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  1. #21
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    Oct. 9, 2012
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    Thanks for replies guys.
    I will also try to clarify my wants/needs.
    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
    2. Socialization

    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.
    Barn A
    Has the major plus of being a place where I could really socialize. Now don't get me wrong I am not going to the barn to chit chat then maybe do a bit of riding. No. I want to chit chat and also work very hard on my riding, but for me having other people there to interact with is very big and important to me. I work a very non social job and don't have time due to riding and such to hang out with friends during the week.
    Though I think lessons will often be a bit on the big side I think weekend lessons should be able to be max 2-3 people and I believe Tuesdays were a bit lighter that I could lesson with 3-4 people max (including myself). I would prefer
    3 people (including myself) but I think I could deal with 4 per lesson, and if I got off work earlier some days, which I do I could probably get a private or semi private lesson.

    There are probably 5-7 students doing 1.15-1.40. So there are a good group of higher level riders that feel that this barn is doing a good job training them at that level. And I like that they would probably be in the same-ish age group as me and that we could have a good time chatting.
    The treadmill is a plus especially with a trainer that doesn't ride, as if I go away he can just go on the treadmill during those times. Outdoor board is also a bit less expensive at this barn so I think I could add the 100 a month for unlimited treadmill use and use it once a week instead of a ride (or in addition to a ride depending on how busy I was during the week)
    Lessons come in packages however if you don't use all the lessons one month they can be used in the next month. I REALLY like this as I can't STAND paying for things I am not getting.
    I can use any vet and farrier I want as long as they know when he's coming. If I can't be there they will get my horse in for 15 dollars.
    Don't allow dogs, but I think that's something I could work around.


    Barn B

    Being that it's quieter I think I could have less people in my lessons and have a bit of an easier time hacking in the evenings too, however with young/less experienced riders hacking can sometimes get a bit more difficult.

    Dogs are allowed and that would be nice.

    Findeight>> the arena is heated at Barn B even though it's separate from the barn. Grand Prix ring isn't needed however it is a positive thing so I put it on the Pro side. Tried to list any and all pros and cons.

    I know I am babbling and that obviously I am the one that has to decide what is right for me and the things I find most important, however it's great to just hear other opinions as it can lead you down trains of thought that you might not otherwise have gone.
    I am still planning on lessoning with BOTH these instructors (and talking with Barn C at least to keep options open) before any decision is made, and I won't be moving probably till at least February as Barn B can't really do a lesson till January and Barn A is full with a waiting list. I am not in a hurry to get out of my barn as I enjoy the instruction and such but if I choose Barn A I hope the wait isn't TOO long.
    Last edited by The Alternate; Jan. 10, 2014 at 08:28 PM.



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Speaking from experience, barns that advertise and run summer camps and big lesson programs geared for kids and beginners are NOT that quiet. Oh, they are social all right but they can have alot of foot traffic of the nosey, inexperienced variety too. Remember the younger kids come with a frequently bored entourage. You need to take those lessons at different times and hang around to see what the place is really like when it's busy.

    Many of these type places are well supervised with firm, enforced rules and OK, others look like a cross between the aftermath of a tornado and a day care. Make sure you know for sure what really goes on before you decide. But it kind of gives me a bad feeling the website stresses the lessons on schoolies and summer camp instead of private services for show horses/riders. Be careful there. She may say she will allow you to use another farrier but...don't count on it . Or she may go passive agressive on you and let you but complain endlessly to one and all about you using another farrier and make you miserable. I see a blinking yellow light on that one.

    Barn A is looking better and a waiting list is usually a good sign of top notch services and care which is your #1. And there are enough people to socialize with if there are that many taking lessons.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2009
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    681

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    I would do a lesson or two and see which you prefer. They both sound like great barns and it really just comes down to personal preference.

    However, I will say that I rode at a barn with a detached indoor (with a walk of around a hundred feet down an icy hill) for quite some time, and it really wasn't an issue.



  4. #24
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    Oct. 9, 2012
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    67

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    Thanks guys.
    Last edited by The Alternate; Jan. 10, 2014 at 08:29 PM.



  5. #25

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    Sounds to me that you need to make a list of your needs and wants in priority order. Once you do that your decision should be fairly easy to make, Right now you have some competing and perhaps conflicting priorities that is making it difficult to make a decision.



  6. #26
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    Oct. 9, 2012
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    67

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    Thanks for the reply. A few people have said I have conflicting priorities, anyone care to elaborate? The only thing I can think of is wanting a busy, social barn while not having huge lessons, is that what you guys are saying? To me that's like saying I want to eat a piece of cake, doesn't mean I want the entire cake! Just cause I want one thing doesn't mean I want it to the far extreme, or is that not what you guys were saying? Thanks again, it's great to see as many opinion as possible.



  7. #27
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    I just thought you were a little unclear about what your expectations were (like distance and the dog) and in what order of importance.

    You have since ranked them in order of importance more clearly. So you are fine. It can be hard to comminicate what you mean via a BB sometimes.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  8. #28

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    You mentioned the following priorities:
    A. High Quality Horse Care
    B. High Quality Instruction for students 1.20m+
    C. Socialization (Ride with other people most days, people at the barn to chat with most of the time. *This is the reason I am leaving my current instructor. She has more training horses than students and I ride nearly every ride alone and it's getting too hard on me*)
    D. Dog Friendly

    Plus, you want a social barn but not too many riders in a lesson.

