View Full Version : Commute

Apr. 28, 2010, 03:40 PM
How far is your commute to the barn where you board? What's the farthest you've ever gone? If a long commute, did you find it became a chore or did it not really make an impact?

The reason for my questions is that I'm considering making a move with my beloved horsey that would require a considerable amount of time to get there and back. Where we are now is not panning out like I thought it would. It's close and convenient, so I love that. It's just not...up to par, I suppose. I might be able to give more detail in a PM, so if you're genuinely interested, feel free. Just looking for opinions/comments/examples/whatever :)

Apr. 28, 2010, 03:50 PM
Furthest I've ever gone is an hour each way, and that was for the opportunity to ride with a fabulous BNT who I absolutely adored. I only managed to hang in there for about six months before I simply couldn't face the commute any longer and moved to a more convenient barn about 15 minutes from home. I have to juggle riding along with work and family responsibilities and 2 extra hours of drive time just wore me out, and that was despite having a lot of support from my DH, who was really super about trying to help me make it work.

Apr. 28, 2010, 03:59 PM
I'm going almost an hour now. This barn just felt like the right place and the right trainer to buy a horse with again. Granted in Boston, you usually have to go 30 to 40 minutes from the city to get anywhere nice and reputable. So the extra 15 to 20 minutes of driving isn't that much of a stretch. I don't like it, but I get to the barn and it's just so nice there. The trainer isn't a big snob and has the nicest horses available for the lesson program that I've ever ridden.

BUT, I don't expect it to work indefinitely. I'm going to give it a year and probably move somewhere close without an indoor for the warmer months and move back there when the weather gets yucky again.

It's so hard to find a barn that just feels right. Sometimes the commute is worth it.

electric stride
Apr. 28, 2010, 04:12 PM
Yeeessh. I consider an hour each way lucky! :lol:
My barn is an hour+ on a good day. On really heavy days it has taken me two hours+ one way. :/

Apr. 28, 2010, 04:14 PM
There was a fairly recent thread on this, you might consider a search.

I commute 43 minutes via freeway and backroads to my current barn. One way. I hate it. It is very long and annoying. I often get bit stressed out from the traffic, and it wastes a bit of my day that I could otherwise be doing something with my family.

Apr. 28, 2010, 04:20 PM
45 minutes one way. =) I don't really mind that much, driving doesn't bother me lol

Apr. 28, 2010, 04:25 PM
One hour each way. That's where my horse was for two and a half years; I only moved him in January. I was willing to drive that far because it was cheap and the care was fabulous; they're great people. However, it was really far from the barn where I take lessons, and a long haul for my trainer--now that I'm more interested in showing and being more serious about my riding, it makes more sense to be close so I can ride more often. Now I'm 15 minutes away. More expensive and I'm not as 110% in love with the care, but it is still safe and responsible and my horse is still happy, except maybe with having to work more. d;

Apr. 28, 2010, 04:42 PM
About an hour each way in normal traffic although the trip home at night can generally be made in slightly less time. ;) I don't mind it too much because I love the barn, don't mind driving, and have a good mix of tunes on my iPod.

Apr. 28, 2010, 04:45 PM
The farthest I've gone is 45 minutes to over an hour on a bad day. I hated it. Even with riding, if it isn't easy to get to I find myself not wanting to do it much. So I've moved, and found a great one 15 minutes from my house. It rocks being so close!

Apr. 28, 2010, 04:46 PM
My barn is only about 20 minutes away (without the hectic Long Island traffic). The drive isnt bad, considering its only 20 mins, but I gave up a barn about 5 minutes away from my house because it wasn't right for my horse. I pass that barn almost everyday, and never regret my decision of moving. I pay more in board,more in gas, and more time driving, but its worth every extra effort I have to make.

Apr. 28, 2010, 04:52 PM
Sounds like a lot of people go about an hour. Not feeling so bad now. Not meant to be offensive, but is it easy to have a life aside from riding? I don't do much aside from ride, but I feel the days keep getting shorter as I get older, lol. Where I would be going IS my trainer's place. Trainer makes that drive to me at the moment. Those that drive 45+ minutes, how many times do you make it out there a week?

