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Michigan peeps - know these farms?

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  • Michigan peeps - know these farms?

    Hi folks - a friend of a friend is looking for somewhere to take lessons after she graduates (she's had a year of lessons at a good college program). I'm several years removed from MI, plus I'm an eventer and she's looking at h/j barns. So while I can give advice on basic "what to look for in a beginner barn," I haven't heard of either of facilities she's looking at, or their people.

    I'm not sure what her goals are yet (asked and waiting to hear back ), but in the meantime, does anyone know anything about Hedge and Turf Farm in Superior Twp (looks like they have a location in NC as well) or Forte Farm in Ann Arbor?

    Thanks in advance!
    Proud member of the EDRF

  • #2
    I ride with Allison Howson (Forte Farm) and LOVE it. Would recommend her to anyone. She's great with all levels of hunter jumpers as well and both kids and adults. She's gotten my off the track greenie ready for the baby green showrings in just a few months. She's a graduate of Findlay and was on their national champion equestrian team. All in all a GREAT place and very very affordable compared to other stuff in the area. She takes students to both local and 'A' shows.

    I'm also going to PM you!


    • #3
      Looks like 2 places close to each other so friend should schedual a lesson at each place. See what she thinks of each before deciding. There are other places around that area but many do not do public lessons with schoolies.

      These are pretty nice websites too. You can get good grasp of each based on what's on here. Looks like H&T is higher volume and a little more A show oriented then F. And F puts more emphasis, including pictures, on the school program-little more entry level with shows for those that want to. Versus H&T with all those Ponies and pictures from shows.

      Many should be so lucky to be able to make this kind of choice. Tell friend to keep looking for others as well, and try them all out before making a commitment.
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks, guys - it's helpful to have the h/j perspective, since sometimes "the way it's done" is different from h/j to eventing. I didn't want to advise a hunter rider from too eventer a perspective.

        It does seem, though, from the PMs I got, that my feelings from looking through the two websites were pretty accurate - good people are good people (and also the opposite...) regardless of discipline.

        For all the times we see beginners with completely idiotic trainers, I figure I can help at least one person make a good (or at least informed) choice! I will absolutely suggest that she take a "test" lesson with each barn that makes it past the initial vetting; it's definitely an integral part of my own process for finding a new instructor (I have a bad habit of randomly moving across the country and having to find new everything... ). I'm still waiting to hear about goals and such, too, as that is a big factor in what she should look for and what questions she should ask of the potential new barn.
        Proud member of the EDRF