Unlimited access >

Hunter/Jumper barns in Boston area?

There is a chance my husband and I could be relocating to Boston area next spring for his job and I’d like to start researching different barns in the area to figure out costs and where I’d potentially want to live.

I do low level jumpers on the local/C circuit so I’d like a barn that goes to shows at this level. I only show a handful of times a year so it can’t be a barn with minimum show requirements.

Great care is an absolute priority so I’m not as concerned about cost and would also love an indoor. I would also like to find a barn that is more catered to adult amateurs or at least has a solid adult ammy group.

What recommendations do you have? I’m not sure where we’ll be living yet, I’ll probably base it on where on my horse will be living lol. But let’s assume within 45 minutes of Boston.

Great that you’re considering the Boston area. Many great things about it.

I am a former eventer who now does dressage, but I know of a couple of HJ barns in the area that I would recommend without hesitation. Both are in Ipswich, about 45 out of Boston with no traffic, around 1 1/2 hours with unless it’s a trainwreck traffic day. So check out:

Ascot Riding Center. http://www.ascotridingcenter.com/ Perhaps a little old school, but out of the ring opportunities abound. Riders go to show, hunter paces, hunts, beach rides, and hack out in addition to getting a solid foundation.

Back Bay Farm https://www.backbayfarm.com/ My impression is that it’s a bit more show oriented, but also has myriad riding opportunities. The owner started at Ascot and runs a very solid program.

Both facilities have indoor rings, hacking and are on Facebook (which I don’t do). They are within a couple of miles of each other, so it would be easy to check them out on the same trip.

Best of luck looking in the area.

1 Like

Was at Back Bay many years ago, who is running it these days?

45 minutes from Boston can take you North, West or South. And if you live in the city, 45 minutes won’t take you all that far if you have to travel during rush hour. So, where you ride will be determined primarily by where you live.

There are a lot of options but the cost will be $$ if you need to be closer to the city. I live in Metrowest (Lincoln) and when I needed to move my horse to a barn with an indoor over the winter, it was basically impossible to find a barn with board under $1K unless I drove out beyond 495. I ended up in Lancaster, which was 42 minutes from my house. I believe that barn is up to $1200 now.

Stoneymeade is about 30 min outside of Boston (depending on traffic) and Mor Linn is about 45 min outside of the city and does jumpers. Would not recommend Kilkern Farm.

Stoneymeade and Arrowhead are probably the closest in, but even Stoneymeade is 20 minutes from my house. As for the costs? That’s one of the reasons why I keep my horse at a co-op barn and foxhunt!

1 Like

I believe Robin Peterson is still running Back Bay, but I have no idea who else might be there.

Sorry for typos in my original post. I’m not that great typing on my phone.

Yeah, costs are up there. I’m hearing $1200-$1500 for anything half decent up here north of Boston. I keep my horse at home and run a small co-op in my barn so I’m really not that informed about the great wide world out there.

So a couple of things - expect to pay $1500+ in board alone for a farm with an indoor within an hour of Boston. Training will likely be required in some capacity on top of that. There’s not really a C/local circuit here unless you go up to NH, most of the C-shows locally are hunters only. I don’t know if NHHJA does a lot with jumpers.

If I could pick a location again, I’d go west instead of north. There are a good, albeit pricey, options out west towards Concord, Acton, Westford, Littleton, as well as further south towards Medfield. There may also be some hidden, private gems in Dover.


Just chiming in to say NHHJA has a strong jumper presence! As low as .65 up to 1.10 and the lower levels are quite competitive. It’s one of my favorite show series.


They also have a bunch of shows at Fieldstone throughout the summer, although I don’t know if any of them are rated less than A.

As others said, there isn’t much of a C circuit that has jumpers around here. Apple Knoll and Valinor are both eventing barns that run Wednesday night jumper shows spring-early fall. I’ve never done these shows due to my work schedule, but I’ve evented at both farms and the courses are good, so I’d assume the jumper shows are similar. Fieldstone has one unrated show per year that has jumper divisions. Norfolk and Myopia hunt clubs run 1 unrated show each per year and normally run jumpers at those. It is going to be hard finding a hunter/jumper barn that doesn’t have at least a training requirement, most will have showing requirements as well. I board at a small barn, trailer out weekly to a hunter/jumper barn for lessons, and go to shows/events alone. Would a situation like that work for you?


There’s also Evenstride Farm in the Byfield area of Newbury which is north of Boston.


And an even lower key place in Danvers (north but even closer to Boston). by the name of Lane’s End Farm.

You’d have to call for pricing on these.

1 Like

Kathy Borylo at Spring Tide Farm in Boxford. If it’s not a right fit she will make recommendations - I’m 55 and she was my trainer as a teen (working for someone else) and she runs a beautiful place based on great care and horsemanship.

1 Like

Boston is great for many things but alas horses and commuting are not its strong points! You are correct that you absolutely want to live in the direction of the barn. When you say “around 45 minutes to Boston,” that distance could vary wildly based on traffic - which no longer feels confined to distinct rush hours but is kind of omnipresent, except when it’s not for no obvious reason. If you’re trying to keep your horse on the north shore, you 100% want to live north of the 93/95 split. If you’re trying to keep your horse on the south shore, you want to live south of the Route 3/93 split. Both of these things will make driving into the city not-fun so try to plan an existence that allows you to take the commuter rail into town.

West of the city IMO has the best commute and then you’re not fighting with people trying to get to the beach, but Boston in general doesn’t have a great C circuit situation - it tends to be either more backyard/low key/no indoor or A circuit and $$. Coursebrook Farm in Sherborn is an eventing barn but they are a really nice facility with great turnout, which is hard to find. That is where I would probably put myself in your situation. They have a good group of adults, for sure, and host some horse trials/combined tests on site.


Any suggestions for barns west of Boston? Fortunately I work remotely so commuting into Boston isn’t really a factor.

I don’t have a truck or trailer so unfortunately I can’t trailer somewhere for lessons. But appreciate the info!

Ridgetop Farm in Holliston is great. I wasn’t showing when I was there so you’d have to check if they’re active enough on the jumper circuit for you, but I can vouch for the care and the people. I was commuting from downtown and it was 1-1.5 hours depending on traffic, if you live outside the city it wouldn’t be a bad drive at all.

1 Like

Partial list of barns West of Boston. There are many!

Coursebook (Sherborn)
Orchard Hill (Berlin)
Stonymeade (Concord/Acton)
Cavallo (Acton)
Blue Meadow (Sudbury)
Verill Farm (Lincoln)
North Bridge (Concord)
Proctor Hill (Littleton)
Highland Hill (Berlin)
Waters Edge (Concord)
Churchill (Bedford)
Sweetwater (Lancaster)
Arrowhead (Concord)

1 Like

This is a good list.

Cavallo is actually in Westford not Acton but that’s splitting hairs. Tricia Moss is there and friends who have ridden with her really like her.

Wildwood Farm in Westford might also be a good option.

Maplewood in Berlin is further out but have heard good reviews from picky friends.

Shining Valley in Medfield is also worth a look.

Ronnie Anderson also moved out to Concord recently but would expect her to be quite pricey.

A lot of the pricier boutique places decamp entirely to Florida for the winter and send their clients that stay home to other barns.

I rode with Kathy for years and she’s the real deal!

1 Like