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Saddles and Spurs

United States

#22 Sep 1, 2010
Tamarack stables is amazing... for anyone, any age, its overal a great place. I would totally reccomend it to anyone interested in riding/showing as well as trail riding.
spotsanddots

Springfield, VA

#24 Sep 13, 2010
Hello..
Just wanted to say that Tamarack Stables is amazing.. I've been riding there for quite a while now, and I have to say, after riding at a nearby place called Woodlawn Stables, Tamarack is like heaven! I've learned so much from them, I reccomend tamarack to everyone! Beginner-advanced! If your intersted in lessons, trail rides, pony rides, birthday parties, showing, etc., tamarack is amazing.
horselvr4evr

Springfield, VA

#25 Oct 2, 2010
OMG i love this place!!! its SOO fun and there is so many nice people around to talk to! the horses are soo sweet and so are the instructors! I used to ride at woodlawn stables and i hated it but i LOVEE tamarack! Ride at Tamarack seriously its better then the best!

I've only ridden there in two lessons so far and i love it! i totally reccomend it!
Prowd Amps

Alexandria, VA

#26 Mar 2, 2011
Perspective from a Prowd Grandfather!
My Granddaughter has been riding and taking lessons at Tamarack for two years. She is ten years old now and rides three days a week. I take her there each time and stay to observe and keep involved in her training. That means I get a lot of "Barn Time" at this place. And I pay attention --- to everything! I highly recommend Tamarack to anyone who wants to learn how to ride, the right way, in a safe course of instruction, with young healthy horses. The instructors are expierenced and highly knowledgeable in all aspects of riding instruction. Safety is always stressed , which was of chief concern when we were looking for a stable to enroll such a young rider. When we were looking for a stable, we visited all of them in the area before choosing Tamarack. It was the correct choice. She continues to progress at a level I am truely pleased with, and she considers this barn her home. The Summer Camps are especially fun and educational for the riders and they look forward to it all year long. I can see why.
I read one "Review" on another website where the writer disapproved of the horsie poop in the stalls and barn. Could they be serious about that? I grew up around horses. If you ever see a stall with a horse in it and the floor is clean, CALL A VET! Tamarack excercises reasonable care to clean it up. During busy times, with one horse out and one horse in for tacking, you may have to clean your boots. Oh My Gosh,(or is that now OMG?) what a shame! Healthy horses tend to display this behavior, unannounced. Consider tennis if the horses potty training is bothersome to you. But if you want to learn how to ride horses, this is the place.
somebody

Clifton, VA

#27 Mar 5, 2011
They need to remove the massive amount of manure in front and give the horses clean places to graze all day and not keep them penned in in dirt and manure which cannot be good for them.
MyStory

Woodbridge, VA

#28 Mar 6, 2011
Prowd Amps: Really? Have you heard of CLEANING STALLS!?!? I will NEVER let my horse stand in a stall full of filth! and the "instructors" have knowledge? Please, go to upperville, HITS, or even a local show at Hazelwild, Fox Chase, or South Run Riding...THEN you would see knowledge!
Also for the one who said tamarack would go to rated shows...REALLY?!? Like you have a chance? My GREEN horse has a better chance. I doubt you even know what a rated show is...those horses cost $50k+++:)
andy

Springfield, VA

#29 Aug 7, 2011
ridergirl wrote:
tamarack stables is the best place for kids of all ages it is good for girlscout/boyscout trips and they have wonderful service. I would totally recomend tamarack to anyone that is interested in riding and horsemanship.
They are NOT approved by Girls Scouts for high adventure and they don't have proper insurance to get approved. Ir you take troops there, it's at your own risk and you are liable
luvieluv43

Springfield, VA

#30 Sep 19, 2011
Great place depends on what your looking for but you will learn a lot and have fun!
Blegh

Manassas, VA

#31 Oct 16, 2011
Waste of money to come here. Trainers don't even know how to correctly ride themselves. Save your money and find a decent barn
_yeah right

Manassas, VA

#32 Nov 20, 2011
The descriptions of the different "riding levels" on their website makes me laugh.
For intermediate it states:
"feel diagonals and leads without looking"- I agree you can always feel for diagonals, but leads are sometimes difficult to feel for so you HAVE to look.
"Turn on the haunches, turn on the forehand..." HORSES HAVE TO BE TRAINED TO DO TURNS ON THE HAUNCHES AND FOREHAND! Just because you can OR can't do this DOES NOT mean you are an "intermediate" rider! For one you could have a trained dressage horse who knows all the different movements, or you could have a greenie who has NO CLUE what you are asking...this is dependent on the horse...NOT THE RIDER
For advanced it states:
"consistently complete a square halt, counter canter..."- AGAIN HORSES HAVE TO BE TRAINED TO SQUARE HALT AND COUNTER CANTER!!! Most horses DO NOT use the counter canter (except in dressage and some equitation classes)...I am an experienced rider who has a green horse, he cannot do these movements (and teaching him the counter canter now would teach him wrong as he is just learning his leads)...and I am pretty sure 99% of the school horses there cannot do these movements, so how are riders in "advanced" if they never completed them?!
From reading their "level descriptions" it seems that the "instructors do NOT even know what they are talking about...you CANNOT call someone advanced or not because of the "movements" they can or can't get....it should be based on how they ride overall and how they control and get the horse to preform
and their lessons are EXTREMELY overpriced...I know these "senior" instructors and I would NEVER pay $60 for a private lesson with them! My trainers (who get results at more than local shows are $35-$40 a private lesson)
So look around before you come to this "quality" barn
An Observer

Purcellville, VA

#33 Jan 19, 2012
We attended the National Capital Equitation League show at Tamarack this past Sunday, 1/16/12. The judging was curious. Interestingly enough, while Tamarack had a total of 46 points for the 2011-2012 season so far, they managed to gain another 41 points at the Sunday show. They came in first place at this show over other teams with FAR more points for the season. Did they deserve these ribbons? Well, the judge seemed happy enough with her work. The students from other teams, on the other hand, seemed indignant at the judging. Parents seemed tight lipped but polite.

