NY Barn Recs for Re-Rider

Hi all!
I know this has been asked in the past, but can’t find anything within the last 2 years.

Trying to get back into riding after a ~3 year hiatus and hoping to find somewhere not too far from NYC that is amateur/working professional-friendly where I can potentially lease/lesson. Unfortunately my trainer from my junior days has sinced passed away, but she used to have some clients who fit this bill, so hoping there are others out there like her! Ideally looking for somewhere with great trainers, people in a similar situation, and that has staff on location during the winters. Huge plus if anyone carpools from the city, and if they have quality lesson horses that can go up to 3’ :slight_smile:

A bit of background:
I showed competitively at the AA+ level throughout high school mostly in Equitation and some jumpers. I’m in my mid-twenties, living in Manhattan, and working full time so probably not going to be able to afford to throw myself back into showing competitively at the moment, but honestly just really miss riding/being around horses.

Thanks in advance!!

Welcome back! I’ve been in your shoes. The good news: there are plenty of barns in the area. The bad news: very few have quality school horses of the type you mention. Assuming you have a car, your best bet might be to reach out to West Lane in North Salem/Brewster as a starting point. My understanding is that they have a broader range of lessoners, leasers and show clients than most of the other Westchester barns. In NJ, Redfield Training has historically had one of the better string of lesson horses but you will likely find yourself wanting to move to lease/half lease quality soon. If neither of those places suit, they might be able to provide some recommendations. Good luck!

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Welcome back! As someone who is also mid-20s and cobbling together their riding in some form of lessons, leasing, and showing when the budget allows - I can totally relate!

That being said, I echo RW06 in saying there are lots of barns here but not a ton with the quality school horses you are looking for. You’ll find that most of the nicer/show quality horses up here only jump 2’ or 2’6. After that, most barns want you to lease or own and that can get very expensive up here. West Lane is a great option and they do have a bigger school program than most.

There are some trainers up here who might be willing to work out some kind of arrangement with you, but that is not the kind of thing that’s going to get advertised and is going to be more about who you know and if the timing is right (eg. do they have something in house that is maybe not getting sold that they could let you do an in-house lease on for a few days a week etc.)

I’ve ridden in this area for my entire life and know most of the programs. Feel free to PM me if you’d like more specific recommendations!

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Hello! Brooklyn-based ammy here who has ridden at several of the barns in this immediate area over the years. I was riding up in Westchester for the better part of last year, but you will find that it is exorbitantly expensive compared to NJ. Now, I make the trek out to NJ and am very, very happy.

I’m in a program with a young Grand Prix rider who does a lot of sales and has a brilliant young assistant who stays home and works with the young horses and clients who aren’t showing. We don’t have a huge lesson program, but what we have is fun and reliable—I actually lesson on one of them for “tune-ups” occasionally. I have three horses in their program at the moment, two of my own and one I co-own with the aforementioned assistant… and to think I came with none, LOL. One of them I’d be open to an in-barn half-lease provided she could stay for sale.

Anyway, if it sounds like it could be a fit for you, you’re welcome to drive out with me one day! :slight_smile:


I would recommend either Coast to Coast in West Milford NJ or Ithilien in Whitehouse NJ! You will be hard pressed to find a lesson program with 3’ horses but those are both super fun, super skilled programs with cool clients and trainers, within reasonable driving distance. Both have safe, fun lesson horses to get you back in the saddle and can then find you a suitable lease horse. Happy to provide details on either via PM! There’s also an NYC Equestrians FB group that may be worth a post.

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Hi! I highly recommend Carla Sacco at Zephyr Farm. I know there are others in the same situation (working amateur living in NYC) that ride with her now. Feel free to PM for more information.

Thank you all for the suggestions! I will contact some of these places in the fall to see if they have any availability :slight_smile:

Hi All! A fellow Brooklyn-based Re-Rider. I am almost 20 years out of the saddle, after competing in Canada for all of my teens in the Eq medals and Junior Hunters. I gave it up to go to University and have always missed it and am finally in a position where I can start again. I had my first lesson this weekend (hello bruised thighs, and ego!)

I’m wondering if any of you feel it is ok to try a few barns/lessons before committing to one? I had a lesson this weekend out in Long Island and it was fine…but I would like to find a horse that I really enjoy riding.

Any tips for returning and getting your fitness back warmly welcomed!

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Totally OK! I definitely tried a few different before finding the right fit. My aforementioned brilliant assistant trainer has since spun off her own business (Leuci, LLC) in Califon, NJ, about an hour from Brooklyn. It’s a beautiful farm and my horses are super happy! You’re more than welcome to come try us out and no hard feelings if it’s not a fit—let me know, we can carpool! :smiley:

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