SF East Bay - ISO a barn for the competent and unambitious adult

I’ve recently relocated to Walnut Creek from elsewhere in the area and having a heck of a time finding a barn, so I’m hoping someone can give me firsthand tips or connections. I’ll entertain anything within a reliable hour’s drive, but of course less is better.

Gelding and I do a little bit of low-level everything - we’ve done little jumpers, a couple dinky horse trials, some dressage, and love a trail ride. I’m really losing my interest in showing, but I’d still love lessons at home and someone who can ride him when I’m traveling. He’s easygoing and straightforward, but can get kind of destructive when he’s in a stall all day, so someplace with more than the “1 hour of turnout on a sand sun patch” is really ideal. I’d also really like to be able to jump onsite, either with a resident trainer or someone I bring in.

So the checklist is basically:
-A few hours a day of turnout (or option to live in big paddock/pasture is fine)
-Option for jumping onsite
-Not requiring full competitive training
-Fine with me dabbling around disciplines
-Trailer parking onsite (I guess I can figure this out otherwise if it’s not an option, but much preferred to just have it there)
-Within an hour of Walnut Creek

Any tips?

I have a good friend who boards at Bright Future Farms and it ticks off every one of your requirements. She seems happy there if you want to check it out.

Convenient that that one is right IN Walnut Creek! Thanks for the tip!

Hossmoor out in Briones? There might be a couple barns out in the Briones area that fit the bill and not too bad of a drive from Walnut Creek

Briones would be great location-wise. The only firsthand account I got from Hossmoor was unfortunately not very good. A few others out that way have either been full or also had mixed reviews, though it might be time for me to go see some of the mixed-review options and decide for myself.

Fair point! I’ve only been to Hossmoor to audit clinics, I don’t know any boarders. I love my barn but it doesn’t hit all your marks and probably too far…

How about DeVito’s in Walnut Creek? Lisa is a truly wonderful owner. You’d have access to trails, jumps, trailer parking… Whole Foods down the street. Oh! And a real bathroom (not a porta potty)!

I have lived in the area for a long time and know many of the facilities well, feel free to pm me if you are seriously considering a place and have questions. My daughter and I are both prelim level eventers and are now at Fox Hollow (formerly Sandhu) in Danville area and very happy there. There’s an intermediate level event trainer there 3 days a week who teaches/rides and also takes students schooling and to events. My daughter also does some riding and teaching for the owner, she’s a tactful and kind rider. There’s also a very nice dressage trainer but she has a wait list. New owners are lovely and they have an indoor and an outdoor with new footing, and they’ve also put in a new covered round pen and new eurocizer, and there is a real 1/2 mile track that they drag and maintain. Top quality Timothy and alfalfa hay fed 3 times a day (up to six flakes, many barns only include 2-4 flakes), stalls cleaned twice daily and well bedded, and they have new all weather turnouts. There was a waitlist when we moved there last year, but they just added a new barn and have stalls and stalls with paddocks open now. The website says you need to be in full training but the current policy is that you just need to be taking lessons and can only jump with a trainer. Has trailer parking and very friendly group and staff, this is probably the nicest place I’ve boarded at in California.


I didn’t realize they have an eventing trainer coming in to Fox Hollow - that significantly changes the landscape from when I looked into it last year. I think they were between trainer setups then, so it was just the riding school for a training & jumping option. Thanks for the extra insight!

I do also know about DeVito. There are some nuances that make it a less obvious choice for me now, but not out of the question.