What barns are the best for quality A/AA hunter/jumper training and showing somewhat near Austin, TX?
You would get more helpful answers if you narrow down your area, your goals (A shows? CTHJA shows? Good pasture?), and your price range.
To start, check out the member barns on the CTHJA website.
ETA: There is also a resource that lists trainers by area on THJA.org. (Click on About - Then Find Trainers.)
Silver fox Farms in Wimberley TX is a great program. Colleen Brombach is a great trainer who was from So. Cal. and moved to Texas. Here is her website. Check it out. http://silverfoxfarmsllc.com/
Best is so subjective. Those that do it are listed on THJA but the list is dated (e.g. Kelly Lorek is no longer at Madrone and hasn’t been for probably 2 years). Your location will probably narrow your search some, but that said I live in NW Austin and ride at a barn in SE. The commute can be a bear but it’s where works for me and my horses.
You’ll want to check out Switch Willow, Rio Vista, Madrone, and Monarch (where I ride) for the bigger operations. For smaller barns, Silver Fox, Corragio, Querencia (I think that’s where Kelly is now), and Step Aside.
Every single one has their pros and cons, but that’s the list I’d start with for regular A/AA show barns and programs.
Feel free to PM me with specific questions.
When I was done there I rode with Colleen at silver fox. Good trainer with great horses and a long term groom that cares for them like his own
I would absolutely not recommend riding with Colleen. The barn is built and centered around her daughters and there is more interest in the money than the horses. And her wonderful groom left. Shortly thereafter a few of us followed as well.
As far as the Austin area goes, Colleen is very south of Austin anyways. Your best bet in Austin is going to be Corragio or whever Kelley Lorek ended up! Colleens groom ended up with Madrone, they show quite a bit, but I don’t have much knowledge of the trainers there after Kelly left. Another good choice is Nikki Mathens barn.
But friendly word to the wise, I would steer clear of Colleens barn.
Reigniting this thread. Moving to Austin and looking for a good jumper barn. Ideally to do Texas shows and some of the following: Thermal, DelMar, WEF, Colorado, others. I typically do about 12-15 weeks of showing per year. Have competitive 1.10-1.20 horse I ride and very nice Young Jumper. Must be competent, down to earth and friendly barn–no drama. I’ve received recommendations for Kelly Lorek and Nicki Mathen, but know neither. Most important is helping me in AAs and Low A/Os. The young horse does not have to move right away and can keep competing out of state, etc.
I do not recommend Nicki Mathen.
Is this competence, ethics, attitude?
Hardly anyone in Texas goes to California. It’s just so far. Much more likely to find barns that do Tryon, Michigan, Kentucky, Colorado, Florida.
check out Madrone (Rachel Lindsey), southern way (Kelly Lorek), Rio Vista (Susan McMorris).
I ride at monarch stables (Kalli Smith), and am very happy there, but our out of state showing is more limited.
Nikki has a devoted following. I don’t know her personally, but it seems to be you either love her or hate her. Her horses go well from what I’ve seen.
Madrone pretty much ticks all your wish list minus Thermal, but she’d go if enough clients wanted to.
Thank you all this is super helpful (also with narrowing down where to live, so horses are not super far for pre-work rides).
All she wants is your money. No regard for whether the horse and rider are the right match, in the right classes, or what. You wanna jump the 1.20 classes? She’ll put you in the ring that weekend even if you should only be jumping a 1.0. Watched it happen to someone I know first hand.
I’ve never even heard of Nikki. So I assume she must not go to the A shows on a regular basis or she must have mostly kids. ? Granted I do the Hunters but my top three would be Step Aside Farm, Madrone, and Southern way.
Rio Vista (Susan McMorris) and Monarch stables (Kalli Smith)have long term clients so are worth checking in to but don’t typically go to all the out of state shows.
Nikki is a very small operation. Spends most of her time out of state. I don’t think step aside is going out of state currently. Especially with the passing of Donna.
Yes, very sad about Donna. I always enjoyed catching up with her.
Just a comment RE California. October Hill/Heineking Sport Horses (main trainer is Christian Heineking) outside of Fort Worth regularly goes to the California shows. Obviously you probably wouldn’t ride with them regularly, but if you do connect with a barn you like in Austin you could perhaps go to CA with October Hill. They primarily do jumpers so it sounds like that could be a fit for you.