Yesterday in the AM, I went to check out a place we'll call Barn #2. Initial impression: I liked it. Here are some basic thoughts about it. I'm partially writing this to help process it myself, since I plan on looking at more, but also because I'm looking for feedback. I've never looked at barns before. :-/
So. It's a western-type Quarter horse facility. They do have a small barn and they do have a tack room, however, the tack room is right by the barn door which is usually open. (Not worried about theft--just stuff getting super dirty. There is a gorgeous arena with professional footing that is barely used since most of the boarders just trail ride.
Speaking of trail riding, the property is right next to BLM land, which means I can trail ride without trailering to it. The whole place is built on hills, so conditioning would be no problem at all. There are no jumps, but if I brought my own, they'd be quite happy to let me set them and store them there. There is free trailer parking available for when I get a trailer... someday.
Horse details: pasture board is available for $180/month. Horses live out in herds in hilly dry lots that aren't super big. Owner tells me that they just got their water permit within the last week and they are putting sprinkler systems in for next year. That statement was backed up by all the trenches dug in the dry lots. That means we're looking at watered pasture for next year. It's a newer facility and the owner is actively working on improving it. There are covered pens and uncovered pens available. Well, technically they have some and if you want one, she's willing to put one in for you. That's $200 a month. There are not shelters in the pastures, but the owner is willing to turn out horses kept in pens in the arena several times a week for a couple hours at no extra charge.
Horses are fed hay twice a day and are brought in individually to be fed any supplements you provide. No extra charge for that. Owner is willing to put on fly masks, blankets, etc once a day, but if your horse keeps getting it off, she's not going to put it on 15 times a day. Pens are cleaned twice daily, as was attested by their clean, dry state. All the horses looked clean, healthy, and well-kept.
There is no extra charge to bring in outside trainers and no charge to catch/hold for the farrier. It's a pretty laid-back facility.
Breaking it down:
-Not much arena use competition
-Lots of freedom to do what I want
-Lots of trail riders to ride with
-Easy access to doing hill work
-40 minute drive
-No grass (yet)
-All western--lessons not available on site
-Pastures kind of small
-No english people to ride with
-I don't have trailer, so transportation may be difficult
I liked this facility. If I was a trail rider, I'd be there in a heartbeat. I liked the level of care and attention provided to the horses and the owner seemed quite straightforward, which I appreciate. (I'd die at one of those inbred show barns that are just full of drama...) I'll definitely keep it in mind, but I want to see what my other options are before I commit.
PS Izzy was fabulous today. We did a ton of work in 2 point so I could work on my lower leg position. Pretty sure my thighs will MURDER me tomorrow.