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Dressage in Asheville NC?

I’m hoping to retire in the next few years, and my husband and I are auditioning places to moe to. One is Asheville NC. It meets some of our criteria - less expensive than DC (except for SF and NY, what doesn’t meet that criteria?), there’s a minor league baseball team, and vibrant restaurants and culture. At least, that’s what the ads say. But I have googled and found zip about dressage there - apparently, people raise Paso Finos, not warmbloods. I’m hoping to find boarding and training… Please, you N. Carolinians current and past, fill me in!

I live in East Tn about 60 mi from Asheville.We used to do Dressage shows at the WNC center there but they have discontinued those several yrs ago.Tryon ,about 30 mi away has a number of dressage trainers and some shows at FENCE.The new venue in Tryon is quite nice but at present(by the developer of Global Dressage in Wellington) is all hunter/ jumper related but will develop later.Don,t know of trainers in Asheville but there probably are some.

They just recently announced that a bunch of dressage shows will be held at the new Horse Park in Tryon. (http://www.dressage-news.com/?p=30045) Really looking forward to checking that out!

I have a friend who lived in Asheville and rode dressage with a trainer she liked very much. I will have to try to remember to ask her the name. I am sure there are others as well; it’s quite a horsey area.

Dressage in WNC. alive and well if you know where to look

There are several good trainers scattered about between Fletcher, Brevard & Hendersonville, but most of the action is just south in the Tryon area. Polk county has numerous warmblood breeding farms, classical/baroque trainers etc. The Foothills Riding Club has a series of schooling dressage shows, usually with “r” or “R” judges throughout the year. FENCE has been having a rated dressage show each Spring and Fall and the new Tryon International Equestrian Center has announced Five rated shows for this year. Tryon is approx 1 hr drive from Asheville and all the show facilities are easily accessible… it’s all quite workable.

Sad to say the WNC AG Center seems to have priced itself out of equestrian events and turned into more of an Expo center. I can remember going every weekend to a different horse show. The Spring schedule I saw for this year had two horse shows. A sign of the economic times I guess.

I can’t get their web page to come up, so don’t know if it will be helpful, but you might want to check out www.ncdcta.org.

We used to go to shows at the WNC Ag Center, but as stated above, they are no more. But my friends in NC report that most of the dressage competition action is now going to be centered around the new Tryon International Equestrian Center. It’s actually about 15 or so miles NE of Tryon, in the Mill Spring area. It looks like it is going to be a lovely place to show - we are in the N Atlanta area, and have a bunch of show facilities/show dates in the surrounding area, but are looking to make a couple of shows at TIEC this summer.

The trainer that Lucassb mentioned above is Joe Sandven. I think he is in the Fletcher area, which is south of Asheville (about halfway to Hendersonville).

As for Asheville itself - yes, it has a very active arts/cultural scene, and lots of really wonderful restaurants. It’s quite a lovely and fun area.

Welcome to WNC! You’ll love it here. I’m in Tryon and there are several dressage trainers that live here and numerous clinicians that come throughout the year. Three trainers I know are Hokan Thorn (he has clients from Asheville/Hendersonville area), Jodi Lees and Ashley Parsons.

Suggestion: you should sign up for the free weekly e-newsletter called “This Week in Tryon Horse Country” to get all the latest news about all things horse in Western NC/Upstate SC area. Go to www.tryonhorsecountry.org and scroll down to about the middle of the page to sign up. Great way of staying informed.

Thanks, everyone, for your input. I’ve been googling Fletcher, Tryon, even Hendersonville, and I see there are venues for shows. It’s harder to find trainers and stables, but if there are shows, there are stable, right?

GotMyPony, thanks oodles for the newsletter reference! I’ll sign up today.

This is all good news! Now, to convince my husband that Charleston’s summer climate will wilt me and my large, dark, lazy WB…

Not far away;

and; http://www.scdcta.com/

I LOVE Asheville. I live 4 hours away near Chapel Hill where we have tons of dressage trainers and shows. I don’t know much about the horse scene in Asheville, but the area is amazing and I could imagine living there would be wonderful. I visit there about 1-2X/ year. The new show complex in Tryon, I have heard from my hunter show friends, is amazing. Now that they have added a dressage series I think the area will really ramp up for dressage riders. I really hope that area is going to become the “new Wellington” for spring and/or fall show series. I think Beth Baumert (sp?) is in that area too and is a wonderful rider/ trainer.

JMHO, I love Charleston too. However, I think Asheville will offer you much more in the sense of culture. Charleston is very classy, very Southern, very old school money. Asheville is young, hip, artsy and very nature inspired.

To find out more about trainers and other resources in the Tryon area (and the whole NC/SC foothills area) go to www.foothillsridingclub.org and scroll down the page to find the 2014-15 Foothills Riding Equine Directory. It lists farms, farriers, vets, feed stores, and all kinds of trainers.

Has been produced for several years and this is the first time it’s available online.


I can’t even begin to tell you just how much I LOVE ASHEVILLE!!! I lived there for about 6 months (wished it would have been longer). I talked my little brother in to attending University of NC-Asheville, a decision that he STILL thanks me for helping him make, 2 years after graduation. My 56 y/o mother LOOOVES Asheville, as well, and would eventually like to retire there, too!! :yes: Not to mention, I still have friends living there, who never plan on moving and friends who have visited, who long to return. IMHO, its one of the most all-around nicest, places to live in USA.
Asheville is like a smaller, more laid-back, less hectic, version of San Francisco. Nestled in the blue ridge mountains, it has a LOT to offer everyone of all ages! It is rich in beauty, the economy is stable, the art and music scene is AMAZING, the people are VERY friendly and welcoming (a lot of hippie folk ;)), there is always something to do/explore, they really emphasize the importance of community involvement to get things done, and they are SUPER health conscious, eco-friendly and animal friendly. (ie: Tons of different recycling programs, fair-trade, organic co-op stores, bicycle-blended smoothies, yoga classes everywhere, community garden shares, animal welfare groups, etc.) It would NOT be looked at as “weird” or “crazy” if you were to ride your horse around down-town as a means of “green transportation”. You would probably run across a nice hippie to watch your horse while you pick up your locally grown produce at one of the many health food stores! :smiley:
Now that I’ve just finished writing my rave review of Asheville, itself. To answer your question…YES, there are MANY places where you can find good, quality dressage training. Look towards Hendersonville, Tryon, and Hickory, to start. (All VERY close to downtown Asheville). You have received some good advice on here, so far. Check out the places other people have posted and if you decide to make the move to Asheville (which I, obviously, HIGHLY recommend) PM me and I will give you some actual names of places to check out! :slight_smile:

OK, I’m convinced! We’re heading out to visit in June. I am looking forward to seeing the blue ridge mountains. Lunatuna, you hit the nail on the head - I’m a nature nut, and recycle everything. Thanks to you, GMP, Blume Farm, DownYonder, and all of you for your enthusiastic responses. Wish I could retire today!!!