Sunday, September 19, 2010
Breaking Pony News
I mentioned that I was going to visit a barn Friday. I did. It had a nice indoor, but was otherwise underwhelming. For example, their outdoor could have been used for a decent hill workout--it's that unlevel. Also, their idea of turnout did not exactly mesh with mine. ;-) I got back in to my car to go home, and had a voicemail from the other barn I'd called. A quick call back and instead of heading home, I was off on barn visit #2 of the day.
When I showed up, I saw trees, green grass, and happy horses. The owner (we'll call her K) was very nice and very straightforward. Instead of just taking me on a barn tour and letting me ask questions, she started things off by asking about Izzy and I. She showed us barn #1, with 12 x 12 stalls and attached 12 x 24 runs with an adjacent locked tackroom. We visited the trotting track and looked over the hayfields (why yes, they grow their own and have it regularly tested). She pointed out the pond we can ride out to and told me how to get to the nearby nature preserve that's open for riding.
We walked by the green, grassy turnouts that even have shade trees in them on our way to outdoor arena #1. (There are three.) Then we crossed the street to see the pastures for the pasture-boarded horses. All boarding areas have three-sided shelters for the horses. The pastures are right next to the LOVELY indoor arena, which has attached stalls (barn #2) and the main tackroom. Oh, and did I mention a lovely set of well-maintained jumps? Yes, they have that too. We looked at the paddock-kept horses. 50'x70' runs for each one with a three-sided shelter. Each one looked happy and healthy. Outdoor arenas #2 (large arena) and #3 (small court dressage) are also in this area.
At this point, I think I was swooning. I knew I was at my dream barn and I knew I'd never ever in a million years be able to afford it. We chatted a little--K used to (still does?) work in the field my degree is in, so we had somewhat in common. She did explain that she had a waiting list, so I'd have to go on that if I was interested. Before I answered, she also told me her rates: $225 for paddocks, but there's an internal waiting list for those. $280 for a stall with a run in barn #1. (Barn #2 is for overnight boarders and Barn #3 is for K's horses).
Not only was it my dream barn, it was within striking distance of my price range. I could have died. I told her to put me on her waiting list and I'd take absolutely anything that opened up. I wasn't sure what that meant. She'd already told me that they had really low turnover, but I knew there was one open stall. Only one. If anyone ahead of me on the list wanted it, that list could means months or years of waiting.
I went home. I thought about it. I knew that the only course of action was to stay exactly where I am now until they had a spot for me at the Dream Barn. I didn't know how long that would be.
Apparently not very long. Saturday morning around 11 I got a call from K saying that we could have the one stall if we still wanted it. I practically danced around the grain room. (Seriously. I don't think I was more excited when I got a full-ride scholarship to college.) I have to get Izzy's fall shots and a negative coggins and we're set to move in October 1.
The only drawback is that now I get to tell everyone in my real life. I hadn't said much, because I don't like to tell people that I might do something. I just do it, and then they know. Thus, I didn't tell anyone I was barn hunting because I didn't want to cause unnecessary drama. I told Cathy last night. She'll miss us, but she was very kind about it. I'm going to miss her a lot. Maybe someday her place will get all set up and we can come back...
Oh, and also I have to get a trailer ride out there. Shouldn't be too hard, I don't think.
In case anyone is interested, I'm attaching a screen shot of my nerdy boarding spreadsheet with names and contact information removed.