I moved P to a new barn last week. I had been at the previous barn ever since I had Pilgrim, so for the past year and a half. I don’t think I’m a high maintenance boarder, but I won’t negotiate on certain things and require three things:
- As much turnout as possible.
I don’t think this one is a difficult concept. I have a 5 year old OTTB that can’t stand being cooped up in a stall. I’d like to keep him sound, sane and happy and standing in a stall for 17 hours because there’s a 15% chance of rain is just unacceptable.
2. Clean water at all times
This is another one of those annoying pet peeves of mine. How ridiculous of me to want my horse to be able to drink fresh water? There were a number of times I had to fill up his pasture trough, and even more times that I had to scrub it or remove dead rodents/bugs/branches from it.
3. Forage at all times.
I’d love to minimize the chances of colic and ulcers, so the standard “two flakes twice a day” definitely did not work for P during one of those 17 hour stretches of standing in a stall. There was no getting him extra though, because it would be too much work for the barn girls if I were to buy my own.
Those were my requirements. I never complained about the bad footing in the arena, the lack of pasture management, the condition of the barn, the rudeness of the barn girls…but my horse has basic needs and those weren’t being met. So even though it wasn’t best for me training-wise, it was the best decision as a horse owner. I’m still going to trailer over once a week for lessons, but no more training rides when I can’t make it out, and no more twice a week lessons.
The new barn is closer to my house- 7 minutes from my driveway to the barn driveway, which is awesome. They give hay round the clock, as much turnout as possible, and water is checked multiple times/day (no auto waterers, hooray!). Bonuses include 2 outdoor riding arenas with awesome footing, an indoor arena (small, but no complaints here!), a clubhouse with a bathroom (no more having to go in my trailer), and more working adult amateurs than kids. I’ve been there 10 days and love it. P is settling in well and we’ve had some great rides. While I’ll miss the training rides, it is nice to be able to ride my horse every day.
Of course, I’m still the odd one out discipline-wise. The others do Eq, Jumpers and Hunters so I’ll still be heading to the horse trials alone. It’s alright though, a couple want to go xc schooling with me so that’s something! I’m going up to Greensboro this Sunday with two of the girls to go school at Sedgefield. I’ve never been there before, so it should be quite the adventure. These girls jump 4’+ though, while we’re still piddling around at 2′-2’6″, but that’s alright. I just have to keep my competitive tendencies at bay until we move up the levels as well.
Seriously. This is me: