Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Barn #2

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:
-Pasture board
-Attentive owner
-Constant improvements
-Not much arena use competition
-Trail access
-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.


  1. I'd have to see the set up. The care sounds great. I prefer a place where my horse has shelter if he wants it. That means a minimum of a three sided shelter where he can get out of the elements, especially in the winter.

    Good turnout is absolutely essential, however. Seems you have a lot to consider. That drive is pretty long if you will feel the need to monitor and take care of Izzy's needs yourself.

  2. It might not be so bad to not have english riders around. You never know, maybe Izzy is a closet Western horse, ;). I actually prefer not having people around who are familiar with what I'm doing, there's much less unsolicited advice! Will the barn owner allow your trainer to teach there, or will you have to ship out? Keep us posted!

  3. Finding a place that meets all your needs is impossible, I've decided. Unless I win the lottery and build a place of my own, one shall not exist. I would make a list of things you can't live without (for me, for example, that's 12x12 stalls, good hay, year-round turnout, and an indoor large enough for jumping), a list of things you would like (close to home, trails, heated tack room, hot/cold water), and a list of things you can't stand (can't be a huge lesson program with hundreds of children all over the place all the time). I have found that making this list in the abstract makes it easier to say "this place has all my musts, but only one of my likes," or "this place has one of my can't stands," etc. Helps with objectivity once you're there looking around. Good luck with your search. SUCH a tough thing to do (I may be in your shoes soon, btw). I feel your frustration -- it's not easy!

  4. Did you talk to any of the current boarders there? What are their thoughts on the place... their dislikes and likes.

    Are there certain hours you are not allowed on the property?

    The boarding facility I have my horse at has an indoor arena and if I go there at 9:00PM and leave at 10:30PM they don't have a problem with that.

    All the other stuff you mentioned seems to be spot on for a boarding facility.

    Also thats a good price... I pay 325/mth for pasture and indoor stall. And in the spring/summer my horse is allowed to roam 39 acres of grass/timber land with his stall mates (about 7, depending on how many are being boarded). It snows where I'm at so I have the indoor arena, but I have to share (gigggle), which is ok. The other boarders are really great about working out a schedule.

  5. It may be a nice change being the only one of your kind at a new facility. Nobody to critisize or critique your every ride... If they allow trainers to come in, you can get the help you need, when you can schedule it in and it doesn't sound like using the arena for them will be a problem.

    The drive might seem long at first, but will seem like nothing in no time. Besides, one advantage to that is time to yourself to let down and let go of any anxiety from the job and life in general. Trust me- it works for me every day in my 1 hour commute. By the time I am home, my work issues have been lost in transit.


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