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
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.
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
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.
Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
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.
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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;
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.
According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden
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.
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!
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?