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Another which barn thread...

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  • Another which barn thread...


    I'm moving the mare to an indoor for a few months, so I can continue to lesson, but I'm having trouble deciding between a few barns in the area.

    Barn 1) Most expensive & I have the option to purchase my own grain. Wonderful staff/BO, whom I know and like quite a bit. They really care about the horses, and know what they are doing. Took an hour to show me around last night. Tiny indoor. At least a half hour away from my house in good weather, probably 40-45 in the snow. Gas would be $$ since I drive the truck. No set hours, so I can ride when DH comes home from work (if I can motivate myself to drive that far...). Small, with not a lot of other boarders. On DH's way home from work, so baby hand off would be easy peasy.

    Barn 2) Middle of the road cost wise. I purchase my own grain. I have a hot/cold history with the BO but have never been a paying customer of his, just staff. Huge indoor w/great footing, great stalls, barn is heated. Not a lot other boarders. Less than 10 minutes from the house & close (5 min) to my grandmother, who watches DD 2x's a week. Not sure about hours. I can see him getting snarky about being there late. He used to dairy farm, then raised Emu's before he settled on horses.

    Barn 3) Least expensive, co-op situation. Newer facilities w/big indoor and roomy stalls. About 15 minutes from the house. I don't know anything about the BO, as they just opened 9/1. My first contact with them wasn't very professional, and still waiting on a call back from the owner. Small operation with only 8 stalls. Hours are 6am-10pm, which leaves me plenty of time to ride after DH comes home. Great location. Quiet and out of the way.

    Or I could just leave Mare where she is. The cost is equal to barn 1, but it's only 10 minutes away and there would be no riding.

    I'm really leaning towards Barn 1, but the cost of driving out almost every day is what's really holding me back...

    Opinions? Thanks!

  • #2
    The driving can be difficult. I kept my mare at a facility I loved where the care was fabulous even after I moved about 45-60 minutes away. It was an easy enough drive--all interstate, little traffic--but with a family at home, riding after work was a no go as I wouldn't get home in time to get dinner going before it was too late and on the weekends, I didn't always have a good block of time to do 2 hours of driving AND do what I wanted to do horse wise without rushed AND get cleaned up to get on to the next family activity.

    Since moving to VA a couple of weeks ago, my horse is now an hour away going and about 1.5-2hrs coming home and that's if I go in the middle of the day to avoid major traffic. Even without working now, it's hard because it takes a pretty big chunk of time to go to the barn.

    So if you go that route, you may find yourself not getting out as much. But if the care is good, I think it's worth it compared to the coop situation where you HAVE to go every day twice a day. I loved leasing a farm and caring for my own horses, but it makes it hard to get out of town or make dinner plans, etc. You spend more time doing chores than riding (which was fine with me) but it can be hard to get everyone else to understand that you HAVE to go. Not optional.

    I think that out of your options, I'd end up going with #1. But I don't have a horse in training and am not competing. Just light riding. If you want to be able to get in several rides per week, I think you'd have better luck with #3.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    • Original Poster

      I'm not hardcore into competing any more. I'd just like the chance to get a lesson or two a week and get some of our issues ironed out before we move 900 miles away from my god-send of a trainer.

      Luckily I don't work. My g-ma is willing to watch the tyke 2x's a week for a few hours, which is helpful for getting out there. She's semi on the way.

      There's also the factor of gas $$ which really makes it more expensive. My husband is a saint for putting up with the horse thing, and I really don't want him to have to worry about money. It's only for 3 months, so I guess it wouldn't be that bad. I don't work, so it makes it easy for him to meet me at the barn for a hand off. He's willing to do it.

      I think you are right about the co-op, as well.


      • #4
        I boarded at a co-op when I lived in TX and loved it. It was a small deal, 4 owners and 10 horses. I had 3 at the time. If one of us needed to be somewhere during feeding time or whatever, we'd cover for each other. It was a very active group and we socialized together a lot as well. I REALLY enjoyed my time there and it was my first boarding experience having had the horses at home most of my life.

        When I leased a farm in MI, I loved that too--and ended up with a good friend who would help me out if I was deathly ill and couldn't get out to do chores. But I did miss out on a lot of social activities because I had to go do chores--although it was also a great excuse to get OUT of social activities as well! It was difficult to travel though. I really never felt 100% good about going out of town.

        The upside though was that I got to spend a lot of time with my horses. Even if I wasn't riding. AND...since I HAD to be there every day, it wasn't a "chore" to hop on after I was done with the work part and hack around a bit.

        Your number 2 option just doesn't sound good to me at all. But then again, I don't like dealing with cantankerous people and I don't like worrying about when the other shoe is going to drop. That is just too stressful. I've had to bail out of barns in a hurry before due to such things or bad care or whatever and it's just not fun.

        So...I'm kind of back to #1 in your situation. But I think that if you do that, you will need to schedule a time and stick to it. I suck at going to the barn if it's not on my schedule. All sorts of other things creep into my barn time.
        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

        Might be a reason, never an excuse...


        • #5
          If you can get agreement about hours I'd go for number 2. The commute time and the dollars on gas etc would rule out 1 for me. And the co-op puts pressure on in all different ways.

          I would try for number 2 if it was me. The fact it has a huge indoor and great stalls and is 10 minutes away would make me try to make that one work


          • #6
            I would try for #2 or 3. I boarded at one like #1, fabulous care, but the commute was killing me and I hated not having a real indoor to ride in the winter. I'd go back there in a heartbeat if my horse needed layup or anything like that, but for riding regularly, it wasn't practical. #3 still sounds like a possibility; the lack of professionalism in first contact might be a warning flag, but if everything else looks good they might be worth a shot, especially if you still have backup options in case it doesn't work out. #2 would probably be the best bet, as long as the "known evils" in this case--probably prickly barn owner, limited hours, etc.--are ones that you're aware of and willing to deal with in exchange for all the positives.
            "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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