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How do "barns" work in the States?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

    Yes, I have learned from all the posts on COTH complaining when such arrangements don't work out.

    I think.that there may be even more hands off owners in some of the breed specific disciplines than in hunter jumper. I'm thinking if what I've heard about saddle seat, Arabian and Western pleasure. Owners might just turn up to show.

    It can be in any discipline. The fox hunting yard/barn I ran outside of DC was full service. We hardly ever saw the owners until they showed up with their trailer on Saturday/Sunday mornings, when I would load up their fully tacked up horse and send them off to the meet. They would drop the horse off with me after hunting, and drive away. We did all the daily care, training, legging up, grooming/tacking/washing etc. And I agree with you that the tendency for more full care/training programs to be in or around major metro areas because of the general lack of time the clients have.

    ETA: in the same hunt you had people that kept their horses at home and did all the work themselves, and managed to hunt multiple times a week. So, again a wide variety.
    Last edited by GoneAway; Sep. 1, 2017, 04:49 PM.
    War Horse Blog

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
      To me it sounds like a combination of what you'd get in a more rural part of North America but with high standards of English sport riding. Like I imagine England in 1956 as glimpsed in my childhood books of pony stories.
      England is still a lot like your childhood horse books from what I can observe courtesy of the Internet. The sport is even more accessible for average folks than it was in 1956. Hunting live quarry is no longer allowed for the hunt clubs. There are more categories to ride in at shows.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

        Uh, that's in Australian dollars? Not sure what the exchange rate is, but in Canada I'm not even aware of a barn with that much groom service. But a top end full board place that caters to a wealthy suburban market can easily charge $1000 or $1200 a month. I pay $200 for the stall and paddock at a non-profit riding club and feel very fortunate to be able to get the feed and bedding done so my total monthly bill is under $400.

        That's $400 a month.

        Perhpas you are quoting a per week price which yes would be insanely expensive anywhere on the planet except maybe Japan.


        Because we have to pay for it out of our Australian wages, converting to other currencies would only be relevant if you wanted to sponsor me. Suffice to say that the full care example I gave is way out of my league financially. It's the sort of thing that some professionals need. It's also rather rare. I pay $40 a week for my private paddock with shelter. I do most of the care and provide all the feed. The owner will feed for $2.50 per feed with my feed. I also pick the poop out of the paddock. I have exclusive use of two paddocks and can rotate them. Only one has a shelter. If I want to use the arena and/or round yard, that is extra.

        Yes, the price is per week.
        Last edited by KittyinAus; Sep. 1, 2017, 04:44 PM. Reason: Need more coffee. Read the question again and added more.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by KittyinAus View Post

          Because we have to pay for it out of our Australian wages, converting to other currencies would only be relevant if you wanted to sponsor me. Suffice to say that the full care example I gave is way out of my league financially. It's the sort of thing that some professionals need. It's also rather rare. I pay $40 a week for my private paddock with shelter. I do most of the care and provide all the feed. The owner will feed for $2.50 per feed with my feed. I also pick the poop out of the paddock. I have exclusive use of two paddocks and can rotate them. Only one has a shelter. If I want to use the arena and/or round yard, that is extra.

          Yes, the price is per week.
          $400 per week is very expensive I agree!!!

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          • #25
            Originally posted by GoneAway View Post


            It can be in any discipline. The fox hunting yard/barn I ran outside of DC was full service. We hardly ever saw the owners until they showed up with their trailer on Saturday/Sunday mornings, when I would load up their fully tacked up horse and send them off to the meet. They would drop the horse off with me after hunting, and drive away. We did all the daily care, training, legging up, grooming/tacking/washing etc. And I agree with you that the tendency for more full care/training programs to be in or around major metro areas because of the general lack of time the clients have.

            ETA: in the same hunt you had people that kept their horses at home and did all the work themselves, and managed to hunt multiple times a week. So, again a wide variety.
            Sounds very 19th century like something out of a Trollope novel. He loved writing hunting scenes. There was always a rapscallion young wealthy man who lived in London and kept a string of hunters at a hunting inn out in the country and went down by train every Friday night in the fall season.

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            • #26
              phoebetrainer, the riding situation you describe in New Zealand sounds like horse heaven to me (and I think it would to many horses I've known, too).

              I think one big difference here in the US is that in many places you can't ride outside an arena because there is no place else to ride. There are national parks and forests that have trails, but you have to load up and trailer to them. There is no riding on farmland anywhere I've ever lived, because all farms are private property and there is no "right of way" or "right to roam" law here. I used to board at one barn that was a couple of miles down the road from the barn where I'd previously boarded. There were half a dozen boarding barns between these two barns, as well as a cattle farm, and a private horse property, but there was no way you could cross the different properties to get from one barn to another. I would have loved to hack across the farmland to shows but that would have been trespassing, even if there had been physical access from one property to the next.

