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Barns near New Haven, CT?

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  • Barns near New Haven, CT?

    I got a job there! No small trick in today's world, but now I need to find a place for my horse. Can you guys help?

    The horse is an easy middle-aged show hunter (gelding) and I'm the old lady who made him herself. We don't need fancy, big or H/J specific. But we do need:

    Good care, good turn out, good footing, an indoor and access to trails or outside fields.

    Maybe that's a tall order. I'll pick the barn first and my place second, so anywhere within commuting distance to New Haven is fine.

    Any clues, recommendations or warnings are welcome. PM me if you like.

    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

  • #2
    how far away would you consider "commuting distance"?


    • Original Poster

      Commuting distance?

      Thanks for the question. I genuinely don't know what counts as commuting distance. I'll be in New Haven all week like all the other working stiffs, but I am prepared to live there or closer to my horse depending on the price of human housing and traffic.

      This middle-aged man needs to do something five days a week, year round so I'll drive and live where I need to in order to make that work.

      More? Thanks.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat


      • #4
        There are lots of places in Bethany. You should check out River's Edge definitely. There is also a barn across the street that has a small indoor, and a fabulous trainer. Locket's Meadow is a nice facility, although I have no idea who is there now. I know it changed ownership since I knew it.


        • #5
          I ride at a barn just under an hour away from New Haven, great footing, good turnout, lots and lots of fields and trails to play on, very good care and lots of nice people. Board isn't too expensive either- plus less than 5 mins from 95! PM me if you're interested!


          • #6
            Not to be pessimistic... but good luck with that! I too work in New Haven and have been looking for a new barn for months. While there are alot of places around, I can't find anything with good turnout, good care, and good footing! Doesn't seem like it would be too much to ask, but apparently....

            feel free to PM me if you want to know about any place in particular, or if you think you found something!


            • #7
              Shalimar Fields, Kristen Neff. It is located off route 34 in Monroe, but a very very easy commute from new haven. basically just straight up 34 to Stevenson, then take a left!


              • #8
                Another pessimist here. Lived in the city for years and struggled to find the *right* place.

                A few ideas to consider:
                -Circle K in North Branford is a really nice facility with good turnout, rings, nice people, etc. But there are no trainers there so you have to bring in or ship out. I think it's often hard to get a stall. That's probably where I'd board if I was still in the area.
                -River's Edge in Bethany. Big indoor and stalls and lots of turnout and a nice professional. But it's a busy lesson barn and the ring is usually full from morning til night.
                -Cedar Brook in Madison. Older barn, *deep* turnout paddocks and smaller rings. But it's very close to New Haven and they've recently brought in very good trainers. I'd imagine they're on the road a lot, though. When I boarded there--years ago--they were *incredibly* nice about accommodating my work schedule, and let me ride at the crack of dawn every morning before the staff got there.
                -Westbrook Hunt Club. Lots of shows there and excellent rings as a result. Limited turnout. Jane Dow, the owner, is a great trainer with a lot of experience, but doesn't teach as much as she once did.

                There are a lot of nicer barns closer to NYC, but I'd really recommend against shopping down there. The traffic is just terrible.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hunter/JumperMom View Post
                  Shalimar Fields, Kristen Neff. It is located off route 34 in Monroe, but a very very easy commute from new haven. basically just straight up 34 to Stevenson, then take a left!
                  I just wanted to second this suggestion. Kristen hadn't set up shop yet when I left the area, but I've known her for years and am a big fan.


                  • #10
                    i am a boarder at River's Edge...i sent you a PM


                    • #11
                      I ride with Kristen and she is indeed terrific, but Shalimar would be a pretty challenging commute from New Haven, particularly in rush hour traffic. Also, the farm is lovely and fancy, but does not have fields to ride in nor access to trails.

                      Dunno if you care to share your price range, but if so we might be able to better direct you. This area can be pricey.
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                      • Original Poster

                        More details to help

                        Thanks for the replies.

                        More info to help you guys hone in the right place for me and horseboy:

                        Price-- I'd really like to pay under $1K/month. Is that possible? I'm realizing that I should have been more specific about not wanting/needing a training barn. Remember, I'm the old lady who made the old horse. We have a good thing going and don't need lots of help. I'm excited to find the trainer (both H/J and dressage) separately.

                        So the ideal barn for use would have the facility-- good footing, indoor so the old man can work out in the winter as he needs to, stalls large enough and well-bedded. I also want the peeps who will blanket, notice a cut, bring him in for the farrier or vet, call me if they have a question. I'd be happy with a private barn if the owner for some reason had the amazing spread that usually comes with a business.

