Providing Quality Hunter-Jumper Board, Leases, and Lessons
to the DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia
Boarding, horse leasing, lessons and horse training are what we do and we love it all!
Soft Landing Stables is a hunter-jumper show facility offering full-care and field board, horseback riding lessons, and leases to local equestrians who want to join a lesson program and meet a like-minded community of friendly riders. SLS provides hunter-jumper riders and show horses with top of the line care and support.
Soft Landing Stables is proud to call long-time trainer and 'r' rated hunter and equitation judge, Lyndi Prettyman-Caruso, our resident trainer. Lyndi offers private and group lessons for our riders as well as coaching at local rated and unrated shows. She guides beginner or advanced riders toward their goals, whether they want to compete and win at "A" shows or develop a balanced seat for trail riding.
Soft Landing Stables is conveniently located just 20 minutes from Capitol Hill, 30 minutes from downtown DC, and 15 minutes from Old Town Alexandria. The 40 acre facility offers 25 acres of well maintained pastures enclosed by three-board oak fencing, and nestled quietly within the privacy of the surrounding treeline and Potomac River. The horses are kept in large pastures (up to 10 acres in size) and have plenty of room to run and play.
If you have not experienced the beauty of our farm, please take this flyover tour. This aerial tour takes you over first our 10-acre pasture, our 9-acre pasture, the 220 x 175 outdoor grass ring with jump course, our 150 x 80 indoor ring, our 9-stall upper barn, trailer parking, 5 stall lower barn and out beyond our 4.5 acre pasture on to the Potomac River that is 300 feet back from the back of the farm.
Stall availability: Stalls and field board slotSs are all taken. Please get in touch regarding our waiting list.
We have a couple of horses available for lease/lessons. Check out our "Horses for Lease" page. Stan, below, has a full dance card, but he is typical of the super fancy horses available:
We are so excited about three new riders and one new horse as of Feb. 2015. Johanna will be leasing Stan (along with Katri) and what a pair they will be!! Allie will be leasing Lila and giving her a great basis as a hunter show horse. And Bonnie has a new horse, Que. Pix and videos coming soon!
How many barns are lucky enough to have such wonderful peeps?
First, one of our boarders featured the barn in a Discovery Channel program. Then, another boarder brought in a world-class trainer for a clinic. Now, one of our riders' parents featured her jumping Soft Landing Stables' Standout on a California wine label. How cool is this??? And look at that form. Katri is a great rider!!!!
Spring Pride announcements: April 25 We recently had a Storeo cookie outside the indoor arena. A Storeo cookie is a reverse Oreo with the chocolate on the inside. So, Ghost, Stan & Ross being ridden by three beauties, Katy, Katri & Alex, make up this Storeo: We were so lucky this past weekend to host an in-house only clinic with top international rider and trainer, Jean Paul Magnen. That is Jean Paul below with Mary on Argos participating in a jumping lesson at the clinic. More on Jean-Paul below the picture.
Many thanks to M. Magnen and to our long time boarder Michel Gauthier, for setting up the clinic. Michel and Jean Paul are close friends. This clinic would not have happened without Michel. Mercí beaucoup! Pictured is Mary A. on her gorgeous, fancy mount, Argos, during their lesson. More pix and videos to come.
"Jean-Paul Magnen is a French "Ecuyer", a professor, an international competitor, and a trainer who spent 28 years of his career with the "Cadre Noir" in Saumur France. The Cadre Noir of Saumur, like the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, teaches the classical art of the "Haute Ecole", and maintains the tradition of academic dressage as defined by Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere.
The Cadre Noir is also the home of the French National Riding School whose mission is to teach and train French and foreign professionals in all equestrian disciplines.
Not only within that prestigious institution but also internationally, Jean-Paul Magnen is know and recognized as an elite horseman, one of those very, very few horseman in the world who competed on the international scene at the Grand Prix/**** level in all three of the Olympic disciplines: eventing (1974 to 1982), jumping (1983 to 1992), and dressage (1995 to 1999).
Magnen's accomplishements in those three Olympic disciplines are not limited to the competition arena. His track record is equally impressive when it comes to the training of horses. During in career, Jean-Paul personally brought more than 50 horses (6 in dressage, 30 in jumping and 15 in eventing) to the Grand Prix/**** level for the Cadre Noir and for private organizations and individuals.
Over his career at the Cadre Noir/ENE, jean-Paul was responsible for:
- training French instructors in eventing,
- Head Coach of the Cadre Noir competition eventing team,
- training French instructors in jumping,
- training international athletes in all three disciplines,
- Head of international relations and international clinics,
- Deputy Chief of Competition Department (all disciplines)
- Head coach of the Olympic team of the Republic of China.