              I loved that phrase about learning walk and rising trot and then getting out of the arena to do some real riding. I have boarded at barns where no one ever rode outside the indoor arena, not even in the outdoor, let alone out hacking around the property. And you couldn't to that anyway because it would have meant opening gates to ride into pastures where horses were grazing and that would have been "dangerous" either in theory or in fact.

              Some gaited horses are shod in such crazy ways so that they can't be turned out at all; others can, but again, unless you board at a barn on a property of many acres, there's no place to ride outside the arena, and even if there were, chances are you'd have to access it via a main road with a 50 mph speed limit.
              Rack on!

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              • #27
                In the midwest (Ohio) here... and at a breed trainer's (Arabian) barn. Trainer is the property owner. We have horses in full training where the owners do not show but have the trainer show the horse. We have owners who show who only ride once or twice a week under the supervision of the trainer. We have horses on retirement board who spend 12 hours a day outside and 12 inside, all under the care of the trainer. We have horses (like mine) where the owners are more actively involved and ride themselves and maybe have the trainer ride a few times a week during show season. So a lot of variety in the same barn. The barn is what we consider full care - they do all the feeding, turnout, stall cleaning, etc. I do my own grooming, farrier app'ts, worming, vet appt's, and tack cleaning. We have an indoor and outdoor arena but no trail access. However, there are many places close by for trail riding.

                We've got just about every other variation around here too - self care, partial care, western barns, dressage barns, etc. Each have their own culture more so than rules, but most have basic rules like helmet use, clean up, barn hours, etc.

                As you can tell from other posts, it is impossible to give one picture of US boarding barns!

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                  At a full service full board (but not training) barn the barn owner, manager, or trainer, whoever is in charge, designs the meal plans, the turnout schedule, arranges vet and farrier, etc. The horse owner probably can't turn up on a weekday afternoon for the farrier. Various aspects could be negotiated with the manager but basically you are paying them to look after your horse because you can't.

                  When it works well, it's great, but you pay for it! When it doesn't work so well or manager is cutting corners on costs and lying about that, it's a disaster.
                  This is basically what my situation is. The barn owner and my trainer are the ones who make decisions for feed, turnout, etc. The vet comes out in January for shots and you can opt in or out for those. Some people do use their own vet but I use the vet they use because he is seriously awesome. I also stuck with their farrier because he is good and works well with my horse. He was there for the PPE and has been working with her since I bought her. Its going to be sad when he retires and I have to find someone else. Barn workers stand with/hold horses for the vet and farrier. If you can make it out thats great but there is no need to if its not major. I do pay for it though. For one horse it comes out to $1700-2000 a month depending on the amount of lessons and training rides I schedule. I try to do two lessons and one training ride each week. The facilities are great with an indoor, multiples outdoor rings, a XC field, hills, etc. The place is well maintained and the horses are really well taken care of. It is a show barn with an UL trainer/rider who I work with and a GP rider/trainer comes to do clinics every other month with us.

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                  • #29
                    I also live in Australia (American transplant) and keep my horses at home. One of the very cool things here in Canberra (don't know if this is done in other places) are the Government Paddocks. These are owned, obviously, by the government and are scattered in and around the city. I don't know exactly how they work, but they are very affordable. The people who agist at them seem to organise the amenities they need themselves. Huge waiting lists to get in. And, of course, the government would like the land back to build houses on but so far they seem to be hanging on. They aren't everyone's idea of great adjustment, but they certainly allow the average family to have horses and go to Pony Club or compete or trail ride . . . whatever they like.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post
                      phoebetrainer, the riding situation you describe in New Zealand sounds like horse heaven to me (and I think it would to many horses I've known, too).

                      I think one big difference here in the US is that in many places you can't ride outside an arena because there is no place else to ride. There are national parks and forests that have trails, but you have to load up and trailer to them. There is no riding on farmland anywhere I've ever lived, because all farms are private property and there is no "right of way" or "right to roam" law here. I used to board at one barn that was a couple of miles down the road from the barn where I'd previously boarded. There were half a dozen boarding barns between these two barns, as well as a cattle farm, and a private horse property, but there was no way you could cross the different properties to get from one barn to another. I would have loved to hack across the farmland to shows but that would have been trespassing, even if there had been physical access from one property to the next.