NCEL needs to re-evaluate the manner in which judges are picked for the shows, and the manner in which judging is carried out. For starters, the home team should not be allowed to pick the judge for the home shows. That is entirely too open for corruption. Currently each judge decides what is acceptable, who looks good, who to give ribbons to for whatever reason under the sun. I've seen kids get ribbons who could barely sit in the saddle, never mind show off any equitation skills to speak of. Judging, in short, can seem appallingly unfair and inequitable.
Eventing is my life

Springfield, VA

#34 Feb 11, 2012
An Observer wrote:
We attended the National Capital Equitation League show at Tamarack this past Sunday, 1/16/12. The judging was curious. Interestingly enough, while Tamarack had a total of 46 points for the 2011-2012 season so far, they managed to gain another 41 points at the Sunday show. They came in first place at this show over other teams with FAR more points for the season. Did they deserve these ribbons? Well, the judge seemed happy enough with her work. The students from other teams, on the other hand, seemed indignant at the judging. Parents seemed tight lipped but polite.
NCEL needs to re-evaluate the manner in which judges are picked for the shows, and the manner in which judging is carried out. For starters, the home team should not be allowed to pick the judge for the home shows. That is entirely too open for corruption. Currently each judge decides what is acceptable, who looks good, who to give ribbons to for whatever reason under the sun. I've seen kids get ribbons who could barely sit in the saddle, never mind show off any equitation skills to speak of. Judging, in short, can seem appallingly unfair and inequitable.
Are you leaving a review for the barn? Or ranting about the judge at a show? Nobody cares for your opinions on ncel or the way that it's judged. Just saying.
Noname

Springfield, VA

#35 Oct 22, 2012
The fields are mud with big piles of manure and the horses are not provided regular turnout. The lesson horses have a very small field that should not occupy as many horses as it does.The facility is not managed very well and it is obvious at first sight. The inside of the barn itself is nice, and so it's the indoor ring.Sometimes I would walk in a stall and up standing in urine to tack up the horse I was riding, because there were no shavings and the stall had obviously not been cleaned.

The lessons are great and the horses are sweet and fun to ride. The barn is in a great location and it is a easy drive. If you want to be successful it probably isn't a good long term place for you but if you want to ride for fun its ok.
no name

Woodbridge, VA

#36 Jan 6, 2013
Tamarack Stables is a great place for people who are uneducated about horses and riding. It is a barn for those looking for recreational riding, not those who are serious about learning HOW to ride. The instructors are uncertified and are usually students that have been associated with the barn. To me, this is unappealing. Good instructors have had experience with many different trainers and usually ridden for years and have competed successfully in big shows- students of a barn like Tamarack don't have this. For beginners this can also be scary. Would you trust a high school student to teach your young child how to ride? This actually works because the horses are overworked and in terrible shape. Horses are usually used in 3 lessons per day-and these are not light lessons, the riders over jump the horses. At most barns, horses are used in one lesson per day. The "care" the horses get is not even close to acceptable. The pastures are mud and manure and grossly overcrowded. The horses are fed a grain that consists of ground up peanut shells and hay is rarely or never given (I saw hay once and it was covered in mold). Horses stand in stalls full of poop and urine (since they do not use bedding). The owner has also been abusive to horses in the past, have seen him take a horse into a stall and beat it because someone fell off. This leads to the horses being spooky and sometimes untrusting of the students, which can lead to horses that try to bite and kick-which is very unsafe for beginner and unexperienced riders.
Try to find a barn that actually cares for the horses and that will teach you to ride properly. After riding here, I had to break a lot of bad habits and relearn a lot for what Tamarack taught me.
anonymous

Arlington, VA

#37 Aug 31, 2013
your wrong. i ride there and that's their teaching method early on. if a rider is a beginner they don't know about diagonals yet so the teacher doesnt say anything. if you are more intermediate and you get your diagonals wrong then the teacher will make you fix it. get you facts straight before you hate on the best stables ever.
Soccerforever

Springfield, VA

#38 Oct 19, 2013
Don't go there.... Save your money and your children and take them somewhere else. The school horses at this place live in mud and manure, the fields are not maintained and neither is the barn. Horses here are not feed good grain and hay and therefore some of the school horses look malnourished. I came here for an ncel show and people were definitely talking, compared to the other barns in the league tamarack is a complete dump. The school horses there are old and over worked. The whole organization of the show we attended there was just a mess, horses were dirty and people were still cleaning the barn when we got there, yet I still stood in pee and poop tacking up the horses I drew. They don't even keep shavings in their stalls! I feel bad for the horses there and I can definitely say I'm glad my team won't be showing there this year. If you want your kids to learn how to jump old horses over 4' jumps then sure tamarack is the place for you. But if you want to learn the right way on capable horses and a clean facility then I would recommend elsewhere.

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