leesburg).

          What amenities/care are you looking for specifically, and what is your budget?

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            Original Poster

            #6
            Budget is about 2500/month for board and training/lessons. Ideally looking for grass turnout, sizable indoor and outdoor rings. I appreciate the questions!

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              #7
              Cavallo Farm has is very active on the A circuit and fits your criteria!

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                #8
                Originally posted by Foitin View Post
                I am looking to show in the Adults and eventually, the AOs, regionally, perhaps to go to Ocala when my work/life allow at some point. Have the horse, can't really explain much more there. No WEF goals. I have found several helpful threads recommending Clairvaux, any other ideas? The gist is that I am looking for a competitive show barn with excellent horse care that I can drive to in the evening in under 50 minutes from NoVa or NW DC. Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Looking for a relatively unpretentious environment. Thanks very much!
                www.show-jumper.com - Kama Godek is in Aldie at Ohana and she offers individual turnout, indoor, outdoor, goes to Florida, etc.
                www.show-jumper.com

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                  #9
                  I would second Alan Lohman in Poolesville. He does all the A rated shows in this zone, and has clients in the Jr/AO ranks. I think he’d check all your boxes but I’m not sure about Ocala.

                  You might also want to look at Rolling Acres - they have a top notch program but may be too far out of your commute window to consider.

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                    #10
                    www.rollingacresshowstables.com Patty and everyone there are fantastic. They go to FL every year and are very active in the local VA/MD circuit as well. Low key, fun, professional, and the horses get wonderful care. There are a lot of good options, though.

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                      #11
                      Alan Lohman is awesome and his place is lovely. He does do a few weeks at WEF each year. I'm not sure his place would make the 50 minutes? Can't go wrong with Rolling Acres. They do Ocala and likely would be a bit closer to the 50 minutes. I think getting to MD may actually be easier then out toward Aldie/M-burg. Good luck. Lots of options.

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                        #12
                        Have to also chime in for Alan Lohman as 1) it meets your critieria for barn - lovely facility, nice indoor and outdoor, have never heard any complaints about the care. and 2) for commuting from Arlington/ NW DC its probably a better commute than going out towards Adlie, Leesburg. When I worked in NW DC and lived in Alexandria, it was much easier for me to ride in Maryland thant the barns I was riding at in NoVa. Rolling Acres will put your commute over an hour on a good day.

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                          #13
                          You might also check out TuDane (Jonelle Mullen). High quality program, busy AA show schedule though maybe not Florida in the winter. Currently located in Middleburg.

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                            #14
                            I currently board at Clairvaux - the care is PHENOMENAL and I absolutely adore Terri and her team. Definitely reach out to them and check them out in person!

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                              #15
                              It's really going to be difficult to meet your max commute time requirements with most of the barns mentioned. I live less than a mile from Clairvaux and on occasion, I commute to the Foggy Bottom area (NW DC). It's 45 miles door-to-door. Even at 8pm in the evening, the commute (pre-COVID) takes all of an hour.

                              You have three basic options and I don't think any involve commutes less than 50 minutes: 1) Maryland barns (Rolling Acres, Lohman) -- I have no actual idea what the commute is like, but judging from their locations and the associated travel corridors, I would guess neither would would be a pleasant commute; 2) Leesburg barns (west on VA-267/VA-7, etc.); or 3) Middleburg/Aldie barns (west on I-66W/US-50) -- I do have experience driving on US-50 during certain times of the day, and I avoid it like the plague. We looked for a farm for 5 years before finally settling on the Leesburg corridor -- the primary factor was ease of commute in/out of DC and/or Tysons Corner. You may have better options if you adopt a reverse commute by driving to the barn and riding in the morning.

                              As far as barns go, not all of the barns mentioned have indoor arenas -- this becomes a factor as soon as the time changes in the fall and obviously, during the winter, especially if you plan to ride in the evening. Some of the barns that go to Ocala, etc., in the winter, do so out of necessity.

                              I think it's very hard to get a candid assessment of the training, care, etc., on barns from an internet forum, as quite frankly, some of the people recommending their barns/trainer simply don't have a proper frame of reference to recognize what's good or bad. Bottom line is that most people think that the barn they are in is the best barn ever. And some folks aren't willing to say "Barn X is great" and "Barn Y is terrible."

                              If I were you, I would speak with your current trainer to get a recommendation. Chances are that your trainer will at least have a contact that understands this market.
                              "You armchair quarterbacks truly disgust me. Get out from behind your keyboards and go try to learn half as much about horsemanship as Ms. Colvin." -- APirateLooksAtForty

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