Trainers in Northern VA Area with School Horses?

There’s obviously a number of good dressage trainers in the area. But I really need to find one that has a few schooling horses, even if it entails a partial lease. I’m an adult that has been riding for 35+ years. (Primarily eventing.) Riding has been sporadic the past 2 years since my previous horse died. But I’ve never completely stopped so it’s not difficult to get back to peak conditioning. I’m a fairly good rider when I have access to a horse a few times a week so ideally I’d like a trainer who has at least a few clients riding to PSG level or above. I plan to buy or full lease a horse at some point. Because I’ve never focused purely on dressage I want to take some time to figure out what I realistically need in a horse. I realize I’m more or less looking for the trainer version of the proverbial unicorn. lol. Anyone know of any trainers in the area with a schoolmaster or two?

I think Tina Legno in Lovettsville has school horses. She does classical dressage. Do a search.

Tiffany Hattler in Lovettsville may be able to help you.

All lot of trainers in this area don’t keep school horses or lesson horses due to expense. This is one of the most expensive areas to board as well. I recommend finding an instructor or trainer with a great program and success rate and discuss having them help you find a horse to lease and board in their training program. I know numerous Dressage riders and eventers in this area that will help clients find horses to short or long term lease to match the riders abilities and goals. They often have a huge network of sources for this, rather than keeping several horses on site themselves to maintain without a someone leasing.
I highly recommend Sprieser Sporthorse in Marshall, Va. Lauren and her team of assistants, Lisa and Lauren F, are fantastic and they have students riding at all levels, and competing locally and at licensed shows. I do not believe she offers school masters, but she would most likely help you find the perfect match whether you lease or by. It never hurts to reach out and ask!


Yup. I’ve never lived anywhere but here. So familiar with boarding costs. That’s part of the issue. Can’t afford to board one of my own in addition to the expense for my daughters’ mounts. I’m also unsure of what I want or need, never having focused on pure dressage before. I had one horse that someone was trying to get me to take on a care lease. Nice horse, but it was older AND green and reauired hock injections to not buck. It would’ve hit the limit of it’s physical capabilities very quickly. I just figured that for as many barns that have several equine “Kato Kaelins” hanging out on their back fields doing nothing but eating, some trainer might have kept a serviceable older horse of theirs to use for the odd lesson.

Wanderosa, I think its more common for hunter barns in this area to keep ponies and move up horses “on staff” so that they can teach lessons to younger students or those just starting to ride. There are some people who offer lessons on their schoolmasters, but in exchange for barn help. I think Tina Legno in Lovettsville is the only dressage person who I’ve even seen list this type of opportunity to ride schoolmasters, but I have no experience with her teaching style or riding. Some times the bigger barns might have a client who would allow lessons on their horse or half lease on their horse already in the program, but not owned by the trainer. I’ve seen a few ads for low cost or free lease lately, but mostly on eventers.

Could you take one of your daughters mounts to a dressage lesson with a reputable trainer and use it as a test drive experience to see if you even like Dressage-land enough to invest in it, both financially and your time looking for an opportunity? Any horse can benefit from dressage if done properly :slight_smile:

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They’re small ponies :slight_smile: And neither actually belongs to us. And I don’t have a trailer. Lol. We’re a mess at the moment. I guess I should clarify that I don’t mind riding another client’s horse or some similar arrangement. I did get a few lessons in at one barn where we used other clients’ horses with their permission (e.g. -Susie’s on a business trip and would love for Dobbin to get ridden so he isn’t nuts when she comes back.) With the exception of my old TB, all of “my” horses have been by informal lease. I’ll ask around and see what I can find!

Kissler Dressage.