Horse Life

Big Change on the Horizon

So it’s finally official and I can now share the news-

We’re moving!

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Well, that might’ve been a little deceiving. I’m not moving, but P is.

If you’ve followed along for awhile now, I’ve been at a H/J barn for just over 2 years. While I’ve loved the care they gave P, there was always one glaring disadvantage of being there: their lesson program.

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Since day 1, I’ve had to share the arena with multiple pony kids. It’s been frustrating for sure, but there always seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel. They were building a second arena, they were going to turn a pasture into a jump field, they were going to buy the adjoining property and add in a derby-type field, they were going to add a perimeter trail with some jumps, etc.

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While the 2nd arena did get built, the lesson program also exploded, so both rings were consistently taken up. And one by one, the other things just never came to fruition.

Riding there has always been hard for me. They used to start lessons at 5:30, so I would leave my office at 4 to get there by 4:30, then change my clothes and tack up at warp speed to get on in time to have at least a 20 minute ride. With the new barn trainer, they now start lessons at 4, so…I just can’t win.

This is about what I could expect on any given day.

What you don’t see (thanks to the trim function of the video editor) are the other 20+ minutes of footage where I’m circling around, trying to get a clear line to a jump. Because simply telling the kids that I was going to jump never guaranteed they would actually stay out of my way. More times than I can possibly count, I’ve had to sharply pull P up or turn him to avoid a kid. Or circle, circle, circle..ok, kids are on the other end- go P go! And hurriedly jump or do whatever I was planning. And come to think of it, I wonder if that’s a reason why he’s never been that good while riding at home. If I did ride during a lesson, a good portion of my ride was spent standing in the middle or at the end of the arena, waiting for a turn to do something, anything. And that’s not fair to P or I.

Now, on the flipside, I’ve been the kid who only gets 45 minutes once or twice a week to ride, and so I don’t want to take a second of riding time away from that kid. I fully understand and even agree that the lessons need to be priority in the arena. But I pay a lot of money to be there, and due to the fact that I have to, ya know, work, the only times I could ride just directly conflict with the barn’s lessons.

It’s been like that since I got there, so I guess I just passively accepted my fate. But now I’m realizing how much it’s been holding me back to not be able to practice much, if at all, between lessons. And what’s the point of paying these 2 amazing professionals if I don’t get to do any work in between?

So, it’s time to go. The new barn is ahhh-mazing. It opened shortly after I moved to the H/J barn, but the location wasn’t ideal for me at the time. Now it’s more convenient than H/J barn is when Husband is gone, since it’s closer to the kids’ afterschool programs, and it’s only an extra 10 minutes from my house when Husband is home.

Wanna see it? We’ll start our tour in the barn:

12×12 stalls with individual fans:

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Big tack lockers with unique codes for each boarder:

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Grooming/Wash stalls with outlets, extension cords, fans, AND overhead heaters!

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An outdoor wash stall, if you’re so inclined:

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A real bathroom:

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Feed room with refrigerator and sink.

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A laundry room- no more bringing home saddle pads!

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TV/Speaker system. New BO’s husband watches the football game down there on Sundays. That was all it took to get my husband on board.

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Now…let’s head outside. Cause there’s LOTS to see there.

Huge pastures with no more than 2 horses per pasture. My only concern is that now P won’t be meeting me at the gate! And I wouldn’t even blame him.

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Big arena with lights and non-white jumps! I will donate the rolltop.

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A REAL dressage arena! With letters and everything spaced out correctly. It currently doesn’t have lights, but they are planning on adding them.

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A roundpen:

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An 800 foot flat galloping lane (!!!!):

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A jump field:

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And now….the absolute best part. A perimeter hacking trail with  XC JUMPS (these aren’t even all of them)!! And it’s decently long. It took us about 20 minutes to walk the whole thing.

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I was in heaven. I didn’t want to leave.

Now for the in-process additions.

– They are in the middle of building a pond. A big one to fish in, or to take your horse swimming in, which I think P will love. Or he’ll learn to love it.

