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Lesson barns in Chicago/North Shore area?

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  • Lesson barns in Chicago/North Shore area?

    A friend of mine from college is looking to take weekly lessons and is having a hard time finding a place.

    Thus far her only resource has been searching yelp, so I told her I would pose the question here and see if I could get some recommendations with a little more credibility.

    She rode a little bit when she was younger, but is pretty much a beginner. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    There are quite a few to the west/southwest of the city. How far is she willing to go?

    Comment


    • #3
      There's Shamrock Farm in Barrington, Prairie Star in barrington, Buena Vista in Zion, Happenstance in Zion(it's right down the road from buena vista so I'm guessing it's there), Towerhill in Hampshire, Fields and Fences in Wadsworth, Cross Winds in Marengo, Paramount Grove in Mundelein, Brookwood in Antiotch, Perfecta in Steamwood, Country Ridge in Mundelein(where paramount grove is), and Somerset Sporthorse in West Dundee(Tiffany is awesome). There's a ton of barns in northern Illinois, it just depends on how far you want to travel. I would personally recommend Shamrock Farm, Buena Vista, Prairie Star, Happenstance, and Towerhill. They all have amazing and welcoming people/trainers along with fantastic atmospheres that I have experienced first hand. Buena Vista and Prairie Star have gorgeous facilities- Buena Vista is at Hidden Knoll and Prairie Star is at Old Barrington. I think almost all of the ones I listed are A barns but I know Towerhill does smaller shows if she wanted to show and so does Crosswinds, Fields and Fences, Paramount Grove(?), and I believe Somerset, too. All the barns I listed are great, I just haven't experienced all of them firsthand. Good luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        And I believe that all the barns teach beginner type riders, it just depends on how much she is willing to spend, really.

        Comment


        • #5
          When you say "North Shore", what town/towns are you referring to? Lots of barns in the NW burbs and out west, but could be quite a commute if you're truly living in the North Shore area (Wilmette, Lake Forest, Glencoe, Highland Park, Evanston, etc). Can you specify?

          Comment


          • #6
            I highly recommend Happenstance Farm in Zion if that's not too far of a drive.

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe have her check with the local tack stores, they may have advertising posted. Barrington and Saddlers row are two I know of. Good luck.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                She is currently living in Lincolnshire (will be moving to Highland Park within the next few months) and wants to find a place close to there.

                When she was searching on yelp she found a few places in Morton Grove, but the reviews were all over the place so she didn't know what to believe (I think the place she mentioned was called Freedom Woods)

                Price wise she is pretty flexible, she really just wants to find a place close by with good instruction and safe/well cared for school horses.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Annekaj View Post
                  There's Shamrock Farm in Barrington, Prairie Star in barrington, Buena Vista in Zion, Happenstance in Zion(it's right down the road from buena vista so I'm guessing it's there), Towerhill in Hampshire, Fields and Fences in Wadsworth, Cross Winds in Marengo, Paramount Grove in Mundelein, Brookwood in Antiotch, Perfecta in Steamwood, Country Ridge in Mundelein(where paramount grove is), and Somerset Sporthorse in West Dundee(Tiffany is awesome). There's a ton of barns in northern Illinois, it just depends on how far you want to travel. I would personally recommend Shamrock Farm, Buena Vista, Prairie Star, Happenstance, and Towerhill. They all have amazing and welcoming people/trainers along with fantastic atmospheres that I have experienced first hand. Buena Vista and Prairie Star have gorgeous facilities- Buena Vista is at Hidden Knoll and Prairie Star is at Old Barrington. I think almost all of the ones I listed are A barns but I know Towerhill does smaller shows if she wanted to show and so does Crosswinds, Fields and Fences, Paramount Grove(?), and I believe Somerset, too. All the barns I listed are great, I just haven't experienced all of them firsthand. Good luck!
                  Paramount is at Countryside Turf Club. I do recommend Molly for lessons. I took several lessons from her in the fall as I was trying to get myself back in riding shape (bought a green horse since and have been putting the basics on him before the two of us can go back for lessons) and had a very enjoyable and informative time. The horses I rode were really, really nice for lesson horses. They attend a variety of show types. Molly ran a tight ship, and is one of the most professional trainers I've dealt with.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Marcella View Post
                    Paramount is at Countryside Turf Club. I do recommend Molly for lessons. I took several lessons from her in the fall as I was trying to get myself back in riding shape (bought a green horse since and have been putting the basics on him before the two of us can go back for lessons) and had a very enjoyable and informative time. The horses I rode were really, really nice for lesson horses. They attend a variety of show types. Molly ran a tight ship, and is one of the most professional trainers I've dealt with.
                    Thanks, that sounds like one I should pass on to her. I keep telling her that it's really important to find a place with nice school horses & looking at the map it doesn't seem to be too far from where she is.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If she is looking for school horses, there are two barns I'd recommend. I'd highly recommend Jennifer Rousseau who trains at Tudor Oaks Farm in Barrington Hills. She is kind and very well-rounded at many different disciplines, and has wonderful school horses. It's a bit of a drive from Highland Park, but I think that barn would be worth it! The horses are well taken care of and it's gorgeous.

                      Also, I believe Prairie Star has school horses. It's located in Barrington and the trainers are very good and have all levels of riders. You cannot beat the facility they are at, which is Old Barrington Farm. They do a lot of the local shows and are definitely geared towards that.

                      A few people have brought up Shamrock Farm. It's one of the best barns for sure - but I don't think they have school horses. If your friend has her own horse and wants to compete in the hunters, that is the best place.

                      I've been at all of these barns (didn't train with them, just boarded) and had a great experience at all of them. The horses receive great care and they are very friendly and I believe they would work with beginner riders.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In Libertyville there's two places I can think of off hand...
                        Liberty Farm - Steve Foran (worked for him, great trainer)
                        Gateway Farm - Diane McClure & Jeff Katz
                        Glen Grove Equestrian Center - I have no idea who is running the place these days, but probably Cindy Baffa. Its been around forever. Big lesson program, but not a fancy barn. Small acreage for the large amount of horses.
                        I'm from that area (until I moved) but my memory is failing me at the moment and I can't think of anywhere else.

                        Shamrock Farms is run by Sarah Grubner who is a very close family friend. Excellent trainer! Love her to bits.
                        Quiet, lovely barn, but not sure if she has any lesson horses.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Satin filly Jeff passed away a number of years ago. Its just Diane now.
                          I want to be like Barbie because that bitch has everything!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not sure how far she wants to go, but I rode at Galway for awhile and really enjoyed it. Kara is a wonderful instructor.

                            http://www.galwayfarm.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Smiles View Post
                              Satin filly Jeff passed away a number of years ago. Its just Diane now.
                              How on earth did I miss this!?! Well, I did take a riding hiatus for some time...I guess that's how. Sad nonetheless.

                              Comment

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