Seattle Area Show Jumping Barns (open to eventing too)

I’ve seen a few of these posts floating around, but nothing super recent. Moving from LA to Seattle area in the coming year.

30 yr old ammy, leased always never owned. Started riding Pony Club at around 7. Took break during and after college and returned to riding at 25, happily bopping around .80 - .90m, occasional fence 1.0m+ in lessons until March of 2020. I changed jobs (remote indefinitely, woohoo!) and ended my lease of a wonderful horse (RF Easy Going, yeah, Marylin Little’s old eventer). I haven’t sat on a horse since my last lease lesson March 14th.

Looking for a barn where I can both get my eye back (lots of flat and poles to regain sense of distance) with schoolies or lease option available as I don’t intend to buy in the next year or two. Would like to be consistent in 1.0m - don’t really have much ambition to do more than 1.10m.

Also would be open to an eventing barn - I rode dressage as a junior ages 14-18 and honestly, its still probably one of my favorite disciplines (not much interest in XC unless someone gives a saint of a brave schoolmaster that has their own engine). Combined tests are my dream come true.

Looking to live on any of the following places:

  • Northern Seattle burbs (Shoreline/ Lynwood/ Mukileto, etc.)
  • Bainbridge Island
  • Southern Whidbey Island

I like technical, tough instruction, and hotter horses - my last 2 lease horses you could not ride with spurs and I don’t like kicking down to a fence. My favorite ride is hold, with leg.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Check out WSJHA and Flying Changes for listings. My recommendation is Lindsay Uyesugi-Lacey at Brick Road Farms BUT finding a lease at 1.0 will cost some money and finding a school horse at that height is a unicorn Good luck.

Oh, yes! All fair points. I will check out those listings! I have heard good things about Lindsay!

I didn’t mean to infer a schoolie would take me to 1.0m. Whenever I take time off I take it super slow getting ramped back up. I don’t expect to be jumping more than 2’6 for a few months, which then I would have roots enough to seek out a lease. Closed gyms and only cardio makes me feel weaker than ever this year!

Regarding pricing, I lived in DC & in LA and commuted to Bay Area often for work, all very expensive areas to keep horses in full training (corporate job necessitated this). My leases were not ‘expensive’, but not cheap. My full training board in LA was north of $2k/mo-- not including shoes, supplements, extra services (my barn charged for basic blanketing etc), vet, chiro, etc. and did not include lease fees for horses.

Lease fees for RF Easy were relatively inexpensive all things considered $12-15k/year (he’s 19 or so this year and he was definitely not everyone’s cup of tea kind of ride). So horse related expenses could run $3k/mo + <— WITH MINIMAL TURNOUT cringe.

Based on how much less expensive gas, milk, eggs, and real estate is in greater Seattle vs DC, LA & Bay Area - I am thinking I would spend around the same or hopefully less than the figures above. I told myself I would not purchase a horse until I lived somewhere with solid turnout a la NJ / VA where I grew up riding. LA area barns turnout is a joke and a half!

Much appreciated!!


What, you mean you don’t think five minutes in a dirt round pen is sufficient turnout? :joy:

My trainer is friends with Courtney Palmer at Noble Jumpers and her program looks quite good: We just sold a nice horse to one of her employees, and it looks like great care and a good facility too.

You should be in that budget. Depending on the level of the barn H/J monthly rates run $2-3K here plus shoes, vet, yearly lease fee, insurance, etc. Will be able to give you more options once you figure out exactly where you land. The places you listed as far apart and commuting here can be a nightmare, although better now with COVID!

Exactly! I feel like I need to determine where my boots on the ground are (renting for a while until we get a feel for where we want to be to purchase) before I make any final decisions.

Thankfully, Seattle metro appears genuinely more horse available than LA - just need to do more research on programs and trainers.

Duly noted on the traffic - LA was horrendous and I have noticed pre-COVID Seattle was getting pretty rough. I am currently working East Coast hours 40% of the week, so that might help!