Apr. 28, 2010, 05:00 PM
I used to keep my horse out about 35 minutes from my home. Problem was that traffic made that commute anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours one way. I learned to love books on tape!

Now they're all at my house and I walk approximately 15 seconds to get down to my barn.....I'm much happier!

Apr. 28, 2010, 05:08 PM
Now they're all at my house and I walk approximately 15 seconds to get down to my barn.....I'm much happier!

This is my goal. I have 3 of mine at home right now, having abandoned the training/boarding situation that required me to drive 45 minutes one way and then do all the work ("full" care...) I was paying to have done. I currently lack riding facilities here, but we are working on that.

I do have one horse in training at a barn 2 hours away -- I don't see him more than once a week, and sometimes not even that. I hope to bring him home as well, but that won't happen for several months.

Apr. 28, 2010, 05:08 PM
I'm a 15-20 minute ride from the barn, its all driving on local, winding residential roads, so I never have to deal with highway traffic either. In fact, now that I think about it, I've always lived within a 20 minute drive of whatever barn I was riding at. I've been very lucky, and I love the barn I'm at now.

Apr. 28, 2010, 05:08 PM
I think it is important that when you have a longer commute that you are able to be efficient with your barn time.

My last barn was much closer, ~20 minutes but I was always picking the paddock and cleaning water buckets etc. before I'd leave. My current barn is a 40 minute drive on a good day, but the barn is immaculate so I spend much less time doing random things. I spend less or about the same all together with my current barn commute and riding time as I did in my previous one.

I agree, books on tape are great!

Apr. 28, 2010, 05:08 PM
Last summer I did an hour each way to a free lease. Plus any back country detours that were going on at the time-one time it took me an hour and a half. But that was for a free ride on a free horse. The drive meant that I didn't go out as often, probably 3-4 times a week where I would have liked to ride 6-7 days a week, and the horse probably could have used the extra time.

Apr. 28, 2010, 05:15 PM
I commuted an hour+ for 7 months for an absolutely phenomenal trainer (a trainer who had been helping my BNT). To me, it was worth it. I made the commute 6 days a week, juggling riding 2-3+ horses a day, school (independant study, so only had to go two days/week), being president of my class, and 9-15 hrs/week of work. If I hadn't been independant study, I don't think I could have done the commute, or if not the commute, then everything else. I had almost no semblance of a social life. The traffic definitely did stress me out, and there were some days I didn't feel like going purely due to the commute. Changing and putting on makeup in fast food restrooms to go to work was not fun. That said, if I had to do it again, I wouldn't have done anything differently.

I think it largely depends on what else you are doing besides horses and how committed you are to riding. For me, often getting up at dawn and going to bed at 12-1am with 2 hours of driving stuck in there wasn't a problem for those 7 months. However, I am in college now, and my barn is 10 minutes away. I doubt I could be doing as much as I am if the barn were any further at this point in time, at least with the number of horses I have in training.

Apr. 28, 2010, 05:30 PM
I used to board 15 min away until my trainer bought her own farm, so we moved with her and that was 30 min away. Then I switched trainers and that barn was 45 min away and now we moved barns and that's about 1 hr each way! It's a long drive but I don't mind it, however I only get out to the barn 3 days a week.

I'm moving in several weeks so that I'll be about 15-20 min away from the barn.... hoping that means more ponytime in the near future!

Apr. 28, 2010, 05:31 PM
At school, my barn's about 20 minutes away, at home it was 15, but I'll be at a different barn so it'll be anywhere from 30-40 minutes depending on traffic.

Apr. 28, 2010, 05:37 PM
In high school, I drove 2 hours (one way) to get lessons. If I went on a Thursday, my mom would drive me and I would do homework. If I went on a Friday, I'd stay over and drive back Saturday. Perks of living in the middle of nowhere. The rest of the week, the barn was 15 minutes from my house and I'd ride everything I could there (no trainer there though). =/

Now the barn is about 20-30 minutes away. Of course in Los Angeles that's the equivalent of the barn being in your backyard. Funny thing though, I just sold my horse and he's at the only barn within 5 minutes of my house. How often does it happen that you sell your horse only for him to move closer to you?

