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Update Post 21. Barn A, Barn B, Barn C. Which Would You Choose?

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  • Update Post 21. Barn A, Barn B, Barn C. Which Would You Choose?

    Edited something on Barn B.
    Ok so first, a few details of what is really important to me about a barn.

    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 (My dog comes with me to work and if I can't bring him to the barn I would have to take him home before going to the barn and that would add extra time and driving and for some of the lesson times that would make it impossible to get there) Please don't turn this into a 'dog's shouldn't be at the barn' thread. Thanks!!

    3 Barns are currently on my list. I will list pros and cons of each, pricing is roughly similar for each place.

    Barn A
    Great Facilities including Grand Prix ring, good paddocks/pasture
    Treadmill (horse obviously)
    Always people there to ride and chat with
    Not sure what trainer has actually done but has students from 1.20-1.40 (as well as lower level riders)
    Barn is located nice and close, and very close to all horse shows in the area

    Barn B
    Pretty nice facility, nice large paddocks, good sized indoor and outdoor sand ring
    Have a decent amount of other people there to ride and chat with
    Trainer has been on the CET doing international 1.60m competitions and has trained riders to 1.40m
    Barn is not quite as close to me as barn A but is still a nice close drive and still close to shows
    Very dog friendly and all dogs there were very friendly and behaved
    Trainer rides

    Barn C (only barn I haven't actually gone to see yet or really talked to, as they are busy preparing for a clinic)
    Decent stalls, I believe decent indoor though haven't actually seen it in years so can't remember, 2 outdoor sand rings, and grass ring
    Probably a pretty busy barn, with people always there to chat and ride with
    Trainer is a judge, chairman of the Equine Canada English Coaching Committee, the Master Course Conductor for English Coaching in Alberta, ect. Her students have won and placed in a lot of Equitation finals, and shown on NOrth American Young Rider Championships.

    Of course I will still have a trial lesson or 2 with the barns I am most serious about, but from these choices and the info you have about what I am looking for, which would you guys choose if you were me??
    Ask any additional questions (or questions you think I should ask the trainers/bo) and I will see if I can answer them.
    One thing I have been forgetting to ask is about how long turnout is. I want the longest possible (though currently my horse is on pasture 24/7 but eventually I'd like to have him back on indoor board with turnout.
    Last edited by The Alternate; Jan. 10, 2014, 09:24 PM.

  • #2
    Barn B sounds like the winner to me


    • #3
      Lol - this is tough for me to offer an unbiased suggestion because I find myself trying to figure out who these people are in real life. I know who Barn A and Barn C are, but can't quite figure out B yet. I have a pretty decent idea though.

      Personally, I think I would choose B. I like that person and what I've seen of their program the best of the 3...if it's who I think it is.


      • #4
        A couple of comments:

        1) Take distance out of it. Barn C is the longest at 20-25 min? I know many people would would die to have a commute like that.

        2) Definitely take turnout into account if your horse is used to 24/7 but will be moved to a stall.

        It sounds as if some of your requirements are in a bit of conflict with each other. You mentioned that you would like a barn where there are plenty of people to socialize with. Sometimes those types of barns also tend to be crowded. More people in the ring, more people in lessons, etc.

        I think this is a situation where the quality of instruction and the match between you and the teacher is going to be critical. I think it might tip the scales one way or the other.

        My inclination would be to go for barn B without knowing more about you. That is because I value having some people to socialize with, but I don't want to deal with a super crowded ring. The paddocks also sound nice and large from what you said. Barn A doesn't sound appealing to me simply because the lessons have 3-6 people in them. I wouldn't want to ride with that many people unless it were a clinic setting or cross-country schooling. Barn C sounds great in terms of a lot of stuff except the condition of the paddocks. I wouldn't want my horse standing around in muddy paddocks or not able to go out because of that.


        • #5
          Based on what you're looking for, Barn B sounds like it is most suitable to what you're looking for. There's too many "what ifs" about Barn C to make a call right now, and Barn A doesn't sound particularly suitable to your needs.


          • #6
            Barn B. The cons are pretty minor.
            Proud mother to Matt, a 18 year-old TB gelding.



            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the replies so far. I won't bias anything by saying which one I am leaning towards, but keep the replies coming!

              Originally posted by SnicklefritzG View Post
              A couple of comments:

              1) Take distance out of it. Barn C is the longest at 20-25 min? I know many people would would die to have a commute like that.
              For me 25 mins is a long commute. I know a lot of people travel 30-45+ minutes, but my current barn is 30 mins and it's definitely isn't something I enjoy. Especially since I live where winter driving can get fairly scary so a 25 min drive can turn into 45- hour and 30 min drive pretty easy. The farthest I have been before my current barn was about 15 mins

              2) Definitely take turnout into account if your horse is used to 24/7 but will be moved to a stall.
              My horse has been on stall/indoor board since he was 6 and has only been on pasture board for the last 2-3 months, and has had turnout ranging from 2 hours to 8 hours when on indoor board but I would definitely prefer the most turn out possible.