Southern Whidbey, Sarah Moulton.

Thank you! I took a look and I like what I see presented on their website & social media. I also like the look of their for sale & lease animals - they appear healthy and happy to do their jobs!

I have heard good things from my barn owner in SoCal who knew of Sarah from when she was in CA (Sonoma in the 90s?). I didn’t realize she was on Whidbey - perhaps my goals are going to be .90m and a horse that hacks out nicely. I haven’t had decent trail access with good footing in a decade!

This is super helpful as I think I will end up renting in one area of Seattle metro and moving to another (I grew up on 4+ acres and I miss having a bit of space)!

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Sundance Equestrian has been great to me thus far. I’m an adult re-rider, and I started here on schoolies for a year before they found me a lease to move me up to the 3ft, and I’ve been keeping my lease horse here for almost a year. The care is excellent, the turnout is… great for around here (I grew up in MD, so I know what kind of ideal turnout space you’re imagining)… decent-sized mud-free dry-lots with attached gated pastures to keep horses from getting too fat in the spring or constantly pulling shoes and ripping up the grass in the mud in the winter. You can check out the program on their website, Facebook, or Instagram. Or PM me if you have other questions.

The island is gorgeous. I’m on the north end and there are ppl even this far who work in Seattle area who want space and beauty.

Sundance sounds interesting - as the move gets closer, I will contact them / drop by. They sound like the set up I will need now going on a year of not riding. I am getting a little torn as I think more about my future with horses, I was a pure dressage rider as a junior and miss it tremendously. Ideal barn would let me fool around the adult eq/lowjumpers and train dressage.

Perhaps I need an eventing barn - as I said 0% interest in XC unless it is on big forward, fat pony with my feet close to the ground (I’m a thin/athletic 5/9), over BN or smaller :sweat_smile:

I can confirm that Courtney has a great program! I don’t know how many lesson horses she has available, but when I first started looking she had a couple that could do 2’6" - 2’9". It’s also fairly priced compared to many of the barns around here.

I was not crazy about Sundance though their facilities are quite nice. Granted, I never rode with their head trainer so perhaps I didn’t get the same experience. I felt that the lessons were not terribly productive, and they never did anything remotely close to dressage. In fact, they seemed to prefer letting their horses plod around with their heads in the air like a giraffe rather than using their bodies and doing lateral work. As someone who has taken a foundation of dressage lessons that I apply in my H/J riding, I found it frustrating and odd. I also have zero desire to receive lessons from an “assistant trainer” that is 18-22 years old unless you’re an equivalent of a Hunter Holloway or a Haylie Jayne, and their head trainer had limited teaching times on the lesson horses that were available. Anyway, check them out and give them your own chance, because they definitely do have a few lesson “horses” (actually more like ponies). Having the variation of horses is a good way to sharpen your skills again!


This is very helpful, after more investigation, I, too, am a little unsure of lessons with anyone besides the head trainer. I like tough, technical, yet empathetic instruction - seems like the head trainer is that, but I would not be enthused to take lessons from the Assistants.

I also am a thin/ athletic 5’9 (~140lbs), but I dwarf anything under a THICK 16.1, so ponies and small breed schoolies (arab crosses, or small TBs) are an absolute no go.

@tacos-plz PM me more thoughts. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I am too old, too educated in shoulder in, half pass & the like, as well too ‘focused’ for being taught by standard ‘kid’ assistants. I feel like I am stuck in the land of “I want serious instruction & I have some areas of beautiful technical riding both dressage and over smaller fences” & “I am sometimes chicken over .90cm+ fences and don’t show often”!

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If you tell me how to PM then I will, but I’m new to the COTH forum and don’t quite know what I’m doing! lol

I tried PM’ing you but it says I can’t. I don’t understand this forum. COTH needs to work with Reddit because this interface is terrible… lol

LOL - just PM’d you. Yeah, switching from Reddit to here is… uncomfortable at times.