Apr. 28, 2010, 05:45 PM
1hr and 45 min for each direction!!!!
We usually make a day of it when we go ride, leave at 9 and get home at 630. I only ride twice a week, Thursday and the weekend.

Barn is full service training board under an excellent coach. Can't beat the program anywhere closer so I put up with the drive. I ride during the week at local barns some on green horses that need schooling. I may bring him back to a local barn in the fall because my schedule then will only allow riding on the weekend.

Apr. 28, 2010, 06:08 PM
The furthest I've gone is 45-50 minutes one way with light traffic. I found it to be a major pain when I had a 4pm lesson(I'd hit traffic there and back). And then when there was major construction on a road I had to take to get to the barn, it took even longer(the construction lasted almost a year and at least one lane would be shut down each day). My current barn is only 10 minutes away, and if I hit rush hour traffic or a wreck on the main road, I can take back roads. I'm much happier with my barn being so close!

electric stride
Apr. 28, 2010, 06:28 PM
Sounds like a lot of people go about an hour. Not feeling so bad now. Not meant to be offensive, but is it easy to have a life aside from riding? I don't do much aside from ride, but I feel the days keep getting shorter as I get older, lol. Where I would be going IS my trainer's place. Trainer makes that drive to me at the moment. Those that drive 45+ minutes, how many times do you make it out there a week?

I usually get out 4/5 days a week. In the summer traffic is never as bad and I get out 5/6 days a week. :)

Apr. 28, 2010, 06:55 PM
30-40mins each way

Apr. 28, 2010, 08:14 PM
When I was commuting to work too, having a far-away barn was OK. I worked 9-5 and at 6pm I could either be at the barn or at home. If I did go to the barn I would have to drive another 45 min home, but not too hard after a good ride.

I just moved and at 5pm, I could still make it to the barn by 6 or I could be home at 6:20 so guess what I have been choosing lately :) End result: moved the horse today, close to my new home.

But had I been following a trainer, that would have been different. Can you trailer in 1x/wk to lessons? That would be easier. Also I second Audiobooks, basically the reason I am still sane after 2 years of this daily three-hour driving :)

Apr. 28, 2010, 08:40 PM
I used to travel one hour, each way, to a trainer who was long-listed on the Olympic team. It was absolutely & without question worth it.

These days I can sit in my living room & look out the window & see my barn. Again, absolutely & without question worth it (even though I need to trailer to any BNT I might want to consult . . . )

Back in "the day" that 1 hour gave me 'decompression time' to get from a high-pressure job to my horse (and he deserved a 'decompressed me').

I think what's on the other end of the commute is more important than the TIME of the commute. Just my opinion.

Apr. 28, 2010, 08:40 PM
My barn is about a 20 minute drive from my house. It does take me about 35-40 minutes to get there after school depending on if I get stuck behind busses.

I used to do 1 1/2 hour+ each way depending on traffic. It was also out of state. Only lasted a few months. I couldnt get down there as much as I wanted and when I couldnt go down there for 1.5 months, my horse was not cared for, even though I paid full training board :no: I can only imagine what it would be like in summer traffic! Im from Cape Cod, so traffic is already stupid crazy in the summer, plus trying to get over the bridge.

But now 20 minutes is a much nicer drive with much better care. A little more expensive, but it's worth it.

Apr. 28, 2010, 08:46 PM
I drove 90 minutes one way to take a lesson at my new barn today (first time!) I am happy to report that it was worth it.

We kind of live in the middle of nowhere, and the barn is near our closest big city, so I will be 'making a day of it' as others have mentioned and running errands on the same trip each time. If I buy/lease a horse, that would be where I'd want to board as well.

Apr. 28, 2010, 09:03 PM
I only made it out there once or twice a week in winter, 3-5 times a week in summer (I'm a teacher). Now with my horse closer, I am out about 3 times a week in winter and plan to be out almost every day in the summer.

Apr. 28, 2010, 09:48 PM
In High School I rode at two stables. The closer one was in Northern VA, the first stable I had ever ridden at, was more expensive (shockingly so!), and less actual horsemanship was involved (ie, horses were already tacked up for you, very little care of horse was expected from your side). You arrived for your lesson and looked at the board to see which horse you were given that day. That one was about 20 minutes away.
The farther stable was in Maryland, about an hour and ten minutes away. It was a muuuch different place. Schooling shows were actually affordable and worth it (usually no more than 10-12 entries per class, many more classes to choose from), they did hunter paces and had guest clinics, trail rides through neighboring farms and beach rides during the summer. You were assigned one horse- assignments happened once a year, but usually each pairing lasted anywhere from 2-5 years. You really got to KNOW that horse.