              • #8
                My vote is for B too! Believe me, there will be days when you will cherish that "alone time" riding so I think barn b sounds like a good in between. I think you will regret going to Barn A because its not dog friendly, and it sounds like having your dog with you is important to you. If you don't click with the trainer but love everything else about it, you could always either ask if they'll take outside trainers or trailer out for lessons.

                ETA: I swear I had only read the first response when I wrote this reply!
                "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


                • #9
                  B. If your dog being alone is that important to you (I am one of those dog owners, too), then dog friendliness should be a dealbreaker.
                  It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


                  • #10
                    B has my vote but check out your vet options if that's a deal breaker point for you. If you can deal with their vet for emergency visits like colic or lacerations and not lameness stuff I'd look into finding a good referral clinic in the area or see if you could trailer to meet up for any lameness issues.


                    • #11
                      B or C, seems like the best options. Hoping for good fences though, I have lots of experiences with wet paddocks and bad fencing!

                      Sidenote-I am someone who would LOVE for such a close barn! Mine is 70 miles round trip


                      • Original Poster

                        THanks guys. As far as vets go for Barn B, she said I COULD use my own vet but I would have to be the one to schedule (no problem with calling the vet and setting things up) and be there to bring the horse in and hold it and stuff. I like to be there and hold my horse for any lameness/sickness anyways to talk with the vet however sometimes work just does not allow it, though I am self employed so I am a touch more flexible at times than some.
                        For vaccinations and stuff I don't care a great deal about what vet does it.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Alternate View Post
                          THanks guys. As far as vets go for Barn B, she said I COULD use my own vet but I would have to be the one to schedule (no problem with calling the vet and setting things up) and be there to bring the horse in and hold it and stuff. I like to be there and hold my horse for any lameness/sickness anyways to talk with the vet however sometimes work just does not allow it, though I am self employed so I am a touch more flexible at times than some.
                          For vaccinations and stuff I don't care a great deal about what vet does it.
                          I am glad you added this..... for me farrier and vet choices are VERY important so I was ruling out barn B .... with this change it is very attractive though I would still wonder about the farrier


                          • #14
                            I'd say B as well. With the exception of vets and farrier, the other cons don't sound all that concerning. Also you'll have some control over the vet choice from what you've added, which doesn't sound like too much of a hassle if the vet is important to you (understandably so!). Is the farrier more of an interpersonal issue, or does he not do good work?


                            • #15
                              You do seem to have some conflicts here in what is most important to you.

                              I think what you need to do is rank the top 10 things you want in order...kind of read that commuting distance is going to be #1 from your responses for example, followed by trainer competence, social aspects, the dog policy and then facilities and other stuff ranked in order.

                              Do that for each barn. You are NEVER going to find all 10 of your top needs in one place and you'll be lucky to get 6 or 7. Spend some time sorting out and ranking those 10 wishes.

                              Maybe a bit unrealistic on a few things as well. Like an assistant riding if the trainer is an active show trainer and you are NOT going to be at all the shows. And do you currently really need a GP ring where you board? Most GP trainers don't school that specifically and don't have specific GP rings either. Plus that, the ring not attached to the barn might be chilly but how important is that on your top 10 needs list?

                              Just really, really think about it. Take some lessons and each and do NOT fall in love with any of them until you actually work with that trainer-take your time.
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                              • #16
                                I'd do Barn B! Didn't really need to read C to decide. Like others have said above, you wont find a barn that has it all, but since being able to bring your dog is a big plus for you and they are dog friendly that would be a big plus! Sounds like you'll still have people to ride with, but sometimes you want to just go alone which seems you will still have that chance!

                                Good luck with your choice!
                                Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
                                Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
                                Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
                                Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook


                                • #17
                                  I'd pick barn B also. Especially after you added that you could use your own vet if you handle the appointment yourself- and presumably you could do the same thing with the farrier? If that's the case, B seems like the clear choice, and the other things you listed as cons seem pretty minor (to me, anyway.)


                                  • #18
                                    In your situation, I would pick barn B and then just plan to use your own vet and be there for appointments. I'd also see if you can possibly work a similar arrangement for farrier (keep your own and be responsible for bringing the horse in and holding him for farrier). Vet and farrier are pretty much at the top of my list of "important things," so unless I was comfortable with that aspect of things, I could not board at barn B. If that piece of it is fine, then I would say barn B is a good fit for you.

                                    Personally, I would love your current barn! I hate crowds and love riding alone.


                                    • #19
                                      Another vote for Barn B based on the info given. I would imagine they would allow another farrier if you bring in/out.

                                      And I get the riding alone thing. During the winter all desire from the other adults to ride in the evening lesson with me pretty much disappears, so during the week its basically just me for a few months. It can definitely get lonely! Especially when its so dark and cold...


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by juststartingout View Post
                                        I am glad you added this..... for me farrier and vet choices are VERY important so I was ruling out barn B .... with this change it is very attractive though I would still wonder about the farrier
                                        Me too, having to use a vet and farrier I don't like would be a dealbreaker for me. A good friend went against her better judgement when forced to use a well known, popular farrier at her new boarding situation, and both times it was disastrous for her horse's feet.