One of his students received a bronze medal in individual jumping at the Sydney Olympic games in 2000. Jean-Paul is also the official coach of the Algerian jumping team and is involved in the training
of the Japanese, Turkish and Saudi Arabian national jumping teams.
He is also a tutor for the FEI, the international Federation for Equestrian Sports, governing body for all Olympic equestrian disciplines. He teaches the courses for coaches that the FEI organizes worldwide. As part of his teaching and clinic activities, Jean-Paul Magnen started to come to the United States on a regular basis."
We had a Storeo cookie outside our indoor arena today. Trainer Lyndi says that's the opposite of an Oreo cookie---two greys on each side of a black horse.
Random Farm Pictures:
Good-bye Tommy & Julia: In November Tommy & Julia returned to their native Germany. We miss them! They were everything a BO could want in a pair of boarders. They are wicked smart, accomplished horsemen, fun to be around and great people. But now we have friends to visit in Germany!
View of indoor arena from 10-acre pasture.
Was riding in the outdoor last summer at dusk and took these shots of the jump field. What a gorgeous time of year!!
Great show day at MSA on July 19th. Two division championships and clear rounds for our baby jumper Ike who is only 5 but is 18.1 (and still growing.)
Watch Lyndi's perfect round on Mary's Argos in the 2'6" Thoroughbred Hunters:
July 14: Allow owner Bonnie to brag a bit here. Lyndi lunges my adorable new mare, Lila, in the indoor. Thank you Finger Lakes Finest OTTB rescue!!!
We have the greatest bunch of folks and horses at the farm! Every visit/ride is heaven. The photo is our "gang of four" talented, gorgeous women and their mounts, Katri, Rebecca, Amy and Isabel. One day we'll get a photo of our whole team---Lisa, Michel, Jerri, Denra, Laurie, Bonnie, Francine, Alex, Katy, Liz, Elizabeth,Lyndi, Sarah, Kara, Jenny, Annick, Jessi, Mary, Mary and of course Miguel!! That's a lot of folks for a boutique barn...Go SLS!
Late June: MAJOR NEWS: KARA AND KILI ARE BACK HOME!!!!WE ARE SOOO THRILLED!!!
Late May: We had a Chestnut Oreo Cookie in the indoor last week. L-R that is Isabel on Flash, Amy on Ross and Rebecca on Ike. Gorgeous trio!!!
May 3 the fabulous Palomino Thoroughbred, Argos, will be moving to our barn from Florida. Trainer Lyndi will be showing him on the A Circuit for owner Mary. We can't wait.April 5
1-We welcome Rebecca Morrison and her strapping 18.1 Warmblood General Eisenhower to our team, pictured below. This baby boy has just turned 5 (no typos) and trainer Lyndi will guide Rebecca as they start this fancy one over fences:
2-Zack and Stan are making huge
progress with their beloved horse mum's. Below is a shot of Katri showing off Stan's new wonderful bascule. And a video shows Sarah lunging Zack as he holds himself beautifully together as a result of her hard work with him:
Major News & Excitement!!
Zack now belongs to his true mommy, Sarah, pictured below. Zack is a 16'3"3/4 Oldenburg great grandson of Art Deco. Zack is stunning, gorgeous and fancy (as is Sarah.) They are now bound together for the rest of their lives and former mommy, Bonnie, will not have to miss Zack as he will continue to reside at SLS. A pop of the champagne cork to Sarah. Watch for them in 2014 in the jumper ring.
Congrat's to Laurie Casper and her fancy, fancy boy, Dante on good ribbons at the November BEST show!
Alisha on Geronimo leads Madison on Tater in a lesson with Lyndi:
10/30: Stefani & Buster: Our newest boarders. We adore them both!
Welcome Madison! and the rest of your lovely family! She is shown here on Tater with trainer Lyndi Prettyman Caruso.
10/17: Please enjoy this picture of our adorable new family member, Lucky Day. We rescued this worried-faced little 14' guy from the New Holland slaughter auction. He is living in Mt. Airy for his 30-day quarantine and will come home in mid-November. Lyndi will then train him to take care of some of our growing cadre of young riders.
10/10: Finally a picture of Alisha and her new riding partner, Geronimo!
10/3 We welcome our former lessor Stefani as a boarder. She is bringing over a gorgeous 8 year old OTTB whose name I do not yet know but will post as soon as possible. Pictures, too!
9/20: Junior riders Tara & Denra went out on trail today and crossed a creek---one of many that flow out to the Potomac. The horses loved it and so did Bailey & Indy, the dogs! We're right across the street from a 5,000 acre park along the Potomac river.