I rode at the close stable once a week, and the far one anywhere from 2-4 days a week (up to 6x/week in the summer). I eventually quit the closer stable before my senior year. My family has a cottage within 10 minutes of the far stable and a relative has a farm in that town, too, so I would occassionally stay the night at those places.
I actually found the drive to the far stable more enjoyable. With the No.VA stable, I was battling traffic each way. Exhaust fumes, honking horns, red lights everywhere. To get to So.MD, I would only have to gamble with bridge traffic- after the jump across the Potomac, the drive was almost always stress-free.

Apr. 28, 2010, 09:49 PM
You guys are making this easy on me, lol. LetsGoSteady, I'm shooting you a PM in just a minute.

tullio-wow that is a ways! Glad you enjoyed it, though!

I hope to be in a position, one day, to have my guy right out in my front/back yard as well. He has a home for life, so I'd love to be able to do that.

Apr. 28, 2010, 10:03 PM
In NH, I had a ~40 minutes each way commute (via interstate and back roads). I can't now remember whether I managed 4 or 5 days a week there (probably 4). It was a pretty drive, so I didn't mind too much...

Later, my trainer moved closer (only 25 minutes away), so that was great. Now, in SoCal, I'm lucky to have found a lovely place about 20 minutes from my house.

I'd be hard-pressed to regularly do an hour each way - but I've learned never to say "never"!

Apr. 28, 2010, 10:41 PM
I drive about 45 minutes each way. I think I've come to accept the drive now that the horse has been there for over three years. I go at least 5-6 times a week. The only time I can't handle the drive is when it's snowing - then it can take me way over an hour, or I just don't go. If it wasn't for my trainer, my horse would be at a barn that's 3-4 minutes away with my semi-retired horse.

Fun Size
Apr. 28, 2010, 11:20 PM
20 minutes without traffic, up to 40 if it is really bad.

More than that and it isn't manageable with working and everything else.

I have somewhat of a life outside of riding, because during the week I ride early in the morning, and on the weekends I'm done by 10:30. It is being a student teacher and going to class 3 days a week on top of that which is killing me!

Apr. 29, 2010, 12:44 AM
Fifty minutes one way with NO traffic; typically 60-65 minutes in reality. My work schedule is such that I can pretty much avoid traffic. For me it's not just the amount of time, but how it's spent. It's easier for me to drive an hour at 60 mph than an hour at 20 mph in traffic.

I get out 4-5 times per week.

I find books on tape frustrating b/c it's too different from the way I read. I did Spanish language tapes for awhile. Mostly I listen to the radio or CDs.

Apr. 29, 2010, 07:04 AM
My barn is about an hour's drive each way, but the drive has not bothered me (I've been doing it since October, 2009). I would never board at the intown barn in Atlanta (no pasture space for turn-out, grooms I don't trust, no ability to ride in a x-country environment), so the closest I could be would be about 30-40 minutes. I trust the owner of the barn (his trainer) implicitly - she treats my horse as she treats her own and she is brilliant -- he has made so much progress with her, as have I.

Plus, I am lucky enough to have a 5 minute cummute to work, while many people in Atlanta drive an hour to and from work each day. If they can do the drive every week day for work, I can do it 3 times a week to keep my horse in a place that I view as ideal for him.

So, I guess it seems to boil down to is this -- if you and your horse are happy, it doesn't seem like many people mind driving about 2 hours round trip. But if you are lucky enough to find a great barn closer to you, all the better.

Apr. 29, 2010, 10:45 AM
It takes me around 90 minutes from work, depending on the traffic (if it's light, I can get there in an hour 10 minutes, but if it's bad it can take up to 2 hours). From home, it's just under an hour at nights and about 45 minutes on the weekend. It's a haul, but it's worth it so I don't mind too much.

