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Boarding around Richmond, VA

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  • Boarding around Richmond, VA

    This is kind of a spin off with moving barns. So I moved to this facility where I currently am because the turnout is fantastic and the rings are incredible. I assumed for as much as I pay the care and training would be up to par. I was really wrong. I think I need to change barns but I have no idea where to go. I thought you guys may be able to offer some suggestions. I realize that no boarding situation is going to be perfect but my current situation doesn't keep the fields cut regularly and I feel like my horse is tripping over the high grass and of course it's more likely to have bugs and ticks when the grass is that high (not a giant issue but just kinda adds to the annoyance). The rings aren't drug on a regular basis so even though they are great, great is pretty worthless when they aren't drug and just end up hard, unlevel and clumpy. My water buckets have been so dirty I couldn't see the bottom, the stalls are never cleaned with the horses out, my horse doesn't have hay on a pretty regular basis, there is a film of grossness in his feed bucket and the clips are so rusted you can't remove it to clean and the trainer is expensive and not worth it at all. I notices my horse eating dirt the other day when I took him out to graze....they had not replaced his mineral and salt blocks in his stall. I swear I am not a hard person to please but I feel like when you are a lot of money a month, care should be better. When you are paying more than average for lessons, training should be better.

    I was at my last facility for 15 years (only left because I moved out of state) and no they weren't perfect either but I never EVER worried about my horse's well being there or care. All I want is a clean and safe place to board that does some local hunter shows and has a trainer that I can learn from.

    Any Suggestions?

  • #2
    I live in NoVa so have not actually boarded there, but I see Hampton Row at the shows and have long thought they were a top notch barn and the horses always look great. Erik Dirks (I may not have the spelling right) is one of their trainers and he does the riding work, and Jan (??? don't know her last name) is the main coaching trainer - both seem very level headed and friendly. Look up Duffy (Duffy Again) on the board and send her a PM - she rides with them and may have more to say broadly about the scene in that part of VA. Good luck in your search - you are totally right that given the cost of boarding and training we should expect great care of our animals - that sometimes comes with a beautiful facility, but the window dressing is not the important part.


    • #3
      Sending you a PM...


      • #4
        Jeff and Josie Bradner at Fieldcrest. They are in Goochland, worth the hike outside of Richmond.

        Jan and Eric recently took over Spring Valley. Really nice facility.

        Four Seasons Horse Center is really nice as well.

        There is Stillmeadows in Mechanicsville. they do more jumpers than hunters.

        Manakin Sabot Equestrian Center also in Goochland.

        Running Cedar with Joan OKeefee also in Goochland.

        Cedar Ridge in Powhatan. Jill Carter owns and operates.

        I guess it all depends on what you want to do. Showing, pleasure riding, hunters, jumpers, etc. But there are lots of nice places that you can spend your money and have better peace of mind for your creature's comforts
        Dear life, please send grapes. Sincerely, I prefer wine over lemonade.


        • #5
          Oldenburg did a really good summary of the good facilities in the area. If you'd like any more info/another opinion on them, feel free to PM me.


          • #6
            I lived in Richmond for more years than I want to own up to and the boarding options there are pathetic. Just wanted to wish you good luck. How much time do you have? Maybe choose the smaller, less structured, less expensive barn where you can do some self care? The only way I survived in that area was to be really hands on.


            • #7
              There are good barns...

              I sent you a PM.


              • #8
                There's also Coventry in Ashland, VA
                Dear life, please send grapes. Sincerely, I prefer wine over lemonade.


                • #9
                  I'll second Coventry Farm www.coventryfarm.com
                  If you're able to get to New Kent, there is Neal Blair at Rosehill Stables.
                  Good Luck.
                  "In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move." -Douglas Adams


                  • #10
                    Boarding around Richmond

                    I have sent you a pm.
                    Where am I, and what am I doing in this handbasket???


                    • #11
                      It's been almost 10 years since I left Richmond... but I remember a lot of the names mentioned from back in the day and can't think of anything negative. I rode with Neal Blair and can't say enough nice things about him... but he is in New Kent now. I don't think Ada Cosby was mentioned... is she still in the area?


