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Living in DC and getting back into riding- HELP!

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  • Living in DC and getting back into riding- HELP!

    Hello COTH! It's been a while. Almost 2 years, in fact.

    My horse got hurt (twice), was retired, I graduated from college and then moved up to DC and decided to stop doing the horse thing for a while in order to get my career jump-started.

    So, here I am. Living on Capitol Hill and working in the heart of downtown, and the only equine-interaction I get is when I'm in Tennessee sucking up to SUBK or on rare trips out to Middleburg to visit friends.

    I've been telling myself I didn't miss it that much, but then it was 70 degrees on Tuesday and, as I jogged down the national mall for the 10,000th time, I realized I've been totally lying to myself.

    I have several questions-
    1. Does anyone have knowledge of barns that are public-transit accessible? I've been looking at Reddemeade and Rock Creek, but can't tell from the websites how the facilities are.

    2. Does anyone commute out of DC to a barn somewhere that has a lesson program that wants a carpool buddy? Or just to chat about how non-conducive DC is to this whole horse thing?

    3. As you can perhaps glean from the context clues, I'm currently carless. My truck is sitting in my mother's driveway in Tennessee because I haven't felt the need to pay to maintain it in a city I don't have to drive in. Am I going to have to bring it back up or is there a way to do this and remain carless?

    Any other musings? Thoughts? Complaints about how terrible Metro is?
    "My shopping list is getting long but I will add the marshmallows right below the napalm." -Weighaton

  • #2
    It would help to know about your experience and what you're really looking for out of your lessons. I was living in DC last year and pretty much went through the same thing.

    I visited and took intro lessons at a bunch of the barns around there and found that they weren't really what I was looking for. Reddemeade, Rock Creek are both typical lesson barns, mostly catering to lower level riders in group lessons. I have no idea if they're accessible by public transport. I would say that Rock Creek is more likely to have that than Reddemeade. I believe that the closest H/J facility is Meadowbrook.

    I was looking for an eventing barn where I could take lessons on their horses and not feel like I was just trotting around in circles for an hour. I ended up having to drive over an hour out to Waredaca weekly and occasionally make the hike out to Middleburg for a lesson with Stephen Bradley.

    If all you're really looking for is a horsey fix for an hour a week or so and you don't mind going on an escorted trail ride or taking a group lesson than Rock Creek might work. If you want something a bit more advanced I think you're going to have a hard time finding it within public transportation access. Or, if it does have access it's going to take you forever to get there.

    I hope you can find someone to carpool with! If I was still around I would totally be up for it, though that doesn't help you now. Have you thought about a car rental service like CarsToGo? I haven't tried it but it's an option.


    • #3
      Have you thought about using Zipcar (http://www.zipcar.com/dc/compare-plans)? There was someone at our barn who was using that to come out and ride 1-2x per week.

      Also, you may want to look at Prince Georges/Anne Arundel - may be easier to get to for you. Do a search, there are multiple threads on different barns in the area.


      • #4
        I don't know about all of the places, but I will ask a fellow COTHer who is also in DC proper.

        I'm about 14 miles outside of DC and my horse is about another hour out. No good way to get transportation to the barn from the metro without a car or a carpool option.

        We're down to one car now (on purpose) and my husband really doesn't use it, but I do--to get to the barn.

        If you just need a horse fix in the interim, I'd be happy to pick you up at Van Dorn or Dun Lorring and take you out to the barn with me while you continue to look for something more to your liking.

        It would probably need to be on the weekend though.
        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

        Might be a reason, never an excuse...


        • Original Poster

          Ah yes, good point. I've been doing H/J for about 20 years (woah), have taught some, been a BM, etc. I was an IHSA intermediate rider, if that helps?

          And I think at this point I'd be okay with WTC small jump group lessons on packers. No desire to show or do anything insane, since I really don't have the budget for it anyway.

          Nevertoolate- I have zipcar, but at $8 an hour, if I needed it more than 3 hours a week, it'd be less expensive just to have my own car. :/
          "My shopping list is getting long but I will add the marshmallows right below the napalm." -Weighaton


          • #6
            Your best bet is probably Meadowbrook - better than Rock Creek you could check if they have any adult classes; most of the barns, if they are on a bus line chance of them being right near a bus stop are pretty nil. In DC public transit is pretty expensive so if you're having to take metro and bus, you're probably better off getting a zip car


            • #7
              Just as a suggestion, I have two horses that need a rider a couple days a week (both OTTBs), and would be more than happy to try to coordinate with you to come help me out. I drive past most of the major stops, but it depends on what your schedule is. My farm is in Germantown (north on 270 from DC). It takes me about a half hour without traffic to make it to the mall, or georgetown, etc.
              Race training and retraining Thoroughbreds.


              • Original Poster

                True, but my office covers all of my public transit
                "My shopping list is getting long but I will add the marshmallows right below the napalm." -Weighaton