Dressage Lessons in Baltimore County


I’m looking for a dressage barn in Baltimore County. As a young rider/young adult I competed seriously in eventing on the west coast but had to give it up once adult life happened and my husband had to move across the country for work. At this point I would really love to be a adult amateur in the dressage world!

I’m looking for a more serious barn but since I don’t own a horse I would need to take lessons on a school master for a while. All the dressage barns I’m finding are in or around Frederick, MD which is an hour drive each way. We are located in Lutherville, MD. I would consider driving that distance for a great instructor but I would prefer to find somewhere a bit closer if possible.

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

You could check with Phoebe Devoe Moore. http://www.thornridgemanor.com/

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Not to hijack - But I am interested to hear about options in the area, as well. I will be at Hopkins starting July 1, 2014 and likely will not be able to bring my horse as it is only 1 year and the cost of transport and board doesn’t seem worth it. I would love to find a barn with schoolmasters or talented young horses that I can ride (I am an AA with my Bronze, schooling 4th with my homebred gelding. Former eventer, I still have some guts when it comes to the youngsters:lol: but no interest in fixing bad habits) I’d like to get in a few rides during the week, and will probably go home on weekends to ride my guy. It’s a ways off, but would like some intel on the local scene.

Absolutely recommend Phoebe Devoe Moore - she is outstanding - positive, knowledgeable, dynamic, and engaging.

I highly recommend my Portuguese trainer Nuno Santos. PM me if you have any questions. He was one of 26 trainers selected nationwide to demonstrate at Pimlico what an OTTB could do (Nuno did it for dressage). He was invited to Rolex to do the same demonstration. O Judge Linda Zang, who provided the commentary at Rolex while Nuno was doing the demo, now comes to Nuno’s facility to give monthly clinics.


Thanks for the feedback!

Nuno Santos is an excellent dressage rider and trainer plus an all around good guy. You may have seen his dressage abilities on display this weekend at the Thoroughbred Makeover at Pimlico.

Another recommendation for Phoebe and Claudia at www.thornridgemanor.com

Hoping to bump this back up. Would love to hear current recommendations for dressage programs near Baltimore. Is Nuno still in the area? I can’t figure out where he is located geographically. I know Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride is near Annapolis, but I worry that commute would be difficult (?). Anyone new on the scene since this thread was begun?
I have a very talented but quirky TB mare. We event, but I would like to be based in a dressage program and moonlight in the sandbox.

I thought Nuno was located somewhere near Butler, but I could be wrong. You could always try reaching out to him on his Facebook page, Santos Sport Horses. Valerie is located south of Annapolis, so it might not be too horrible of a commute depending on what part of Baltimore County you’re in and what times you’re commuting. I know someone from my old barn who commuted from near Hopkins to Harwood, MD for several years but she usually came out at off hours. I-97 can be a pain and don’t even get me started on the disaster that can be Route 2 heading into south Anne Arundel County. Though maybe it isn’t as bad now as it used to be since COVID and with a lot more people working remotely or doing the hybrid work thing.

this is very helpful intel, @see_u_at_x. thanks! any chance you have someone you especially recommend? :grinning:

Paul Belasik is at Lost Hollow in Dillsburg, PA. Depending where you are in Baltimore County could be a hateful drive or doable. Can’t speak to his program. I know the prior owner of the farm who described him as “world known”, FWIW, which might be nothing. Good luck in your search.

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Valerie sounds like an awesome fit for you and her farm is gorgeous, but I would NOT recommend that drive if you don’t live somewhere in the Annapolis area. I commuted from Annapolis to work right near BWI and back down to Edgewater for my horse every day for years and usually didn’t make it to the barn in less than an hour. Val’s barn is a good 10 - 12 minutes further past mine. Traffic on 97 is no joke and the only thing that made it reasonable was my drive home at the end of the day was only 20 minutes. If you can go between like 10am - 2pm regularly I think that it would be feasible but wouldn’t attempt going back and forth both ways during normal rush hours. Unfortunately all of my suggestions are southern AACO so not too helpful, but just wanted to warn against or at least give you a very accurate insight into that commute. Traffic eased up due to COVID for only about 6-8 months, it’s back in full force now lol. As someone else mentioned, even if you catch 97 on a good day, the bottleneck heading over the bridge into Edgewater is another beast depending on storms/accidents etc.

Thank you, this is incredibly helpful and just the kind of insider scoop I was hooping for!

Still struggling to get recs for trainers near Balt. Any chance you can recommend anyone? Thanks again!

It would be useful to know geographically which area of Baltimore–are you looking to board your horse there and then commute? Do you have your horse boarded elsewhere and would then commute for lessons with a truck and trailer?

Andrea Velas is based in PA but clinics in MD, I think just southwest of Baltimore but I’m not sure the exact location (I’m in NC now). She has been great with my quirky ex-eventing Thoroughbred and got us up to I-1, and she’s an ex-eventer herself. I highly recommend her to all my dabbling-in-the-sandbox-eventers-with-TBs people!

We’re in the process of relocating to Baltimore City and trying to figure out what neighborhoods are most convenient for commuting to a barn. My ideal situation would be to board at a dressage barn that offers partial training so that I can access instruction at my home base but also haul out for SJ/XC instruction. I don’t want to have to haul out for all instruction.

Andrea looks like an amazing resource, thanks for mentioning her! I don’t know that I would have found her without your mention.

If you decide you want to go south to Anne Arundel to ride, you would want to live in the Fed Hill area (younger/post college vibe which may or not be your thing). Linda Zang is in Davidsonville and I don’t think she boards, but might be able to recommend one of the barns where she teaches regularly if you decide to look at housing down that way or that you want to do the commute. If you find a barn north of the city in the County or Harford County etc. you’d want to live on the other side of the city in Fells/Canton…while these are “nicer” neighborhoods the crime here is worse and to be blunt, just getting worse. Fed feels a little crazier because it’s near the stadium, lots of partying postgrads, but I feel safer there compared to the other areas after having worked in the city for 5+ years and being very aware of current events there. I would consider looking for housing in the County or one of the surrounding areas and commuting in. You will have a ton of boarding options in Baltimore, Harford, and Carroll counties that are a lot more reasonably priced than Anne Arundel due to more availability of land. Though as a person who grew up in AACO, it’s prettier because it’s on the water :slight_smile:

One more thought if you do want to explore Anne Arundel - Trevi Manor in Lothian is a beautiful facility with primarily adult eventer/dressage clients and they regularly host Susan Graham White dressage clinics, Jennie Brannigan jump clinics, and occasionally Philip Dutton in addition to having their in-house trainer Cheri.