I showed extensively on the A/AA circuit in northern VA when I was younger, took a break in high school for 3 years due to losing my confidence after being pushed too hard, and have been back riding again for 7 years. After going through many barns and many horses, I now own the best TB mare and board at a barn that I thought was perfect for me (more on that in a second).
Regardless of the barn I'm at now, I currently have a coach that I am REALLY close with, that has helped my mare and I tremendously. She is almost like a second mom to me. I also have tons of friends at my barn that I ride with, daily. Don't get me wrong, I've been the sole boarder at barns before, and riding isn't all social, but it is a part of it. These people are like my second family; I can turn to them for anything. I know this sounds corny, but I'm just trying to explain how much they DO mean to me.
The problem is this. We have two rings at my barn. One is unrideable (long story), the other isn't suitable for h/j- footing sucks, there aren't enough jumps, it's never dragged, it's often frozen or muddy, etc. For about 7 months my trainer has been looking for a barn, and my friend has even put bids on land to buy a place. But nothing has come through. I feel like my trainer is hesitant to "bite the bullet" as it were. And building a barn will take a while.
My mare is in her early teens. She is at her prime, she lived most of her life in a pasture and is very athletic. This being said, she is not getting younger. The show season is coming up. I'm not looking to do the rated stuff, but really? A frozen ring?
Coventry is 5 minutes from my current barn. Only problem is, I know none of my friends could go. And I know they don't accept outside trainers. They DO however, have Teddi Ismond as their trainer. I'm going over there for a tour this week.
I'm just unsure about what to do. I don't ride for the social aspect. Am I just supposed to sit around and twiddle my thumbs while I wait for something that will never happen? But what if I leave my barn and hate everyone at the new place?
Well, if the new place looks good, I would say go. I have been in your situation very recently and I am now at a barn that I really like- but none of my friends are there. In the end, being able to ride my horses with good facilities, great care, and non-crazy BOs trumped socializing. I actually like everyone at the new barn and feel like I am already becoming part of it.
You never know- if your trainer ends up going somewhere really great, you can always go back to her. In the short term, though, it sounds like where you are is hampering your progress, so why stay? I had been with some of my friends for ten years, over several barn moves, and a couple of different trainers. It was really hard at first, but it has turned out to be such a good move for me and my boys that I am glad I decided to go out on my own! Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil
Could you move and then trailer out to lesson with your trainer? Or find somewhere to lesson out to for the meantime if she's really serious about finding a new place? Also, is it a possibility to ride on your own and meet up at shows? j
If none of those are possible, I'd go with moving to a new barn/trainer situation so you can actually ride and enjoy it.
The thing is sometimes things change in our lives. You are at a point in your life where you have a horse you want to enjoy showing and you're at a facility where it might be more difficult for you to show. Hopefully your trainer will understand and make the transition easy for you. With every move from a barn there are compromises we have to make. I recently went thru a change in barns - my circumstances of moving were different than OP but the emotional side is fairly similar. My trainer is someone I'm very close to as well. I think as long as you are honest - the thing is it's not about the trainer or the people its the facility and if the facility is not meeting your needs then you need to do what's right for you at this time. Take advantage of the opportunities you can while you can. Best of luck to you
I'm in the same boat. I have some great friends and "show buddies" at my current place, but I'm moving my three horses next week because the care/ring maintenance/turn-out quality/facilities just weren't compatible with my desire to show more and improve. It's always stressful moving barns and "leaving family" but I think this move will help my horses' overall health and comfort and that, bottom line, is more important than any great social atmosphere. Good luck in your decision!
A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...
Teddi Ismond is a fantastic trainer. If you are able, I would trailer in and take a lesson from her if you want to see if it will work for you and your horse. You aren't happy in your current situation, and it sounds like it is mostly the facilities. Your trainer should understand if you are wanting to move on because of this.
Originally Posted by rustbreeches
[George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis
Why not visit and take a few lessons at the new place, with the new trainer, before deciding? First and foremost, you need to be able to ride and show. You can always keep up with your old barn friends and trainer socially or even take lessons at your current place after you move (assuming you do move). Or trailer out and lesson with your trainer periodically.
I can't say the new barn will be right for you. Time will tell. But clearly your current barn is NOT meeting your needs, so it's time to move.