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Where to go? Advice please?

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  • Where to go? Advice please?

    Right now I am slightly at a standstill with my riding, as I need to wait 6 months for a work permit and license. I have been riding for 6 years, at 3 barns, but in that time have not come far, as I am showing 2' courses at the unrated classes at 'A' shows. In the fall, I will have a job, license, and will be able to ride more.

    I am going to move barns, and am really interested in Joey Pedroni Stables and Sonoma Valley Stables.

    Right now, my parents give me enough money for 6 lessons a month at Joey's and 8 at Sonoma Valley Stables, though I would be supplementing with babysitting money for the rest (I want to ride 2x/week)

    If I went to SVS, I could ride maybe 3x/week on a lesson horse, and once I am over 2'6", 2x week. (Lessons are more expensive after you go over 2'6") But, I would have a more well-known trainer with more possible connections (I would like to working student in during my gap year). The con is that it is a really big barn, and I would get 'lost' between all the people that pay 100k+ a year to ride. I could not have (neither lease most likely here).

    Hope 'trained' Joey for a while if I am not mistaken.

    The other option is JPS. It seems like a nicer barn, though lessons are the same cost as SVS's over-2'6"-price no matter what level. I could take lessons 2-3x/week, OR (as I presume board is cheaper here) possible own a horse with 1 lesson a week. Advantages is a smaller barn, more 'professional small family'. Con is lesser-know trainer (nationally).

    In short, should I go with the well-known trainer for 2-3 lessons a week (where I would be probably seen as the poor girl) or 2 lessons a week with a smaller-professional barn/1 lesson a week and my own horse?

    Sorry for the novel. Any insight from all of you would be great.

  • #2
    You need to ride not just lesson so take that into consideration as well.

    Sit down & talk with your parents about budget & support (would they be more willing to buy a horse or lease a horse - make sure you have realistic board & lease cost estimates - where do they see this going vs where do you see this going).

    Try lessons (over 2' 6") at both stables & see how you feel in a months time.

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    • #3
      Take lessons at both places tom see which trainer is a better fit for you personally. I would personally not buy a horse, especially since you say your gap year is coming up. Worst place to be is going into college or trying to find a working student position with a horse attached. Rather ask both trainers about part leases for extra weekly ride time. I feel like you'll have more options for that at a bigger, more connected trainer, but I could be wrong. Which is why you have to ask.

      Once you figure that out then you can figure out your budget a bit better.

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      • #4
        I don't know Joey, but I believe Debbi Sereni works with her, and Debbi is one the best out there. She's been in the industry forever, her son won the Maclay Finals in 2003, and she's produced lots of very nice horses and riders that have done very well.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by alto View Post
          You need to ride not just lesson so take that into consideration as well.

          Sit down & talk with your parents about budget & support (would they be more willing to buy a horse or lease a horse - make sure you have realistic board & lease cost estimates - where do they see this going vs where do you see this going).

          Try lessons (over 2' 6") at both stables & see how you feel in a months time.
          They have said that they are willing to buy me a horse, though I would have to work to support it, as they are not financially able. My parents give me a set amount every year (covers lessons at the cheapest good place around), and I have to do what I can with it, always paying for shows, clinics, etc. My mom sees me at GP in 9 years (not happening realistically) so she and my dad are behind me, with only a little money, but with their hope for me. I am definetly going to try both places this summer (though I am not at 2'6" yet). I have outlined all the costs of-half leasing (figured 7k year+shows), and owning (13k+shows)

          Originally posted by DarkStarrx View Post
          Take lessons at both places tom see which trainer is a better fit for you personally. I would personally not buy a horse, especially since you say your gap year is coming up. Worst place to be is going into college or trying to find a working student position with a horse attached. Rather ask both trainers about part leases for extra weekly ride time. I feel like you'll have more options for that at a bigger, more connected trainer, but I could be wrong. Which is why you have to ask.

          Once you figure that out then you can figure out your budget a bit better.
          Going to take lessons both places!! I have gone back and forth on not getting a horse. Obviously, I have wanted one forever (you know how that goes) and my (future) barn is on the way to (future) college. I don't know how hard it is to WS with a horse, but if I was at SVS, I would hopefully get to know them, and eventually go to Thermal, HITS, etc as a WS with my horse (though they don't go to WEF). At the other place I would have Debbi Serini (Maclay winner mom). Why can't the answer be easy? How hard is to to WS with a horse attached?

          Originally posted by wanderlust View Post
          I don't know Joey, but I believe Debbi Sereni works with her, and Debbi is one the best out there. She's been in the industry forever, her son won the Maclay Finals in 2003, and she's produced lots of very nice horses and riders that have done very well.
          You are right, though I forgot. It seems like SVS is more well known on a zone level, and Debbi/JPS is less well known on a national level. Thanks for reminding me.

          Thank you all! If anyone else has anymore advice, I would love to hear

          Comment


          • #6
            I just wanted to add that you probably wouldn't be seen as the "poor girl" at the nicer barn. I've been a working student at big barns, and have still been good friends with the girls who have multiple high five-six figure horses. Just because their parents have money doesn't mean that they'll look down on you! In fact, I've even had some compliment me on my work ethic.

            And I also want to echo the thought that buying a horse is probably not a good idea. 1) College is almost definitely going to take away from your riding time. I'm homeschooled just to get through high school and ride. Granted, I own more than one horse, and ride (too many) more than I own. And 2) You'll get a lot more opportunities to ride nicer horses as a working student if you don't have your own horse. Instead of working off board and training on your one horse and having to pay for shows, you could be working off training and show fees on 4-5 different horses.

            Good luck!
            "It's hard to wait for something you know might not happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want."
            Blog | YouTube

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            • #7
              It's great that your parents are behind you, even if they don't have lots of cash. It takes effort and flexibility on the part of a serious rider's family.

              Also, I think you need to allocate more than $6K/year to owning a horse. I have "run the numbers" for this for the horses I have owned over the past 20 years. If you pick "just a decent boarding barn"-- no frills but certainly an adequate facility, good feed and care, you can use that number to estimate the rest of the stuff. IME, you can add 1/3 the cost of board per month.

              And that'$ if nothing happen$ to Horseling! It also doesn't include any lessons or shows, nor any "capital improvements" like saddles, tack and blankets.

              I lived in NorCal 150 years ago and my guess is that board prices (and everything else) means that $6K/year won't do it.

              Last, riding well and being around a barn for a long time are great ways to get the kinds of rides you want. There are some real drawbacks to owning your own horse-- especially if time and money are limited, and also if you will need to sell you horse in a year or two.

              Otherwise, pick the barn that gives you the most riding time outside of lessons. That's a key ingredient for a serious rider who will use her time in the saddle well. After that, pick the trainers who teach you the best, most correct basics. Last, it would be best if you pick the instructor who teaches you a lot about how to improve a horse each time you ride.

              Best of luck with your decision! You can change your course if need be.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

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