                      • #12
                        Ada Cosby is still at Walnut Knoll Farm in Manakin-Sabot. Super nice lady and really good trainer. I don't think she has a website but you can look up the barn number.

                        OP, what area of Richmond are you looking in? Then maybe we could narrow things down for you a bit. I know a lot about the Powhatan and Goochland areas but not so much about other areas of the city. If you can do Goochland there are TONS of great places to board, especially if you don't mind paying for them.


                        • #13
                          I second Jeff Bradner and Still Meadows. Neal Blair in New Kent is quite a hike from the Richmond area -even the southeast side.


                          • #14
                            But Neal is wonderful - he treats those horses like family.
                            Dear life, please send grapes. Sincerely, I prefer wine over lemonade.


                            • #15
                              Have to say - Reggie is enjoying his new digs at Spring Valley! We walked around the indoor one day, then out on the track and between the paddocks day two and three. (He's still just walking due to an injury.)

                              www.springvalleyfarm.net (The horses just moved last weekend. The facility is just amazing!!!)

                              I've been with Jan & Eric (Hampden Row) for MANY years. They are a great team in all respects.

                              We go to a mix of AA rated and a sprinkling of very good local shows.


                              • #16
                                Amy Nunnally

                                Amy Nunnally has a new boarding, training & lesson facility in Manakin Sabot on Shallow Well Road.
                                I have had my horse there for training for several weeks at a time and she takes amazing care of him! I never have to worry. She is a fabulous trainer and rider. Is very flexible about working things out with you. Has some fun lesson horses that came from Spring Valley that I like to ride to concentrate on myself for a change.
                                She has been showing the "A" circuit including a few years in Wellington for the past 10 years so she is well qualified to teach beginner thru advanced.
                                her website is under construction but you'll get the idea.
                                i highly recommend her!


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thank You

                                  Thanks to everyone's suggestions and PM's. I am going to start looking into places now. I think this go round I am going to look for smaller places. I would like to show but it's not imperative to me and I just can't stand the care where I am now.

                                  I would really like to get out before winter because who knows how the blanketing will go. I can't stand the thought of my horse overheating because they didn't take his blanket off on a warm fall day which we have here all the time.

                                  I will let you know how it goes.


                                  • #18
                                    Hillbrook Farm?

                                    Hi Kate,

                                    I know a lot of people probably sent you PM's and I was wondering if you or anyone else knows anything about Hillbrook Farm outside of Richmond? I have heard good things about it but I think it's more private, interdisciplinary so it's hard to get a good take. Maybe COTHers can help?

                                    I got such great advice here when I chose the place where I am. Thanks.


                                    • #19
                                      Hillbrook is a nice facility, I had a horse there for training years ago. Not sure who is running it now, but I've heard Helen George is training there now, she's a well respected local dressage trainer. Worth checking out. Maybe someone else here knows more about it.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Oldenburg99 View Post
                                        Jeff and Josie Bradner at Fieldcrest. They are in Goochland, worth the hike outside of Richmond.

                                        Jan and Eric recently took over Spring Valley. Really nice facility.

                                        Four Seasons Horse Center is really nice as well.

                                        There is Stillmeadows in Mechanicsville. they do more jumpers than hunters.

                                        Manakin Sabot Equestrian Center also in Goochland.

                                        Running Cedar with Joan OKeefee also in Goochland.

                                        Cedar Ridge in Powhatan. Jill Carter owns and operates.

                                        I guess it all depends on what you want to do. Showing, pleasure riding, hunters, jumpers, etc. But there are lots of nice places that you can spend your money and have better peace of mind for your creature's comforts
                                        I can second (third/fourth?) What Oldenburg has said-the only other thing I could add is that these people above have and have had for many years, the reputation of being great barns regardless of the breed/discipline(as in, even the Arabian people know about them)

                                        Call me crazy, but I really miss VA
                                        Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                                        Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                                        Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                                        Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.