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Barns near NYC

Hi all! I am heading to college soon and will be bringing my jumper with me. I’m looking at attending NYU, I am aware it will be a drive to get to a barn but I am willing to do what I need to with my class schedule to make it work. I’m looking for barn recommendations near NYC, needs to be full service (due to having a long drive and being in college), not have a trainer that leaves for the entire winter to FL and of course exceptional care and training. I would prefer an all around hunter/jumper/eq barn with ammys and juniors! Thank you so much!!

I can very highly recommend either Leah Epstein at Ithilien Stables in Whitehouse, NJ or Sam Leuci at Leuci LLC in Califon, NJ.

I’ve made it from the West Village to Ithilien in an hour flat if the traffic gods bless me, and Califon is only a few miles further out.


thank you!!

Something to keep in mind… if you come out from NYC to NJ, you will pay a pretty penny in tunnel fees coming over Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, or GWB. So factor up to about $200 a month in tolls/tunnels if you’re planning to come over a few days a week. It may not be an issue from a financial standpoint, but if it is, you might also want to consider living in Hoboken or Jersey City if you find a trainer you love. The PATH train will take you over to 9th Street and NYU is a quick 10-15 min walk, or you can connect to several subways to get you directly there.
I worked in Manhattan and lived in Hudson County because having a car and garage fees can be extremely costly in NYC.
Other options for you would be Westchester/Rockland Cty and Fairfield Cty, CT. Check out barns that are holding winter shows now and look into who is competing and sticking around. It seems like all of NJ and PA are in FL right now. Many will also trek out to Ohio for WEC winter. So definitely worth doing your due diligence to see who packs up and comes down and who has trainers at home that keep a northern presence. I know that Heritage has trainers home that have been competing locally while Andre and the majority of the barn are in Wellington.


I go out 5-6 days a week from Brooklyn and spend around $275/month in tolls. Definitely a line item in my budget!

I have three horses (two green ones and an older jumper) with Sam Leuci at Leuci, LLC in Califon, NJ. The drive takes me about an hour depending on traffic, but from Manhattan, you’d be able to shave about 15 minutes off that. It wouldn’t be bad at all. We have a great mix of folks, happy to answer any questions for you!


thank you!

Awesome, thanks!!

Hi, sorry for resurrecting this old thread, but I’m a middle aged rider looking for a new barn for lessons. Looking for a place that caters more to adults, not a summer camp type atmosphere. Considering Leuci, are there older adults there?

Quoting isn’t working for me, and I cannot speak to Leuci, but Leah Epstein (Ithilien) does lessons and caters primarily to adults.

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thank you, I just reached out to her!

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Yes there is a nice amount! It’s a very friendly inclusive community as well.

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I am in a similar situation and the struggle is real!

I keep my mare in Whitehouse, and my commute ranges from 54 minutes (Sunday morning, before 8am) to 1h 20m most days with 2 hours max each way from where I am in Brooklyn. For those near the Holland, they can probably do 45m without traffic.

You probably already know this, but in case it helps others: As for tolls, if you go via Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge and the tunnel on way out, it’s free. It usually adds on about 10-20 minutes to my drive time vs going through SI, although of course it will vary based on where you are. I am in Red Hook. For return trips, look into EZ-Pass deals. Ez-Pass gives blanket and also specific deals. I have one I am signed up for where if I cross from NJ to SI 3x/month, I get a discount on bridge tolls on OBX. Also, avoid the turnpike. If I am not slammed for time, I go through the City to avoid tolls, and return via OBX and Verrazano. I only rarely take the turnpike to Exit 13 or tunnels in the event of bad traffic/accidents on the cheaper routes.

I also drive a Prius, which is hell in Winter, but really saves on gas money.

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Awesome! It’s a really friendly, welcoming group of adults, many/most of whom live and/or work in the City. Leah has created a great community and has a real knack for teaching adult ammys. Hope it works out!

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Will third Leuci. I don’t board there (have my own place) but Sam has been very accommodating of me trailering in with my quirky mare :joy:. We’ve made lots of progress and I enjoy her style of coaching/training.


I’m a boarder at Leuci and can answer any questions you have, @123chickadee. Just let me know on this thread or PM me. Her website, leucillc.com is also a good resource.

Yes! We have a good mix—I’m in my mid-30s, which is probably the bulk of the adult clientele, but there’s truly everyone, even a few people in their 60s/70s.

I’ve heard wonderful things about this barn. I’ve been tempted to go for a one-off lesson myself, it looks so beautiful (I don’t live in NYC).

I have heard… A lot of the opposite. LOL


Ha! Well, I haven’t ridden there myself, so I am only passing on the recommendation of two friends who rode there a few times. Without giving details, what did you hear? (Not nasty curiosity, but, like I said, I was considering a trail ride up there, because it looked so pretty.)

Knew somebody who worked as assistant trainer there, briefly ( totally believe them when they said they were not fired). Wouldn’t be my first choice for long term barn relationship.

That was years back, perhaps things have changed but other options mentioned here are very well regarded and worth the extra travel time.