Aiken trip

I’m considering bringing myself and one horse down to Aiken from Ohio for a few days/week here in the next month or so (nothing like planning ahead!) The primary reason for the trip would be to meet up with my amazing saddle fitter, but while I’m there I may as well take advantage of the opportunity. I’m looking for advice on where to stay and things to do. I have a trailer that I can stay in, but no bathroom facilities or shower. Looking at January 25-29 or February 3-8. I know of the USEA horse trials, and found the info for Tuesdays in the park, but is there somewhere else to look for schooling shows? TIA!

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All places with schooling shows on their calendar. Idk about camping with shower/bathroom facilities at any of those places, but there is a state park in Aiken that has facilities. It may be convenient, depending on where you keep your horse. Full Gallop often has stalls available and (I think) is on the same side of town as the state park.

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Reach out to Sally Cousins, she might have a trailer on her property you can rent/stay in as well as a stall. 610-324-6628

I hope you’re coming to meet the amazing Patty Merli! There is also a shooling 3 phase on Jan 26/27 at Apple Tree Farm (South) here in Aiken. She does the dressage and stadium at her place and the XC is at Dara Knot (formerly Paradise). Great schooling opportunity.

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Sorry OP to hijack

I am headed to Aiken for 2 weeks in April from Canada. I am bringing my talented young gelding with like-minded people/friends with our trainer. I am kind of freaking out. I have never traveled with a horse before or even overnight showed, he recovered from hock surgery and is still coming back into fitness (though we are almost pre-injury level). The cost is a bit daunting but do-able. Basically I am a bit overwhelmed.

Is this going to be a once in a lifetime trip? Will we get a lot accomplished as a team? It’s worth the anxiety-right? Is it really amazing?

What sort of rig are you traveling in, where are you staying, and where are you competing? I’ve lived here over 40 years and my advice is free if you want any particular information. I ask where you are staying as early April is the Master’s golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia which is basically just across the Savannah River. The whole area, including Aiken, basically goes crazy and accommodations are as scarce as hen’s teeth, and restaurants are packed.

And since this is your first time on the road with your horse, yes you will find it stressful. Hopefully your rig has trailer cameras and keeping an eye on the monitor to see how your horse is doing as you roll down the road will ease your mind a bit.


He’s being hauled commercially, we are just going for training- no competing, and after the masters. I already have my airbnb. Horse will be at JBF

Cool. My trainer judges there. My farrier does their barn horses. I’ve schooled x-country there a bunch. I hope you have a safe trip and a pleasant time here in Aiken.


Oh, you’ll have a great time. JBF is beautiful and the owners are wonderful. April is my favorite month here! You can hack out on the road and all over the farm. We’ll be there competing at their HT. Enjoy downtown and all the great restaurants and tack shops. It is as wonderful as you think! We liked it so much we moved to Aiken!


Amazing! Thank you so much.

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@SeeSpotEvent @LCDR

Do either of you know of a low level packer for short term lease at the end of April. We have hit a snag in recovery and I am not sure its worth my young guy making the trip with the others :frowning:

You might see if they have anything at Full Gallop, I think they have horses for lease/for lessons. Also, try posting on “Aiken SC Equestrians and Horse Sports,” facebook page. Hope you can still make it!


I am on their FB page and if you post this, they will come!

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I found I don’t want to drive more than 8-9 hours a day. I would not make a horse with hock surgery go more than that per day so plan on overnight stops at farms. It is not a restful drive. People are idiots and I needed 2 beers at my evening stops, especially after Nashville and Atlanta.

His Hock surgery was September 2022 and was an exploratory. Nothing found- no joint involvement, no bone fragments, no internal infection- just a laceration and precaution. Hes going in a box stall as well but I know what you mean. Thats why I am looking for a backup plan. We have taken his come back extremely slow and steady :blush:

Box stall is a great idea. My guy traveled there in a box stall last year and fair much better.