    My point is that it is unlikely that any barn is going to meet all of your priorities. So, I would recommend that you list your priorities in order . If quality instruction is #1, than put that on the top of your list, acknowledging that you may have to sacrifice something else in order to meet priority #1. Right now everything seems to be equally important, which means that nothing is important. No barn is going to meet all of your expectations so be prepared togive something up in order to have what is MOST important to you>


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
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    6,606

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    C. Socialization (Ride with other people most days, people at the barn to chat with most of the time. *This is the reason I am leaving my current instructor. She has more training horses than students and I ride nearly every ride alone and it's getting too hard on me*)
    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 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).

    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 )



  10. #30
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    Oct. 9, 2012
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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time Rider View Post
    You mentioned the following priorities:
    A. High Quality Horse Care
    B. High Quality Instruction for students 1.20m+
    C. Socialization (Ride with other people most days, people at the barn to chat with most of the time. *This is the reason I am leaving my current instructor. She has more training horses than students and I ride nearly every ride alone and it's getting too hard on me*)
    D. Dog Friendly

    Plus, you want a social barn but not too many riders in a lesson.

    My point is that it is unlikely that any barn is going to meet all of your priorities. So, I would recommend that you list your priorities in order . If quality instruction is #1, than put that on the top of your list, acknowledging that you may have to sacrifice something else in order to meet priority #1. Right now everything seems to be equally important, which means that nothing is important. No barn is going to meet all of your expectations so be prepared togive something up in order to have what is MOST important to you>
    I thought I had tried to clarify this in one of my other posts. Did you see this one?
    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
    2. Socialization

    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.
    or is that still too unclear?
    And again, just cause I want a social barn where there are people to talk to I don't think it equals me wanting to have huge lessons as well, but yes I do understand that if a barn is seriously busy, which gives me the most chance of it being social, will be more likely to have large lessons.

    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.
    thanks again for the replies!



  11. #31
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    Sep. 26, 2010
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    After re-reading through the posts, I think OP, that taking a few trial lessons at each barn is going to be critical.

    Don't underestimate the importance of finding a coaching situation that works for you and your horse. The right teacher can help you make great progress in your riding. Someone who is not a good match for you, even if a good trainer in general, might not create an environment that helps you learn and develop the way you need to.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #32
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    Feb. 18, 2003
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    Alberta
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    After re-reading (and trying to figure who the trainers are ) I think Barn A fits your goals better. There are only a handful of riders doing 1.15-1.60 so your lessons will probably be fairly small anyway. Barn B is also only a few riders, but add in some of the other factors that are important and I think you'll make your decision fairly easy (read between the lines too.....they say they'll allow a different vet/farrier but will they give you a hard time!), you have to make up your lessons in the same month, which is also a big issue for you! Go for your trial rides and then make your decision!
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!



  13. #33
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    Oct. 9, 2012
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    THanks guys.
    Last edited by The Alternate; Jan. 10, 2014 at 08:30 PM.



  14. #34
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    Nov. 13, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Alternate View Post
    THanks guys. The hard part about doing the trial lessons is that my horse has been a bit difficult this last year due to certain situations and I gave him a bit of time off and he isn't back to doing courses or anything yet. I am hoping to get him back to courses of a decent height yet this month so I may wait and do the lessons in January. It just is harder to tell how good a trainer is when your horse isn't what you are used to. But hopefully being on pasture board will really help his brain and we can get back to how we used to be!
    I would think the good trainers would be the ones who help you through the tough stuff as well as with the "fine tuning." Why not schedule one lesson at each place in the next few weeks, then another when you feel your horse is back on better form?
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  15. #35
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    Sep. 26, 2010
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    Event4life has some great suggestions. You will learn a lot about a trainer from what they do for while you are bringing your horse back.

    Some of my best progress in jumping came after some tough flatwork lessons...



  16. #36
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    Oct. 9, 2012
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    THanks guys. Oh I love flat work lessons, no issues with that. But my horse's issues come from jumping and it's hard to describe but it's... interesting. His flatwork is back to how it was before these situations. It was really hard for my current instructor cause she didn't know what he was like before these issues and he's a difficult horse as is before these issues, and he's even more so now. Haha, he's a bit of a bum. Will see how he progresses with lessons at my current barn and I will see whether I wait a few weeks into January to try to lesson or if I can lesson before january.



  17. #37
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    Jun. 20, 2012
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    Also just throwing this in there, but a lot of places will have a horse (sale horse, lesson horse, whatever) you can borrow just for a trial lesson.



  18. #38
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    Jul. 29, 2005
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    I think you should spend more time at each barn during hte days/hours you would be there. Also, observe several lessons. Don't forget too that because the barns are close to each other they have to have different niches to survive, which is where the summer camps and such may come in. That may not mean that's where the passion of that trainer lies



  19. #39
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    Feb. 18, 2003
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    Is it possible that if your horse is being more difficult than before he got hurt, that he's still trying to tell you it hurts when jumping? I've known horses to be great on the flat but they cannot be jumped! If you're jumping larger fences it may hurt him to land thus causing more difficulties as the course goes on!

    I also agree with whoever said that some of these barns may have a horse you can use for a trial lesson until you decide or until you feel you can take your horse over!
    Last edited by eclipse; Dec. 4, 2012 at 01:09 PM. Reason: I'm a crap speller!
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!



  20. #40
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    If it were me, I'd want to take a lesson FIRST on a lesson horse/horse in the trainer's program. It tells you a lot about someone! And frees you from worrying about your horse being naughty/you can focus on the lesson etc.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
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