                      Some gaited horses are shod in such crazy ways so that they can't be turned out at all; others can, but again, unless you board at a barn on a property of many acres, there's no place to ride outside the arena, and even if there were, chances are you'd have to access it via a main road with a 50 mph speed limit.
                      I am surrounded by privately owned farms, but all the landowners have given me permission to ride on their farms. In return I will let them know if anything is amiss, put stock back, fix fences (when its an easy fix), let them know if electric fences are shorting etc. I have access to around 2000 acres to ride on. Lots of the farms around me are diary farms which usually have hard surfaced races for the cows to get to the milking shed. These are good for walking exercise, but horses need to be shod for any faster than a walk. I train all my horses so I can open and shut gates without getting off.

                      On my farm (17 acres) I have a small creek deep enough for the ponies to swim in. Across the road, through a farm, there is a bigger river, deep enough for my 17hh horse to have to swim in. We do a lot of water work in the summer!

                      Our winters in this area tend to be wet and mild. We have had only about 6 frosts this past winter. The paddocks are too wet to put horses out at the moment, so they are all on standing pads. They are not individually yarded, although I do have yards and a couple of stables I can use if I really need to.

                      On my 17 acres (this is just to show how well grass grows here) I have 8 full size horses / large ponies, 2 Shetlands; 4 mature in-calf cows, due to calve any day now and 11 yearling cattle from last year and 5 goats (who roam freely eating weeds). Once the cows calve, I will mother on 2 or 3 extra calves to each cow. The yearlings will be sold on once they are around 18 mths when prices are high. I also grow all my own winter feed - baleage which is plastic wrapped large bales of hay. None of the horses are hard fed at the moment. I only give supplementary feed to horses who are in full hard work. The others do very well on grass and baleage.

                      If I want to go to a schooling venue, about 1/2 hours drive from me there is a very good facility with a full size indoor arena, very large out door jumping arena, LOTS of XC fences, a round pen, yards and stables. Its a great place to go and have some fun. I pay $100 / year annual fee and $20 /horse each time I go. Sometimes I do trades with the owner so I don't have to pay the per time fee. There are also a number of other facilities within easy driving distance, including many local pony club grounds, usually with a good outdoor arena and XC fences / course.

                      Just thought this might be interesting to others!

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by candyappy View Post
                        phoebetrainer
                        KittyinAus

                        Your ways of doing things remind me of when I was a young horse owner. I hope it never changes for you . The change here has not benefited either horse or owner. IMO.
                        Same here. Growing up on a farm we kept our horses home and rode miles to meet up with the 4-h leader and friends. Then we rode some more.

                        You simply can't do that anymore. Too much traffic for one. Your options are to field board miles from where you live or stable board at a barn. Finding pasture board around here is impossible. All open ground is in crops. No one is going to waste space on horse boarding, there's not enough money in it.
                        Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

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                        • #32
                          What is the meaning of the word "agist"?
                          Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Gestalt View Post
                            What is the meaning of the word "agist"?
                            Agist - to feed or pasture (livestock) for a fee.

                            Google kept trying to make it "ageist" :-)

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post

                              Agist - to feed or pasture (livestock) for a fee.

                              Google kept trying to make it "ageist" :-)
                              Thanks that's what I kept getting!
                              Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Gestalt View Post

                                Thanks that's what I kept getting!
                                Just Googled agist and agistment for fun and Google didn't try to change the spelling. That's probably because I am Australian.

                                http://www.dictionary.com/browse/agistment

                                http://www.dictionary.com/browse/agist

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by KittyinAus View Post

                                  Just Googled agist and agistment for fun and Google didn't try to change the spelling. That's probably because I am Australian.

                                  http://www.dictionary.com/browse/agistment

                                  http://www.dictionary.com/browse/agist
                                  I've noticed Google tries to control my search info. I should have gone to Mozilla. Thanks for the links!
                                  Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                                    Sounds very 19th century like something out of a Trollope novel. He loved writing hunting scenes. There was always a rapscallion young wealthy man who lived in London and kept a string of hunters at a hunting inn out in the country and went down by train every Friday night in the fall season.
                                    I love that word ... rapscallion! I named a foal I bred Reebok's Rapscallion (she was by a stallion called Reebok Roc) =)

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post
                                      phoebetrainer, the riding situation you describe in New Zealand sounds like horse heaven to me (and I think it would to many horses I've known, too).

