Dressage barns near Chicago


I am looking for a dressage barn close to downtown Chicago. I live right near Navy Pier so trying to find somewhere not too far from the city.

My horse is a coming 4yo, so important for him to be somewhere with good pasture and preferably trails around to keep him happy.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!


You might need to adjust your idea of “not too far” as you are looking at a minimum 1hr+ drive from the your location in the city to anywhere with a program that fits your needs.
I used to work right where you live & that was my commute from there to a barn in Schaumburg.
But that was 15yrs ago & my information may be sadly out of date.

Check out Barrington where Julie Julian was training at Flying Dutchman or Maple Park where KYB Dressage is headquartered.



Have you been to Lamplight in St Charles? Go to any of their shows & ask around.
Looks like you are just in time for Equifest III:


OTOH, if you don’t mind leaving IL, you can look up my trainer who is in Valparaiso,IN.
The commute will be about the same.
She has trained her own horse to GP & clients’ to 4th & above,
Tell her Debby & Harley recommended her.


KYB Dressage is longer in Illinois. I believe they are in Florida now. There is no place close to the city with good turnout and trails. You will have to go west or north. Or to Indiana…

Equifest is h/j, but August 20-25 is the Dressage Festival of Champions at Lamplight.

I board in Hampshire. It’s an all around barn, but there is an excellent dressage trainer on staff.

Addendum: Lamplight Equestrian Center is in Wayne IL, not St Charles - just a little further north. And KYB relocated to Florida as of early 2018, I believe.

All that said, to the OP: I suspect you are going to be looking at a drive of an hour+ if you are going west, south, or north-west. St Charles/Oswego/Wayne, Barrington, Maple Park, McHenry - these are all areas that have what you are looking for but that is quite a haul for you. You may want to feel out what is the easiest direction for you to go at the times you would be driving, and search along that route.

There are some very active Northern Illinois facebook groups - they may also be a great resource for you with this.

You all are so much nicer than I. When I read that OP was looking for a dressage barn with good pastures and trails close to downtown Chicago, I figured she/he was pulling our legs. Your reasoned and informative responses are indicating I’m wrong, and that such an improbable situation does exist. Wow.

On the other hand, hearing crickets from OP doesn’t bode well…

:lol: I mean to be fair, the summary of responses seems to be that “near” should probably be very loosely defined. I personally don’t know of any barns that meet the OP’s requirements near Chicago. Consulting my inner-city riding friends yields the same response. That said, these barns do exist if the OP is willing to drive. It will help if they have a flexible schedule that allows for driving during non-peak hours.

@PeteyPie IIWM, I’d be digesting the fact that “nearby” is a matter of definition.
It’s been just a day, OP could be pondering the reality :wink:

@NewtoChicago It is possible.
I lived on the near North side of Chicago (Lakeview/Wrigleyville) & kept horses in Michigan City, IN. Drove out to train or ride 3-4 days a week.
”‹”‹”‹”‹”‹”‹”‹The drive wasn’t much longer than when I boarded in Schaumburg.

About 10 years ago I lived in Lincoln Park, so a few miles west of the OP. It could take me 20-30 min. on a busy Sat/Sun or rush hour just to get to the expressway, let alone start my 45-60 min commute to the barn. It’ll probably take OP longer than that with the Navy Pier location. I’d say 1.5+ hours is more likely the one way trek to any barn. Sorry to pile on with the bad news…

Thanks for the responses, I had heard at least an hour was to be expected so yeah ‘close’ is relative :slight_smile: luckily I do have a somewhat flexible work schedule so idea is to not drive during rush hour to help a little bit with the travel, but have found some barns have too restrictive of schedules to accommodate ‘flexible’ riding times. I will check out the suggestions!

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Hi…NewtoChicago I’m wondering if you ever found a dressage barn. I live a few blocks from you and am starting to look for a barn. I’m a former eventer looking to get back riding in dressage.

There is a barn in Country Side, Stanley Luke Farm. From Navy Pier its about 25 - 30 miles depending on your driving route. It does not necessarily check all your “boxes”, but there is an excellent dressage trainer on site, Marcia. She has many years of experience in riding/training classical dressage. Many of the borders are eventers, but dressage is one of the phases of an event :wink: It’s a fun group of riders!! Worth setting up a barn tour to see if the facility meets your needs.