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Beginner Lessons in Dallas

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  • Beginner Lessons in Dallas

    My little sister just turned 14 and has been bitten by the horse bug (yay!). I live three hours away from her but she has ridden my horse a couple of times when she has come to visit. That's about the extend of her riding experience. I want to take her somewhere for her first lesson for her birthday. Where can I take her in the Dallas area that will give her a good first lesson?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Can you narrow down your area - there are some good places to suggest, but it will depend on where in Dallas you are?


    • #3
      I have no advice on Dallas barns, but just wanted to say -- what a great present. She will be so excited!
      Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


      • #4
        I've heard good things about Becky Brown at BuckBranch http://www.buckbranch.com/training.html


        • #5
          I think it does totally depend on where you are. I don't work there anymore but I can't say enough good about the program at Windmill Stables. It puts strong emphasis on total horse care. They are a pony club barn so they teach you everything! How to groom and tack, basics on the lunge line in private lessons for the first few months and "barn lessons" on days when you can't ride that teach you all about how to be a well-rounded equestrian.

          I know that the beginner teacher teaches a strong program strong in the basics and she's very concerned with rider safety as well.

          PM me if you have questions about any of the area barns.


          • Original Poster

            She lives right on the Carrollton/Plano border, but I would not mind driving to Flower Mound or Aubrey or somewhere a bit further if there was an outstanding instructor out there. Thanks so much for your advice!


            • #7
              Don't know anything about the trainers at Buck Branch, but Linda is just the nicest lady ever.

              I ride with Shannon Flanagan of Silent Knight Stables - on the edge of Krum/Denton. Basically at 380 and I35. www.silentknightstables.com

              I've also ridden with Paula Berbaum of Grand Oak Farm - she's wonderful and super sweet. www.grandoakfarm.com Aubrey, Texas.

              I also ride with Rebecca Sanoja of Bryherstone Farm in Wylie - that may a good place for you too; I don't know that she's accepting new students or has a beginner lesson horse though? I haven't been able to afford any lessons in a while.

              OH! What about Prosper? Susan is lovely and her training assistants are always so nice when I've been out showing at her place this year. PLUS, lots of kids and kid safe ponies - it's absolutely a family atmosphere with riders of all levels. www.prosperingfarm.com

              Lots of great barns out here. Valhalla is also one I've heard nothing but good things about, a girl at my barn takes lessons over there. I've never done lessons, but the facility is gorgeous and I've loving showing there in the past.

              I know there are two shows not this weekend but next - Whitehorse for NTHJC and LCEC for Dallas. Why not go take her for a weekend to see the show and maybe find someone you/she/y'all click with?
              Veni vidi vici. With a paint pony, nonetheless.


              • #8
                I would look into Katja Kallenberger at The Paddocks and Glenn & Kelly Ronden at Showtime.


                • Original Poster

                  Thank you all so much! I will definitely look into all these places! I can't wait!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
                    I would look into Katja Kallenberger at The Paddocks and Glenn & Kelly Ronden at Showtime.
                    yes this. Both are really great barns,


                    • #11
                      I grew up riding at Treeline Stables - just outside of Plano - and feel that I got an excellent background in horsemanship as well as riding skills. I haven't heard anything about their lesson program in years, but as far as I know - they are still turning out beautiful riders and have always had nice school horses.


                      • #12
                        Oh - one of the gals I grew up with at Treeline has her own place now and offers school horses and lessons - www.shelbygraham.com.

                        I also LOVE Becky Sanoja but last I heard - she didn't have beginner-level school horses?


                        • #13
                          Well, yes, I don't know that she does. I was riding semi regularly with her up until January. Need to go back out, but I've always just taken my horses or ridden her daughters fabulous retired from showing gelding as my mare got too pregnant to jump.

                          Aside from seeing Vanessa ride her grand prix horse and various boarders, I haven't ever seen another "lesson" horse go because I'm always in privates and typically its just Becky and myself out there. That may be a better option down the line, OP.

                          I really don't think there is anyone to avoid, most trainers around the area are very good (at least with beginners). The only exception is a young, newly sponsored trainer whose name does NOT rhyme with fish well son. Because GPS is fabulous, but way above the level your sister probably needs at this point.
                          Veni vidi vici. With a paint pony, nonetheless.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Arelle View Post
                            I really don't think there is anyone to avoid, most trainers around the area are very good (at least with beginners). The only exception is a young, newly sponsored trainer whose name does NOT rhyme with fish well son. Because GPS is fabulous, but way above the level your sister probably needs at this point.
                            He actually offers a summer camp for beginner riders so I would assume that means he has suitable lesson horses and possibly an assistant. Plus I believe there is now another trainer based out of the same facility. And as someone who grew up riding against him and spending time around him on the ground I wouldn't say he's someone to avoid.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arelle View Post

                              I really don't think there is anyone to avoid, most trainers around the area are very good (at least with beginners). The only exception is a young, newly sponsored trainer whose name does NOT rhyme with fish well son. Because GPS is fabulous, but way above the level your sister probably needs at this point.

                              hahahaha way to be subtle

                              But I have to agree with Tollific.. Great great rider and I'm sure just as good of a trainer.
                              Last edited by EverAfter; Mar. 20, 2011, 01:34 PM.


                              • #16
                                Good Beginner Barns in Dallas

                                Showtime Farm in Southlake has a decent school horse program, also Holly Frenzel in Copper Canyon. I would avoid Flower Mound Equestrian Center. My husband took lessons there and after Robert left the new beginner rider instructor had evreyone riding with very short reins perched precariously forward.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Prime Time Rider View Post
                                  Holly Frenzel in Copper Canyon.
                                  Umm, having ridden in Dallas for 10+ years as a junior, this one tops my list of 5 people who should never be recommended. Sorry to be blunt, but your health and safety is more important than me being courteous.


                                  • #18
                                    Haha, either I didn't word that right or something was missed in the communication.

                                    I LOVE Chris. I think he is uber talented and everyone at his barn is just super nice and friendly.

                                    My comment was solely because he is in the area, young, and just sponsored and I sure didn't want people to think THAT is who I was referring to.

                                    No, the trainer I would say to avoid is a young female who was showing NTHJC until she made an ass out of herself one too many times - but, apparently she's back and "better than ever".
                                    Veni vidi vici. With a paint pony, nonetheless.


                                    • #19
                                      Just wanted to know if Willow Bend is still outside Dallas? I rode there in the 70's.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Arelle View Post
                                        No, the trainer I would say to avoid is a young female who was showing NTHJC until she made an ass out of herself one too many times - but, apparently she's back and "better than ever".
                                        Racking my brain trying to figure out who this could be. PM me and divulge!