Apr. 29, 2010, 01:32 PM
30-40 minutes. It does cut into how often I can get down there, which is annoying (but it did force me to respect that 'layup' time!) I dont' think I could do it if I didn't really like the BO and trust her to take good care of him when I'm not getting there every single day.

Apr. 29, 2010, 01:55 PM
I used to commute an hour or longer, depending on LA traffic. Eventually my husband and I fell in love with the beautiful communities near the barn, so we moved nearby. Now I'm only 20 minutes from the barn and weekends are heaven. During the week, I commute for 45 minutes each way to work but that's LA and life is full of trade offs. I love living closer to the barn!

Apr. 29, 2010, 02:00 PM
I used to board 45 minutes away and I'll probably never do that again.

I don't have a lot of free time, so spending 1.5 hrs in the car was really a drag. My s/o was upset that I would be gone for so long, I never felt like I had enough time to do what I really wanted to do, and the drive was costly and became a chore after a while. I hated getting to the barn and having to rush, rush, rush. I eventually just ended up selling my horse at the time (there were other reasons too).

Now that I'm back in it, close boarding was a must. I board 4 miles from my house now and it's awesome. It freed up so much time for me.

Apr. 29, 2010, 02:10 PM
5.5 hours one way. Closest real Hunter/Jumper barn is about 4 hours, but mine was close to my MIL's where I could stay the night for free. I kept my horse at home in the off season and trailered for lessons once every two weeks, then kept him at the barn during show season and commuted on the weekends. I did not show every weekend, coach's riders liked using him in lessons.

I did that for almost two years. Done now. Horses are at home, commute is now 4.5 hours. Last coach convinced me to sell all my rideable horses, and now I just have a foalie and a very young companion horse for her. No movement on the rideable horse search. :mad: Decided to take up at the slightly closer lesson barn, riding their horses and give up showing for the time being.

Tini Sea Soldier
Apr. 29, 2010, 03:11 PM
Sounds like a lot of people go about an hour. Not feeling so bad now. Not meant to be offensive, but is it easy to have a life aside from riding? I don't do much aside from ride, but I feel the days keep getting shorter as I get older, lol. Where I would be going IS my trainer's place. Trainer makes that drive to me at the moment. Those that drive 45+ minutes, how many times do you make it out there a week?

::SIGH:: Back in my college days... I made the move to a school by the beach... dear baby green hunter's barn was WAY on the other side of NJ. Took me 1.5 hours each way. I rode him at least 3-4 times a week.
I had a VERY social college life. So much so, that it wouldn't be uncommon for me to still be at a party or just getting back to the dorm when my trainer would call me at 4 in the morning to get to the barn to load my horse for a horse show!!!!
Usually I tried to make more of the days when I went out there... I normally had 2-3 horses/ponies to do... so I'd spend a good chunk of time out there.. and sometimes would go out to dinner with barn friends if it ran late.
Looking back though... and knowing what I know now... I think I would have moved horse closer and switched trainers... but at that point, I wasn't ready to cut the cord from my trainer.

Apr. 29, 2010, 03:23 PM
I've never driven more than 30 minutes from my house to the barn.
New Orleans isn't exactly very horse friendly, and the farms around the city don't have great turnouts. Not having a horse has actually helped me in finding a barn that I could afford to ride at, and not drive an hour away.
When I lived in Ohio for 6 months after Katrina, my uncle has a big farm, so I rode my bike down the street to ride. My uncle and I were able to find a trainer that would come to his farm to give me a lesson once a week, so I wouldn't have to commute far away.

Apr. 29, 2010, 03:32 PM
My barn is about 1 mile from my office and 6 minutes from my house. Life is good in the country...

Apr. 29, 2010, 03:37 PM
My horse is roughly an hour from my home and an hour to an hour and 15 minutes from my work. Work is 30-45 minutes from home. Basically, home, work, and barn are in a roughly equidistant triangle.

I typically go to the barn two week nights a week, and both weekend days. During the week, I go from home to work, work to barn, barn to home. It's an annoying amount of driving, but I'm more or less used to it now. I like the care my horse gets and could not find a comparable situation any closer. In fact, I drive by my old barn on the way from my house to my current barn. It is 10 minutes or so from my home. I have never looked at it with regret, so there you go.