                        Finally, I want the place that lets this horse go outside and be a horse, even stay muddy for a day every once in a while.

                        See what I mean? Pro knowledge but not the barn so full service that the showing end dictates the means. I should say that I have been on both sides of the boarding business, so I'm usually regarded as a pretty good, low maintenance boarder. The horse is absolutely low maintenance for his handlers.

                        Thanks again!
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat


                        • #13
                          Hmmm. I don't know of many places with indoors and competent care that are under a grand a month. Shalimar is a training barn and although we have clinicians in frequently, they don't allow outside trainers.

                          You might try Zoar Ridge, down the road from Shalimar, also off 34. The owner has a small boarding operation in addition to leasing stalls in her other barns to a trainer with a show program. I don't believe they require lessons or training, but they have an indoor and a big field to ride in.

                          I believe their board is $950 and the owner is extremely nice. I am not sure if they have any stalls available but you are welcome to PM me if you want the contact info.
                          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                          • #14
                            Mystic Valley is just under an hour away, two indoors for lots of room in the winter! 6 outdoor rings cross-country course (great for hacking!) and lots of trails!!
                            Barn is safe and well-maintained, the 'guys' are nice and will tell you if your horse has a cut etc etc. Very consistent and quality care. Multiple trainers, hunter, jumper, eq, dressage and an eventing coach comes in once a week!
                            Board is 1k/month, but $250 of that is 'maintenance' which can go towards lessons, clipping, shipping, showing, pretty much anything!!


                            • #15
                              I too live and work in New Haven and struggled for a while to find the perfect barn. But I recently started riding at Movado Farm, in Durham, CT, and couldn't be happier!

                              Durham is an easy commute from New Haven - 30 minutes max, but mostly on back roads with little traffic. What I appreciate most about the stable is its mix of a friendly, inclusive atmosphere combined with rigorous H/J instruction and an utterly professional approach to the horses' care and upkeep of the property, all backed by 30 years of experience. The facility has a large outdoor and a medium-sized indoor with good footing, many turnout paddocks (where most horses stay out all the time, if one so desires), and approximately 25 large, deeply bedded stalls. While they do run a fairly active lesson program, they have a good balance of teens and working adults, many of whom have been riding at Movado since they were children.

                              Good luck with your search, and congratulations on the job!


                              • #16
                                Do the above costs and difficulty of finding a similar barn also hold true for the Norwalk area?
                                Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks for you input everyone!

                                  I'll go down there in the next few weeks to really look in person.

                                  joiedevie99-- Judging from their website, Locket's meadow seems to be owned by some people interested in broad things-- camps, etc. I'll check it out since I mainly need a facility and good care, not expert help. I'm very lucky to own an easy horse!

                                  Heartinrye and Lucassb-- Thanks for your ideas. I think an hour in the NYC direction could be a problem. But I have a friend in Fairfield looking, so I'll PM you guys if I need to go that far or your contacts might help this good friend of mine.

                                  I'd imagine that land and therefore barns get more expensive as you stay close to the Sound and NYC. Is that generally right? If I drove in the North Branford/Bethany/Durham directions, can I assume that there is more open space and less expensive board?

                                  Ameshu2005- I will call Movado, so long as they can deal with a client who has more knowledge than money and time for shows!

                                  ckerzner, Rabbit351w and touchstone-- the Locals-- will you PM me if there are places I obviously should avoid?

                                  Otherwise, are Steedread ads another reliable place to start? How about a local tack store? I have to say that every time I have moved somewhere new, no matter which research strategy I tried, it was always the local tack person who hooked me up with the barn I ended up choosing.

                                  Many thanks for whatever you guys can add that will make my trip down there really quick and efficient!

                                  Plumcreek-- long ago I kept a horse at a little but well-run place in Redding. I think that might be 20 minutes or so on back roads from Norwalk. Would that work for you? Let me know and I'll see if I can dig up that info.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Plumcreek View Post
                                    Do the above costs and difficulty of finding a similar barn also hold true for the Norwalk area?
                                    Yes, the whole lower Fairfield county area is pretty consistent in terms of price & choice.
                                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                                    • #19
                                      Thanks Lucassb and mvp, just tire kicking an interesting job available there.
                                      Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design


                                      • #20
                                        MVP- Mystic Valley is an hour in the other direction (north) - MUCH less traffic, and much nicer scenery!!