or is that still too unclear?
Most important is obvious horse care. No horse, no riding so that has to be top of the list and I think both Barns A and B have that.
A decent facility is also important however again since both Barns A and B have that we don't need to pay this point much mind.
So forgetting the above 2 things my priorities are
1. High quality instruction
Though the dog thing would be a major plus as I will have to be creative if the barn doesn't allow dogs it does come after the above 2.
Short commute too is a major plus but also comes after the above 2, but since both barns are close we can forget this as well.
Also wanted to add, about the trainer riding thing. I don't have other people ride my horses pretty much ever. The only times I have a trainer sit on my horse is the very odd occasion where I just can't 'get' it during a lesson, or if I am out of town. I never get any sort of regular schooling ride put on my horse.
thanks again for the replies!
do you have friends that ride? have you looked for riding groups in your area?
be clear what you're looking for in this respect, you may find some great friends at whatever barn you choose, or you may find a number of friendly people that you never get past surface exchanges with ...
I do have friends that ride, though not a ton of them, however I don't really feel the need to find super good friends at the barn. I don't mind if it's just friendly chit chat that doesn't turn in to us hanging out outside of the barn. Of course I wouldn't mind that at all, but I am fine with us just being able to have fun at the barn and shows
I suggest you watch alot of those 3-6 person group lessons before moving into that situtaion when you're coming from a private lesson background, also consider how your horse will deal with what sounds to be a very busy barn (he likely has rather quiet, routine - predictable - days at the current barn).
I haven't really come from a private lesson background, but my riding instructors in the past have usual tried to stay at least 4 people and under and usually 3 people and under, however during busy times I have had up to 5 people in my lessons. My horse would most likely be a pasture horse for at least a good while at the new barn, but he is a terribly social horse and I think would really like a busy barn anyways.
You mention your dog re Barn B- could she not remain crated in the car or your horse's stall while you ride? not ideal but she likely will enjoy the outing regardless (as long as she's crate trained )
Unfortunately, my dog is the only dog we have never been able to get to settle in a crate, and I wouldn't want him to be whining and annoying people while I rode if he was in a crate in the barn. However as long as the weather isn't too crazy hot (there are a lot of trees lining the parking lot so I should always be able to find shade) or too cold, I could leave him in the vehicle when needed.