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Choosing barn sight unseen....

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  • Choosing barn sight unseen....

    Tell me some stories of good outcomes!

    I'm moving to VA in two weeks, moving my mare the week after. I haven't had the opportunity to get out there and look around at barns, and I really don't feel comfortable leaving her where she's at and being out of state, so I decided that I'd try to find a temporary place to buy a little time to look.

    Long and short, the gal that we're renting our town home from is a long time horsewoman. Has a hobby farm, used to jump, retired and rides a steady QH now. She offered to keep my mare temporarily for just the cost of feed but I really didn't it was a good idea to mix landlord/boarding. She has a neighbor/friend who boards and got us in contact.

    Neighbor/friend is also a 40+ year horsewoman, also used to hunt/jump. In speaking to her, we seem to be on the same page w/ care and she's fine w/ a temp or long term situation. She does month to month for people like me moving in and out of the area, but her other boarders have been there 10+ years which bodes well I think.

    The place is about an hour drive from where we'll be living, but since I won't be working, I shouldn't have any trouble getting out there during the day.

    After years of boarding, it seems like it doesn't matter what a place looks like (as long as the facility is safe)--it's about the care and being on the same page. So, leap of faith here...I'm hoping that it goes well.

    Anyone done this before successfully?
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

  • #2
    Oh BuddyRoo, I think it will all be fine. There are so many excellent horse folks in Virginia that the care here is generally of quite high quality. Plus you can always move your horse once you get here!

    So relax, and worry instead about getting all your packing done


    • Original Poster

      I actually feel really good about this place. After years of boarding, it really seems to boil down to being on the same page with care and while I know all horse people are nuts (including me), I got a really good vibe.

      I am so excited to get out there! The lady I used to lease a farm from is from VA and has regaled me with horse tales. I can't wait to see it for myself.

      Yes, packing...need to run into the office and pack up 10 years' worth of stuff. Yuk.
      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


      • #4
        Sound sensible to take that plunge, sound good and as already mentioned, once there, if it is that bad, you can always move to a place you can vet in person.

        Good luck with your move.
        I hear Virginia is beautiful, no matter where you land.


        • Original Poster

          Hey Bluey...long time no talk. Hope all is well w/ you! I think VA is going to be lovely. Unfortunately, we won't be there long before heading overseas, but I am excited nonetheless!
          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

          Might be a reason, never an excuse...


          • #6
            Overseas sounds even more interesting than Virginia!


            • Original Poster

              Yeah, we'll see, eh? I've been back in the US so long now that I've lost almost all of my foreign language speaking ability. Pretty sure we'll be in Francophone African areas so better get back into my French.

              And I've forgotten how to pluck a chicken. Miss Mauritius.

              Anyway....the horse scene is going to be fun for awhile I think.
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


              • #8
                Originally posted by ellebeaux View Post
                Oh BuddyRoo, I think it will all be fine. There are so many excellent horse folks in Virginia that the care here is generally of quite high quality. Plus you can always move your horse once you get here!

                So relax, and worry instead about getting all your packing done
                Agree. We don't have pipe corrals here and there is plenty of green pasture. Almost everyone has wooden or vinyl fencing. It is an ideal place for horses.
                Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.


                • #9
                  You like to live dangerously.

                  Most any place in Africa the horse scene will be interesting and maybe not even the most interesting of all.

                  Anyway, Virginia, here you come.
                  Hope you get to live thru a mild winter with many chances to ride thru their beautiful country.


                  • #10
                    You worry about boarding where you will be living... and what happens when you jet off to Africa?

                    If you need French practice... I can help! Bonne chance!


                    • #11
                      Don't worry about your French.
                      While it may seem utterly forgotten but a few words, it will flood right back once you need it.
                      The voice of experience here.

                      Lucky that we never forget our horse language, just our timing, balance and fitness gets rusty.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by FalseImpression View Post
                        You worry about boarding where you will be living... and what happens when you jet off to Africa?

                        If you need French practice... I can help! Bonne chance!
                        Merci! Well, one of the things I have to look for in VA is a long term facility for when we're overseas....le sigh.
                        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                        Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                        • #13
                          I think you'll be fine. Sounds like you'll at least get minimum good care, and if its not the right "fit", well, then you can continue the search for a place that you will feel comfortable with while you're away. VA is horse country, and from reading your threads, it sounds like you don't have a huge criteria list, and your girl doesn't sound like high maintenance so I'm sure you'll find a nice relaxed place for your lady!

                          Too bad you're not closer. My neighbor has a lovely place with mostly retirees, and its her own private little farmette, and is looking for another boarder. She likes the oldies.


                          • #14
                            What area are you moving to? Looking to board in? I did something similar once, and it turned out fine. I actually ended up keeping my horse (and second horse I acquired later) permanently at the "just temporary" place because it was so nice and the care was so good.
                            Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                            Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                            Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                            Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.


                            • #15
                              Good luck with your search!

                              Jealous that you get to live in Africa!

                              A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!


                              • #16
                                Sounds like the perfect set up to me. Where would there be a problem? She already has boarding experience, has experience with horses and it sounds like the kind of riding that you do as well. And, the house rent and horse rent both go to the same person. Sounds awesome...unless you turn into a werewolf or something when you're with your horse that is and you don't want her to know...now that'd be kind of cool though.


                                • #17
                                  BuddyRoo - you have a PM recommending a barn. It is in Frederick, Maryland but it is where I would want my horse if I were going to be out of the country for an extended period of time.


                                  • #18
                                    Hey Buddyroo, don't know if this will make you feel better or not but about the care vs. look of the place - here's my latest story. I board at a place where the barn is about 60 years old, was up for sale a few years back so they got a little lax about upkeep - like painting etc. So market tanks, now too costly to make cosmetic repairs. Horses are safe and well cared for. Flash forward to one week ago. BO/M calls me w/ horse has a swelling under his belly - call vet or wait. I say call vet.Vet comes, horse is colicking swelling is mysterious. Myself and BO keep watchful eye on horse from 9:45 am until we decided at 7:00 that he went from better to worse now and it's time for action. BO/M didn't wait to get referral from vet to hospital -called to say we're coming and vet will make referral. She stayed w/me all night - having me follow her in my car so she could go home wasn't even an option for her- she was there for the duration. When I couldn't watch my horse in the stall anymore she assured me she'd walk him to the operating room...Horse survived surgery and is now recuperating under her watchful eye. She doesn't have a fancy barn w/ all the bells and whistles but she does have the most important amenity a barn can offer - an extra-ordinary love and gift for caring for horses.


                                    • #19
                                      I will say that moving to a barn sight-unseen or with only a single visit under my belt has never worked out for me (I've done it 4 times, each time moving to a new state where I know nothing of the local horse scene). Only once was it bad enough that I had to move under the cloak of night in an emergency situation (BO was a huge burly alcoholic and threatened my and my horse's life). The other three times I simply moved within 2-3 months of arriving, once I got a better feel for the horse area and found a barn that better suited my needs. Every single time it was due to the BO and I having different values when it came to care.


                                      • #20
                                        Is there anyone on COTH who could scope it out or check around for the reputation?

                                        Not gonna air dirty laundry, but just sayin'