Go Horse Shop’s Guide to Horse Shopping in: Alpharetta, GA
Written by Go Horse Shop on January 25, 2018
Go Horse Shop’s Guide to Horse Shopping in: Alpharetta, GA
Winter is here, and it’s officially a new year! With a new year come fresh starts, resolutions, new riding goals, and new partnerships. So it’s the perfect time to kick your horse shopping into full gear! While this time of year can be a lull for many riders, it sure doesn’t have to be. And although the days seem shorter than ever, us horse lovers know the days are finally getting wonderfully longer. So let’s take a trip down south where the winters are mild and the air is filled with a cool, calm breeze, an up and coming corner of the horse world, Alpharetta, Georgia. Perfectly nestled between the foothills of the enchanting North Georgia Mountains and the vibrant international city of Atlanta, Alpharetta is a unique spot sprinkled with a dash of southern charm, a dash of small city life, and of course, influenced with the spirit of equestrianism. Here’s a look into trainers and barns that make this area so special.
The first stop on our horse-shopping list is Fortitude Farm, a premier hunter/jumper facility located at The Yellow House Farm in beautiful Alpharetta, Georgia. Founded by Carolyn Bell, Carolyn and her team help riders and horses achieve their goals through positive training and of course, fortitude. Carolyn’s career is both impressive and consistent; she regularly qualifies and coaches her students at Medal and Maclay finals, Devon and Pony finals, and junior hunter finals. Both her students and her sale horses win top year-end awards in the zone and state, proving that her attention to detail is a key to her success. Out of the show ring, Carolyn is very much involved with sales and importation; she takes great pride in matching her riders to high caliber horses, as well as bringing in flashy hunters from Europe. You’ll often find her saying, “It’s all about the match” and we at GoHorseShop have to agree. Catch Carolyn Bell and Fortitude Farms at the Atlanta Winter Classic late January.
Next up for Hunter Jumper/Equitation barns is Macara Stables, owned and operated by Grand Prix Rider Paul MacRae. Paul has trained under some top professionals including Graham Fletcher, Emile Hendrix, Todd Minikus, and Jay Land; he also was the head rider and barn manager for David Raposa before opening his own Macara Stables. Through his years of extensive European and American training, Paul has excelled in the hunter, jumper, and equation rings. He prides himself on building equestrian athletes and driving individuals to achieve their highest goals. Macara Stables features horses of a very high quality and have options for all three rings, from proven hunters to Grand Prix. If they don’t have what you’re currently looking for, they’re always bringing in new talent through their connections with respected European and American contacts. Other Hunter Jumper/Equitation barns in the area worth checking out include Falcon Ridge Stables, Wind Crest Farms, and Foxcroft Farm.
If you’re looking for your next dressage mount, head straight to Miriam Offermanns’ dressage paradise, Milym Equestrian. Miriam has decidated her life the equestrian sport and has many accomplishments that set her apart. Recently, Miriam has spent years training in Germany under notable trainers including Andreas Müller (Olympic dressage coach), Anja Plönzke (World Dressage Masters champion), Karl-Heinz Giebmanns (FEI Coach and German Jumping Team member) and more. Miriam is not only an accomplished rider, but also a successful trainer, mentor, and businesswoman; after her training in Germany, she returned to Georgia and offers training, consulting services, and sales. Fondly referred to as the “Equine Matchmakers”, Milym Equestrian offers a tailored sales service based on criteria specifically indicated by the rider. She even offers an “on the ground’ trainer to try horses should you decide to take advantage of her extensive connections in Germany, so you can find your perfect match.
And if it’s a big eventer you’re in search of, stop by Lauren Eckardt’s Big Time Eventing located at The Stables at Union Hill. Lauren has trained with some of the top eventers including Robert Dover, Ralph Hill, Conrad Schumacher, and Buck Davidson. She is dedicated to continuing her growth as a horsewoman, and passes her wealth of knowledge to her clients. Lauren believes in providing a well-rounded education to both horses and clients through true horsemanship and classical principles of dressage and jumping. Not only is she a successful rider and coach, but she also is a trustworthy businesswoman with an eye for sales. Big Time Eventing have quality upper level eventing horses including Lauren’s very own 4* material horse, Big Time Chesterland. So if it’s a big eventing star you’re looking for, look no further.
For a lot of riders this time of year is dull; many of us are stuck to riding circles in the indoor and waiting for spring shows. But the annual Atlanta Winter Classic series is the perfect place to stir up some competition and of course, try horses. Elite Show Jumping’s ATL Winter Classic offers five weeks of showing including $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby’s and $5,000 Welcome Stakes each week, $1,500 Pony Hunter Derby (weeks 2 and 5), as well as $7,500 and $10,000 Mini Prix. Check out Week 1 January 18-21, Week 2 January 25-28, and Week 3 February 1-4 at Wills Park Equestrian Center in Alpharetta, GA. Continue the Winter Classic series at Winter Fest I and II out of Chattahoochee Hills Equestrian Center in Fairburn, GA Week 4 February 22-25, and Week 5 February 15-18. With a wide range of offered classes, high caliber trainers and sales horses, the ATL Winter Classic is a great place to give your resolutions a jump-start.
Take a break from horse shopping and shows and take some time to explore Alpharetta, its southern charm with city life influence has something to offer everyone. First head downtown, the perfect place to explore the draw of Alpharetta. Downtown is bustling with locally owned restaurants, charming small boutique shops, and live music festivals; start with a cup of coffee and explore, stroll through the Alpharetta history walk in the afternoon, and end the day rejuvenating at the spa. Or if you’re ready for some serious shopping, check out Avalon, an outdoor mall and hot spot for shopping, dining, or catching a movie. Alpharetta is always full of events, farmers markets, and art fests, so explore what it has to offer and maybe catch a concert at Encore Park at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. And if you want to exchange the small city charm for the big city lure, Atlanta is just a short drive away!
Whatever you choose to do and whatever horse you find, we at Go Horse Shop are happy to help. Sign up with Go Horse Shop. We hope your New Year is going wonderfully, here’s to fresh starts and new partnerships!