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Which Would You Choose?

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  • Which Would You Choose?

    This might be a novel...sorry!

    I am currently half leasing a horse at a barn where board is $550 per month. I may be getting an OTTB of my own in May, and I'm not sure where I should keep him. Please help me choose!

    I rode h/j growing up, but switched to eventing through college, and would like to continue with combined training.
    I moved to the area a year and a half ago, so the only barn I've ridden at is the one where the lease is boarded.

    Barn A: Where leased horse is boarded
    -Board is $550 per month.
    -Trainer: is okay...my friends haul-out for lessons.
    -Stalls: are nice, and horses are well taken care of.
    -Arenas: There are two outdoor, lit arenas. One has a complete hunter jumper course. The other has schooling fences.
    -Turnouts: are large and group. There is an available pasture with no one in it right now, but it is behind another pasture and in the summer the trees fill in and you couldn't see it if you were at the barn. Would that make anyone nervous with a new OTTB?
    -Boarders: There are only 4 or 5 boarders, and everyone gets along great. Two of them do h/j and the others just play and do hunter paces. No one events. One of the boarders is a good friend of mine (our husbands are in the same residency program) and I have become good friends with the woman I'm leasing from.
    -Distance: This barn is closest to my house (about 10 minutes).

    Barn B: Boarding Barn
    -Board in shedrow barn is $450.
    -Trainer: Has a grand prix rider on-site for lessons
    -Stalls: Nice, horses are well taken care of
    -Arenas: Indoor with rubber footing, outdoor lit jumping arena, Olympic dressage arena
    -Turnout: Group or individual
    -Boarders: Some serious riders, some not. They do have an "eventing team" and go to events. I'm just not sure what the dynamic would be like. Boarding barns can have so much drama!
    -ETA: Owners are small-animal vets. They get boarders discounted prices on shots, too.

    I guess what it boils down to is: is it worth saving $100 (money IS an issue) a month to board at a place that is admittedly more up my alley discipline wise, but where I don't know the group dynamics of the place? Help please!

    TIA for reading my novella.
    Last edited by eventerdiva; Feb. 26, 2010, 11:08 AM. Reason: thought of something else...

  • #2
    Where are you located? Looking out the window here in snowy Chester Cty PA, I would have to opt for the indoor just bc of what I am seeing.........
    Be a part of the solution~ Adopt a thoroughbred!


    • #3
      Indoor. Always. Board without indoor is worth nothing to me. Even in good weather, I want the option of quiet, undistracted environment to train.

      Any place without an indoor is a non-option for me. I also have to have access to state forest like trails, though, as well. the price for the facillity is secondary to the indoor, forest.
      Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


      • #4
        IMHO ~ go where you are comfortable ( regardless of the $) ~ especially with a new horse. You can always move later. IMHO Re-read your post - Yes !!! indoor a must for any new horse ~ must have an indoor ~ go where you have an indoor ~ regardless of the other variables. IMHO
        Last edited by Zu Zu; Feb. 26, 2010, 10:49 AM. Reason: addition
        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


        • #5
          I think I would choose the best grass, everything else being mostly equal.


          • Original Poster

            location is everything!

            Originally posted by BeverlyAStrauss View Post
            Where are you located? Looking out the window here in snowy Chester Cty PA, I would have to opt for the indoor just bc of what I am seeing.........
            I'm in North Carolina. There are VERY few indoors here, and when I moved from OK and TX (where IME they are abundant) I couldn't believe they didn't need them...and...they DO! Like everyone else, we've had more rain and snow this season that half the time the arenas are unusable. I almost parted ways with horsey yesterday and came this close to landing in bright red sloppy clay (and in my new breeches! ) !


            • #7
              I would explain to the 'Boarding Barn' coach that you are considering purchasing an OTTB, ask if he is comfortable and familiar with helping you train, and ask if you can do a few trial lessons before moving in.

              Even if he doesn't have 'lesson' horses, he should be able to find something for you do do a few rides on. See if you like him and how he teaches and watch him ride other horses. See if you like how he trains. Credentials don't mean that he can teach you to ride as well as he can ride.

              Then hang out for a few hours after, or before your lessons. Talk to other boarders. Ask if everyone gets along. Ask in the feed store or the tack shop if there is lots of drama there, those are the rumour mill-depots after all.

              Personally I would go where facility and trainer are better, plus having people to show with is much more fun and motivating. Maybe offer to tag along and help at the next event, assuming its soon, and watch the dynamic of the 'team' at the event. Is it something you want to be part of?

              Do you're research and you'll feel better about our decision, no matter what that decision is.


              • #8
                What is the reason that one is $100 more than the other - which on paper seems like the lesser barn? I don't understand if Barn B has an indoor and a grand prix trainer and by the sounds of it, more serious riders and a more professional barn, why is it $100 less?

                If I boarded then for me, always the care of my horses come first. The grazing, the care, the knowledge etc. if all of these credentials are at both places then, and only then, would I move onto things I'd like. As much as I like indoors, absolutely no way would I choose that over better care.


                • Original Poster

                  my reasoning

                  Originally posted by Cloverbarley View Post
                  What is the reason that one is $100 more than the other - which on paper seems like the lesser barn? I don't understand if Barn B has an indoor and a grand prix trainer and by the sounds of it, more serious riders and a more professional barn, why is it $100 less?

                  If I boarded then for me, always the care of my horses come first. The grazing, the care, the knowledge etc. if all of these credentials are at both places then, and only then, would I move onto things I'd like. As much as I like indoors, absolutely no way would I choose that over better care.
                  I think the reason the "lesser" barn is more expensive is because there are so few boarders. I also think it is pretty standard around here.

                  I'm going to meet with Barn B on Saturday, so I'll have a better idea of the place.

                  Really my biggest thing is: is it worth the extra money to ride at a lesser facility where my friends are...or pay less and ride at a nice facility where I don't know anyone...?


                  • #10
                    The facilities are better, and the board is lower? Unless I got the serial killer vibe from the BO/BM, I'd go there.
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                    • #11
                      To me, a smaller and more intimate boarding environment where you KNOW that you jive with the other people is worth $100. I am in NC as well (not sure where you're at) and I agree that an indoor is a nice amenity to have because we do get rain and snow (obviously rain more than snow). However a LOT, if not most, of the boarding barns around here use their indoor arena as turn-out - which renders it useless a lot of the time and really annoys me. Also we don't usually get days upon days of rain throughout most of the year and our ring at home dries out pretty quickly, I can generally ride a few hours after the last rain. However we have very good crushed screening footing and it dries out nicely and quite fast. In my area, again not sure where in NC you are located, both $550 and $450 are on the cheap side of board and competitive prices for what sounds like nice amenities. Could you trailer out with friends to lessons if you don't like the trainer at barn A? Does barn B have training requirements? A lot of barns around here with the better trainers do require you to be in a training/lesson program of some sort which would add cost on.

                      Oh! Is either very close to the Moss Foundation? That would be a big plus for me! Of course you may be in a completely different area of the state, but that's a looovely place for anyone, especially eventers.
                      "to live is the rarest thing in the world, most people merely exist."


                      • #12
                        Did you say how much farther away barn "B" is?
                        Yes, I know how to spell. I'm using freespeling!



                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by wanabe View Post
                          Did you say how much farther away barn "B" is?
                          Barn B is about 10 minutes further out... so not too much a difference.

                          I went out yesterday and met the BO, and I think that's what I'm going to go with.

                          If the group dynamics aren't as good as my current place, I can always move later.

                          Thanks for the advice!


                          • #14
                            This type of question is impossible for other people to answer because it entirely depends on your personal preferences.