– Once the pond is done, they are building a water complex modeled after the one at Tryon that the pond will pump into. They are also going to build various sized ditches next to the water complex, which will be by the jump field.

– They are turning a front field into an obstacle course. Like one with bridges, tires, pool noodles, etc. And I think that’ll be incredibly fun to have that right on property.

And the other goodies:

– They offer P’s TC Sr. feed, no more paying an additional $4/bag.

– They have 25 acres, but will only have 13 horses max on property. Currently there are 10 horses, split between the BO and 5 other boarders.

– Said other boarders are ALL ADULTS, ranging from 25-mid 50’s. Heeeeaven.

– In addition to new BO, a dressage rider, said other boarders include a hunter, a dressage rider, a trail rider, a whatever-floats-their-boat rider, AND a boarder who is trying to start eventing with her young horse. Possible show buddy(ies)??

– With the ginormous pastures, no need for roundbales at an additional $30/month. They throw square bales out at no extra cost to boarders.

– While new BO teaches a couple lessons, they are literally only a couple, only one kid at a time, and there are obviously multiple places to ride.

– Since there are no lesson horses to work around, feeding is actually spaced out. At H/J barn, they would feed around 8AM and then again around 2 PM, in order to get horses fed and turned out before lessons started. At new barn they space them out 10-12 hours, which is ideal.

– My friends who own a PEMF business already go out there, so no special trips to H/J barn for just P.

And…

Drumroll please.

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TRAINER J TEACHES THERE EVERY OTHER WEEK!

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It may take some creative scheduling on my part since she teaches Monday afternoons there, but how cool is that? It would save me a 45 minute (one way) trailer ride a few times a month.

I talked to friend who goes there for PEMF and to Trainer J, and both ecstatically approved the move.

So…the contract is signed, the stall deposit is paid, and our move-in date is THIS SATURDAY! We are going XC schooling that morning at FENCE with Bette and then going straight to the new barn after that. I’m literally counting down the seconds.

38 thoughts on “Big Change on the Horizon”

    1. I’m just kicking myself for not moving there sooner, when Husband took his job in May! But I just kept hearing from BO the improvements they were going to make that would fix my issue. And then nothing ever happened, except me getting more and more frustrated. I cannot wait to get to the new barn! Come on down and join the NC fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. ooooh that place looks amazing!!!! sounds like a perfect situation for you and Pilgrim! i was really nervous ahead of moving charlie from our cushy h/j barn routine into the unknown of a new place – but having so many riding facilities (esp the jump fields!) AND the trainer coming onsite? it’s a game changer for sure! hope you guys love it there!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG I WANT TO MOVE BACK TO CHARLOTTE JUST FOR THAT BARN!!!!!!!!! Ok that’s a lie… I hate Charlotte traffic… but I am definitely going to pick your brain about it bc I have a friend who needs to find a barn so she can one day (soon????) get a horse and ride! That place looks amazing and perfect for what she wants to do. I’m totes jealous about those xc jumps. Some of them look big too!!!!

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    1. Move to Concord and don’t go to Charlotte- problem solved! I’d be happy to talk to your friend! There are some big XC jumps and some small. A couple were big when she built them, but she doesn’t really jump and the other boarders jump small stuff, so they asked if she could make them smaller. When she was walking me around she kept telling me she could make them bigger…I’m all, Nope, these are JUST fine!”

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  3. I’m so legitimately jealous. People your age to ride with! Grass pastures!! All barns on the east coast seem to have so much more to offer than ca ones. I’m sure there are ones here that have similar but they are the exception and $$$$$$.

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      1. Most places don’t provide feed all day. The standard is a morning and night feeding. Lunch is extra. Some places provide dry lot turnout. Some don’t. I’d say more don’t than do. The horses end up being in their stall/pipe pen all day. Which is why everything you all have on the east coast seems so freaking luxurious. And why the thing I regret leaving the most when we moved south was my barn. 😦 Turnout is hard to find. And everything is so expensive and it’s difficult to try to balance good horse living with the need to save money for a potential human home ( I’m not even going to get into how stupidly $$$$ houses are here…)

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