                                      I think one big difference here in the US is that in many places you can't ride outside an arena because there is no place else to ride. There are national parks and forests that have trails, but you have to load up and trailer to them. There is no riding on farmland anywhere I've ever lived, because all farms are private property and there is no "right of way" or "right to roam" law here. I used to board at one barn that was a couple of miles down the road from the barn where I'd previously boarded. There were half a dozen boarding barns between these two barns, as well as a cattle farm, and a private horse property, but there was no way you could cross the different properties to get from one barn to another. I would have loved to hack across the farmland to shows but that would have been trespassing, even if there had been physical access from one property to the next.

                                      I loved that phrase about learning walk and rising trot and then getting out of the arena to do some real riding. I have boarded at barns where no one ever rode outside the indoor arena, not even in the outdoor, let alone out hacking around the property. And you couldn't to that anyway because it would have meant opening gates to ride into pastures where horses were grazing and that would have been "dangerous" either in theory or in fact.

                                      Some gaited horses are shod in such crazy ways so that they can't be turned out at all; others can, but again, unless you board at a barn on a property of many acres, there's no place to ride outside the arena, and even if there were, chances are you'd have to access it via a main road with a 50 mph speed limit.
                                      Here in New Zealand much of the land is privately owned - for example our place backs on to a dairy farm, but the owner of that is more than happy for me to ride over it. Kiwi's tend to be pretty accommodating about stuff like this. Usually it's just a matter of asking the land owner, then you're free to ride whenever you want. We live on a 100 klm per hour road (80 mph) and I ride short distances along it to get to other roads and farms. We don't give a second thought to riding through paddocks with loose horses in it, unless they "look" like trouble.

                                      People who use Pony Club grazing (usually communal paddocks) are free to ride on the Pony Club grounds and use the jumps etc, but that mainly happens in the "bigger" areas, where it is more built-up. Many of us also have easy access to forestry and/or beach riding, but we usually have to transport our horses to these areas. However it is normally not too far away.

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                                      • #39
                                        Years ago, I actually moved my horse from my trainer's barn (eventer) because the neighboring property cut us off from the easement that allowed us to access the open space/trails. All the barns where I have boarded basically provide(d) a stall w. Paddock (dry lot - this is California) and hay. They will feed grain and supplements at no charge if I prepare them. Anything else - administering meds, holding for vet, turnout in limited pasture - would incur an extra charge. Where I board now is one of the less expensive places having a covered arena. The base is $650 with two generous hay feeds (my horse is on a diet). It is also within an easy hack of a large state park. I have not and will not board where a trainer has control. If there is a resident trainer, if I choose not to work with them, I trailer out to someone I do want to work with.

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by phoebetrainer View Post

                                          Most people either keep their horse on their own land or pay for grazing - sometime with other horse owners, often just on their own.

                                          There are a growing number of "barns" or properties with facilities which take on grazers, but I haven't heard of any that are similar to the American system of being part of a programme. Very few people compete with a trainer (including and hunter shows) - and no one gets to hold a ring up while waiting for a trainer to come from another ring!!!

                                          Lots of Pony Clubs and adult Riding Clubs provide the social aspects of riding, and more experienced people will mentor those with less experience, often free of charge. Groups of friends get together for riding and fun. Most areas have good access to open country to ride on - so everyone is used to riding outside, either on road riding or more often now, forestry, beaches, and farmland. Arenas are where you learn to walk and rise to the trot, after that you get out and learn real riding ;-)

                                          Children often ride unsupervised. Most people own their own horses and those kids especially will be out and about on their ponies with no adult in sight.

                                          Most people produce their own horses. Horses which have been there, done that, are hard to come by. If you want to move up from 2'3" to 2'6", you train the horse you have to go around the bigger courses - you don't buy or lease another horse.

                                          Whole different world!!
                                          This sounds almost exactly like it was when I was 12, sixty years ago. We lived in a suburban house in the city but fox hunting fields and horse barns were only ten minutes away. My friends and I were in Pony Club learning how to ride our horses and train them to do dressage, stadium jumping and cross -country jumping- a sport that came to be known as eventing. We also learned how to take care of our horses- feeding, watering, training, simple first aid and how to recognize when to call the vet- what injury or colic was an emergency. We learned all this from older Pony Clubbers and adults who donated their time to us kids to help us become better horse masters. Those of us who didn't have horses at home were dropped off by our parents early in the morning and picked up late afternoon. It was horse heaven for us. I feel blessed to have grown up so free to have fun with horses.

                                          Now, even in my smallish southern city we would have to drive thirty or forty miles just to find horses- much less miles of fields to ride over. Sigh... as cartoon character Snoopy once thought, laying on his doghouse,"They are parking on my memories."
                                          Last edited by Frosty M; Sep. 17, 2017, 08:26 AM.

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