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19 April 2006 @ 12:43 am
Hi, all!

Let me introduce myself -- I just moved to the Pittsburgh area from New Jersey. I've been riding hunter/jumper for about 14 years, anad haven't been on a horse since I moved here four months ago. I'm not very familiar with the area and would appreciate any help I can get on finding a barn. I don't own a horse anymore so I don't need boarding, just lessons.

Thanks, everyone. This seems like a great community!
companymanners on April 26th, 2006 12:51 pm (UTC)
I used to board my old horse at Pheasant Hollow, in a time long, long ago. :) As far as I know, they've ended their school program and do not currently have a trainer, though it's possible one or some of their boarders bring in an occasional trainer whose "home barn" is elsewhere. I'd like to skip anything else I have to say and suggest that you look elsewhere.

Right across the street from Pheasant Hollow is Morning Star, on Ridge Road, so it would also be very close to you. I don't know much about the place, but I do know a few people that used to take lessons there. I do still think that Hollandale or Mingo are better bets for your money and time, but if you want to stay close to your house, you could look here. Their number is (412) 655-9793.

There is also Timber Oaks in Finleyville, which is a slightly, but not by much, longer drive for you, but I know nothing about their current trainer. Though, I do know quite a few people who either boarded or took lessons there in the past. They have a Web site: http://www.timberoaksfarm.com Their indoor arena is pretty crappy, but they have a nice outdoor with loads of trails.

There are a couple of other barns in the South Park area, but I know very little about them. My friend used to lease a horse at one of those places in another time long, long ago, but I want to make sure I have the name right before I say anything about it.

FYI, it would only take you around 25 minutes to drive to West Newton (Hollandale) and 15 minutes to drive to Finleyville (Mingo). If you're dead set with sticking to hunter lessons, call Mingo and ask for Becki. If you're interested in "the best trainer ever" (haha, at least I think so), call Hollandale and ask for Terry. (And, if you ask me, you never really learn to ride until you learn dressage!)

Finally, RLB Saddlery in South Park on Brownsville Road (a very short drive for you) will be having their annual spring sale April 27-May 1. Stop down. It's a pretty big deal. They have drawings for door prizes, but you'll also get to lay your eyes on some local horse people. Look for the tack shop employees and ask them if they see any local trainers or barn owners and ask them to point you in their direction. Introduce yourself and find out some info from them. RLB's phone number is (412) 854-5050.

Please do ask me any other questions you may have!
Jo: Horsejerseyflower on April 27th, 2006 04:09 am (UTC)
Wow...thanks for all the info.

I'm not opposed to dressage, but I think I would really miss the jumping. I will say, though, your "best trainer ever" pitch is pretty convincing =) I'll probably call a few of these places, see who offers the best price, and try them out.

And thanks for the RLB Saddlery tip! That's, literally, like, 2 minutes from where I am. I will DEFINITELY be there this weekend =)

In response to your other comment, I actually went to college out in Greensburg for two years, but b/c I didn't have a car I didn't really venture off campus. I got a job in the area after graduation and here I am!
companymanners on April 27th, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
I can tell you that Terry (dressage) at Hollandale charges $40 for a private hour lesson. I believe that Olivia (hunter) at Hollandale charges $30 for a private half hour lesson, though I could be misspeaking.

I hope you don't mind, but I've added you. I'd love to hear about your riding experiences in the area!
Jo: Horsejerseyflower on May 8th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)
Of course I don't mind! I very rarely update, though. I'll probably give Olivia a call this week -- I don't think I'll be able to afford much more than $30. I know that severely limits my options =( I stopped by Timber Oaks this past week, which seemed really nice, but they're charging $45, which is a little steep for me. I'll probably call Becki at Mingo Creek, too. =)

companymanners on May 8th, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
Feel free to add me back, if you'd like. :)

While it's absolutely not my place to make any offers or guarantees, there is a possibility that you could do some barn work at Hollandale in exchange for lessons. Jennifer is the name of our barn manager (she's a really hard worker and is real nice), and she has one or two other girls/women help her out once a week or so. Recently one of the women has been cutting a new trail through our woods. If you're interested in putting in some extra time around horses, it'd be worth asking about when you call.

Have you noticed that I love talking about stuff that I know about? ;P
companymanners on June 21st, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC)
Just curious, where you ever able to start taking lessons anywhere?
Jo: Horsejerseyflower on July 3rd, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
No, actually. I've kind of put it on the back burner for now. Things have been kind of crazy, and I'm really short on funds. In a few weeks, though, things should start going back to normal, and I'll try to pick it up again then. I'll let you know when I do =)