If the situation is otherwise right, I would not pass on a great barn just because of distance. Good luck in whatever you decide! :)

Apr. 29, 2010, 05:53 PM
I've never driven more than 30 minutes from my house to the barn.
New Orleans isn't exactly very horse friendly, and the farms around the city don't have great turnouts. Not having a horse has actually helped me in finding a barn that I could afford to ride at, and not drive an hour away.
When I lived in Ohio for 6 months after Katrina, my uncle has a big farm, so I rode my bike down the street to ride. My uncle and I were able to find a trainer that would come to his farm to give me a lesson once a week, so I wouldn't have to commute far away.

I'm from New Orleans as well, and the only acceptable options I found were on the north shore, which would take me about an hour each way. That is one of the reasons I don't mind the hour each way drive I have here in Atlanta -- I figure I would have the same barn commute had I stayed in NOLA after the storm.

Apr. 29, 2010, 08:17 PM
Had my horse 1.5 hours south which in Los Angeles can translate to 3 hours in bad traffic. In was a fantastic facility in OC (show facility) but now my trainers come to me. ;) at a fab facility 15 minutes away. Heaven. :)

Apr. 29, 2010, 08:27 PM
An hour each way, 3-5 times a week, after school. I leave school at 4 ish, don't get home til nine.

But in the summer it's 10 minutes to the barn (different barn) so I guess it makes up for it... but I'd never move from the trainer I use for the rest of the year, despite the long drive.

Apr. 30, 2010, 04:00 PM
I don't board, but my horses live on my parents' property. I currently live about 15 minutes away, closer to 30 min if traffic's bad. When I lived at home, it was walk out the front door, across the road and down about 250 feet.
I'm there minimum of twice a day to feed and stuff, so its a minimum of an hour spent driving back and forth every day. Which sortof makes for a long day when I spend 8 hours driving horses around for work... then have to go home and deal with whatever trouble my boys have gotten into, in my absence. Not to mention ride... which, unless the weather gods happen to be caught off guard in a good mood and the footing's dry enough to trot on at home, means a 20+ minute trailer drive (each way).

May. 2, 2010, 09:39 PM
My commute is at least 45 minutes. I have to drive through the busiest part of town so it can easily get to and hour or more if there is traffic. The reason I do it, my horse. He was very skinny when I got him, and the new farm has more grass in one acre than there was at the other barn. He is happier, healthier, I love my trainer, and I couldn't leave. I love it to much. He loves it to much.

May. 2, 2010, 10:29 PM
My commute is 45 minutes right now. It's a pain. I'm in school so it gets really hard to juggle driving 1.5 hours (total) and trying to find time to do homework etc. I like my current trainer but this fall I hope to move my horse somewhere closer to home. It gets very expensive for me to drive out there every day.

May. 3, 2010, 08:05 AM
The barn that my horse is at is about 15 minutes from my house. The two barns that allowed me to school horses/ponies for them out at school are about 40 minutes from my dorm. How often I went out to those 2 depended on how much work I had to get done, but I would say I made it out to one in particular 5 or 6 times a week.

May. 3, 2010, 11:41 AM
my barn is only 5 minute drive now. the longest ive ever commuted to a barn was about an hour.the one that was an hour away was okay for a while,but soon it became a chore to just get out there.and gas too.i have had to give up certain extras to be closer to home i.e arena(have to go up the road to community riding arena) and other horsey ppl,but thats okay like having my horse closer.

May. 3, 2010, 11:48 AM
The barn where the show horses are is 40 minutes and the barn where Sansibar is retied is 2 hours, but hopefully he'll be moving closer to home soon. :)

May. 3, 2010, 07:28 PM
Right now I'm about an hour from the barn - it fluctuates from 40 minutes to 2 hours based on traffic. Usually, it's an hour, though.

My freshman year of college I drove 1.5 hours each way to ride my large pony twice a week... that lasted about a semester, and was quite a challenge.

My shortest commute was a 4 minute walk from my high school dorm to my pony's stall... in middle school the barn was just down the street and a short ride on my moped.

May. 3, 2010, 08:16 PM
My barn is about 1 mile from my house, so approximately 3 minutes. :D However, I drive about an hour and a half for lessons.