First of all I grew up in Danville/San Ramon so I know the history of this stable-it’s on EB Regional Park grounds so it’s not entirely private. This is what I like about the barn, it’s a community and an institution unto itself. It will always be there and there will always be horses there. Everyone is welcome, period.
Cindi and Gary are owners I was introduced to through Bethe (American Romance Equestrian)-my instructor-and they are down-to-earth and friendly. They are also fair and honest. If you’ve ever ventured into a barn community you have to understand how RARE this is! It is no drama. You come in with drama but you can’t leave it there-it’s a place where things get worked out-worked on. If you can’t do that they you pretty much need to take your drama with you!
As with many places, people come and go. The ones that leave are people that, I hate to be brutally honest, make enough of a mess wherever they go that wherever they go it turns out the same.
Anyway, moving on…
I started with a Groupon and I staid. I have been riding on and off since I was 19 (over 10 years) and I am a pretty independent/drama-free rider (I have enough in my “other” life). I staid because I was challenged and I really started to improve my riding. More importantly, I started to improve myself and my life. Lots of people are into Equine-therapy these days. Jaycee Dugard’s basis of therapy after she was finally freed was EQUINE based! It really works.
I like this barn for these reasons: 1) Prices are fair, 2) Safety is number one, 3) No one is ever trying to sell you on anything (you don’t know how many novice riders I’ve seen begin riding for the first time in their lives and within 6 months they are owners of a gorgeous but crazy young horse they cannot possible control), and 4) EVERYONE is willing to work with you.
I can’t speak to the parents that are looking for lessons for their children. Riding is something that I started as an adult because I did not have the luxury of having parents who could/would support it. I can only say that if you are a parent you should ALWAYS be concerned if a lesson instructor does NOT go over every safety precaution with you, starting from learning to pull a horse out all the way to getting in the saddle.
Parents also need to understand that riding is not something you can “drop” your kid off at.
Unlike soccer, baseball, basketball or even art class, this activity involves a sensitive and unpredictable 1,000 or more pound creature! I’m not trying to scare you, but when you are working with animals great or small, it is no longer about you, there is a sense of humility you must always carry (which makes riding so rewarding).