8-13: Katri & Stan: Multiple Champs at BEST!!!
7-19-13: Sarah took this great shot of Zack and her dog. See how calm Zack is in the cross-ties? That's all due to Sarah's wonderful influence.
7/13-14 BEST show: What a fabulous weekend! On Saturday, Lyndi rode Stan to the championship in the 2'9"-3' open hunters, Katri was reserve champ on Stan in the Senior Eq.division and Tara won great ribbons in the jumpers on Cocoa. On Sunday, Lauren rode Stan to the reserve championship in the Junior Equitation division. Amy Leonardi took many wonderful and artistic photographs which we share herewith below:
Last weekend in June, 2013: Our junior riders stole the BEST show. Tara on Cocoa won two division championships including the 2'6" indoor open hunters where she competed against trainers & advanced amateur riders.
06/16/2013: We are so proud of our teen riders Denra, Tara and Lauren who put in great performances at the last BEST show. Denra showed Cruise in the jumpers and did spectacularly well. Tara and Cocoa got a second in a hunter class with more than 20 entries. And Lauren on Bert won a large over-fences classes. You go, girls!
Denra and Cruise won this class with a beautiful round!
Lauren & Bert Above
New lessor Sarah and Zack are madly in love with each other!!
New lessor Katri & Stan are a great pair!!
06/04/2013: We welcome new SLS residents Ross (l) and (Red) Flash (r) pictured below enjoying a huge pile of leafy hay. These beautiful boys belong to Amy & Isabel who moved over after many years at Merrymount, where SLS owner Bonnie Erbé once boarded. We are sorry to see Merrymount close as it has been an iconic H/J barn in PG.
Flash's mom Isabel with her human baby, Henry and Flash & Ross behind her:
Henry and Isabel say hello to Topper:
06/02/2013: SLS welcomes Katri Hunter who will now be leasing Stan. Pictures coming soon!
05/18/2013: Rider Tara and her pony Cocoa put in a great performance at the WBTA May show. Trainer Lyndi was called in to judge a show at the last minute, so her mom stood in to coach Tara at WBTA.
05/27/2013: Our wonderful Miguel takes great care of the horses!
04/24/2013: SLS welcomes talented rider Sarah R. who is leasing Zack. Pictures coming soon!
04/20-21/2013: SLS riders Tara, Liane, Lauren and Stef as well as trainer Lyndi, put in stellar performances at the last BEST show. Lyndi showed Soft Landing's Standout at 3' and took division champion, pictured below.
03/25/2013: A great performance both Saturday and Sunday at the BEST Horse Show hunter series. In attendance was Lyndi Prettyman-Caruso, our resident trainer, leading the way, along with Catherine with Tara on Cocoa, Liane on Gracie, Jerri with Denra on Cruise, and Stephani and Lauren on Bert. More updates with pictures and video will be posted soon!
03/18/2013: SLS will be well represented at the first show in the BEST horse show series this coming weekend with a large group of our riders and horses expecting to compete in both hunters and jumpers.
03/17/2013: Adding another splash of color to the pastures, SLS welcomes Julia's new horse, Max, to the barn! Max joins Julia and Tommy and their horse, Cody, who moved to SLS last fall.
01/12/2013: Multiple championships and reserve championships at the BEST undercover show.
Brandy-Michelle with Fred pictured below.
Owner Bonnie Erbé showed for the first time since her major injury in May 2011. She and her horse, Standout (Stan), were champion in the senior pleasure division.
Bonnie with Stan pictured below.
Tara and her new pony, Cocoa, continuously improved as the weekend went on, placing in the ribbons in over six classes and taking home a reserve champion at their first show!
Tara and Cocoa pictured below.
12/21/2012: Holiday Party at the barn. A good time was had by all!
12/08/2012: Catherine, Tara, and Brandy hit the road to Frying Pan Park's Hunter Show once again, only to meet an unusually high turn-out of entries. Given that their divisions had still not started by 7pm, the team packed it up, called it a day, and chocked it up to a good dress rehearsal for Catherine and Tara's new pony!
12/07/2012: Catherine and Tara welcome their new pony, Cocoa to Soft Landing Stables!
11/03/2012: Catherine, Tara, Lauren, Denra, and Brandy enjoyed taking home plenty of ribbons as well as the unseasonably warm weather at Frying Pan Park's Hunter Show.
Fall 2012: Soft Landing Stables welcomes the addition of three new boarders. Julie Weisz and her three horses, In Style, Lance and Delilah join us from California. Julie provides hunter and jumper lessons on her horses.
Julie Weisz Fall 2012: Soft Landing Stables welcomes Tommy and Julia with their horse Cody, pictured below.