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Boarding around NoVa or MD - living in DC

Looking at a relocation possibly in September and I’m starting my search - yes I know this is quick…nothing like trying to juggle all the balls at once!

I’m posting here because I think a barn who has foxhunters or eventers will most likely be most suitable for my guy.

My needs are fairly simple:
Turnout (as much as possible)
Hay (as much as possible when not on good pasture - I will pay extra for a slow feed hay bag and more fed if necessary)
I will supply grain unless that causes an issue, in which case I can generally deal with whatever - he’s an easy keeper
Fly mask on in summer (otherwise his eyes swell shut)
Ring would be nice, doesn’t have to be fancy - Indoor would be great, not mandatory
Access to trails would be lovely

My horse is a saddlebred and for whatever reason that makes some people weirded out by him if that matters. He does not wear fancy saddlebred shoes nor is he particularly upheaded. He is well behaved, easy to lead, even when something does get him “up” he never pulls (he just looks all big and snorty, he’s really fine). Not a cribber, weaver, excessive spooker or anything else like that.

Budget is not really an issue, however sometimes I find at high end barns the focus is on showing but not on care. I don’t care about fancy - if it’s nice, it’s nice, but care is 100% the important part.

Unfortunately I cannot have this horse in a training program due to some of his other quirks, so mandatory training rides are right out unless it is with someone I implicitly trust - and that has not gone well for me with this particular horse in the past. I ride him frequently but he does just fine with once a week rides - I just rode him after 30 days off and he was fine.

Recommendations would be awesome. I currently live about 600 miles away, so I’m going to have to start the screening process remotely. I’m totally not freaking out right now (ok, yes I am) but I know I’m in the right place for help! :slight_smile: TIA!

Are you planning on actually hunting? Has the horse hunted before? That makes a difference in the type and location of facility.

I have hunted, the horse has not.

I wanted to get out to walk with the hounds last year and see how he would do with the hunt here, but could not get it together in time due to surgeries (mine). He has been trail ridden in company and was fine, but not at any speed. I’m not in a location with many opportunities for such things and he does need practice switching places etc. Current boarding location doesn’t have boarders who are capable of that kind of riding, so he just doesn’t have that kind of experience.

Hope that helps! :slight_smile:

You don’t say how far you are willing to drive.

I can strongly recommend Yvonne Lucas and Red Moon Farm, just south of Berryville VA. Nice but modest ring, She is a former upper level eventer, and trainer. She successfully sold one of my horses, who didn’t want to be an eventer, to a fox hunting home (they are thrilled with him).

She has a nice, but modest ring, and accessible trails. I think she is mostly focusing on layup and retirement board these days, but not exclusively.

she posts here a @yventer




Thanks Janet! I don’t know what is reasonable, considering the circumstances. :slight_smile:

If I had to force rank my priorities they would be:


My horse has been at my own boarding facility for the last 2 years. Qualified help is always nice to have, but not super necessary.

What’s a commutable distance for you? Berryville is a good 1.5 hours and more in rush hour traffic.

MD is a much easier commute from DC.

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Well, I guess because I’m still not even sure where I’m DC I’m going to live! :slight_smile:

I will likely triangulate that based on distance either to union station or quick jaunt via rve for DH (where his work is), boarding, and then will make a choice of living arrangements.

I work from home and can be fairly flexible about when I visit the barn, so while closer is better, care is first, then distance, and I’m happy to pay more if necessary to provide my boy with what he needs.

If you’re living in DC and commuting out to ride/hunt, commuting to Maryland is probably easier…but you may want to look into/talk to various hunts to see which might be your style and then look to board in/close to their territory? Especially with traffic here, trying to get around the beltway in the mornings to hunt could be a real bear if you’ve got a ways to go to get to the various fixtures.

I’m down in the Annapolis area, on the edge of Marlborough Hunt territory…and De La Brooke is further south still from us. Happy to chat about boarding/hunting options out this way - if you’re interested, message me!


Agree with the others that where you live will have a big impact. That aside, Wyndham Oaks in Boyds, Maryland has several different types of board (stalls with part time turn out, as well as field board with a stall for feeding and inclement weather), a fantastic indoor, miles of trails (part of the ag reserve), several hunts nearby, and access to dressage, jumper, and hunt trainers without requiring full training. And its within an hour’s drive of DC. Interestingly, I know lots of people that live in VA and board there as it’s easier for them to get to MD barns than other VA barns!


I live in Silver Spring MD and board at a fabulous, low key barn in Hume, VA. The farm has a ton of hacking and access to adjoining land (Old Dominion hunt territory; the hunt sometimes meets at the farm). I drive all the way out there from MD because I’m very picky :rofl:. I’m an eventer and I have my horse in full training, but not everyone at the barn events or competes. We are mostly all working adult amateurs, but we remember how to have fun. PM me if you want more info.


Are you going to live in the District or out in a suburb of VA or MD? Inside the 435 beltway? Traffic is pretty dicey.

We don’t know yet. Traveling next weekend to scout out neighborhoods.

It isn’t a permanent move (yet) so it’s a balancing act. I don’t want to make it miserable for dh, but I also want to see my boy!

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You need to visit during the work week to gain a true appreciation for the area. The weekend traffic gives false hope.

Make sure you look in MD, Arlington, and off the metro line.


Yes - we will be there across a few work days. :slight_smile:

Yes. Most people buy or rent their house on Sunday and are appalled when they try to get to work.

Looks like we’ll be around Union Market. Which is equally distant to just about everything laughing so that it’s walkable for DH. So Metro-wise I’ll be on the Red line, but we will have our car. Everyone IN DC suggested Rock Creek, but none of them were horse-people so I have no idea if that’s a scary place or a fine place.

I will not be headed to the barn during rush hours. Since I work from home, I’m considerably more flexible with when I leave/return.

I work in the area. As you’ve likely noted, there’s a lot of construction in that area, so you may hit heavy traffic at off areas.

From there, you can get on 395 without too much difficulty, which makes Virginia barns a decent possibility. Be aware that the Southeast/Southwest freeway frequently has stop-and-go traffic at all times of way, not just rush hour.

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I lived 8 blocks from Union Market for 10 years! It’s become such a great area. From there, it’s pretty straightforward to get to 395 and head to Virginia. (When I lived there, it took me about an hour and 15 minutes to get to the place where I ride in Hume, though the traffic can make getting on or off 395 take much longer than it should.)

As you get to know the area, it’s also worth checking out The Red Hen, a fabulous little Italian place, and Big Bear, one of my favorite coffee shops in the city!

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Maryland is going to be way easier for you, although Virginia is possible if you’re flexible on hours. Just be aware that “rush hour” around here is pretty much a constant state from 7am Monday to 7pm Friday every week (I exaggerate, but only a little…). The flexible hours won’t help as much as you may think, you’re still looking at over an hour’s drive even in ideal conditions (and conditions are rarely ideal). I live and work in Arlington and ride in Maryland because it’s just a way better commute.

If you can find a barn east of the city you’d be in a great spot from Union Market; my barn is on the other side so I’m not as familiar with the horse scene in that area beyond knowing that it exists!


just stumbled on this post. I agree with the Maryland barns and if fox hunting is your thing, Wyndom Oaks is a great possibility and lovely facility. Several people board there and hunt w/ Potomac Hunt. Sugarland Farm is another possibility - no training requirements and several outside trainers - several people there are also members of Potomac Hunt. Waredaca or Morningsun Stables might also work. Waredaca is an eventing barn, not sure if there’s any training requirement. Morningsun Stables is probably the furthest out. Both are close to Goshen Hunt and Howard County Iron Bridge Hunt.