Friday, July 29, 2011
I have been looking for a new barn for a couple of weeks now. First I made a list of all the barns I could find, and then the dear husband and I spent a weekend doing drive-by shopping. If the place looked like it might be a possibility I made a note of it. If not, I crossed it off the list. This past Sunday we actually visited two barns. One has possibilities, and one is completely out of the question. I realize that I have a long list of wants and that I am probably going to have to compromise. I just haven't figured out yet what I can live without and what I cannot.
There was a time when two available stalls would have been enough for me. Not anymore. I've had the horses for a few years now, and I've learned a lot in that time about what horses need to be healthy and happy. First and foremost they need a safe and secure facility with good feed and clean water. Secondly, they need caretakers who know about horses. No amateurs need apply when it comes to being a good place for my horses. The horses being healthy, safe, and well-cared for is the most important thing.
Of course I want it to be affordable. I am getting dangerously close to maxed out with what I can afford to pay. It definitely limits my choices. If I could afford to pay more I could get the second item on my wish list which is proximity. If I had only one horse I could have proximity. I have two horses. Looks like I'm going to be driving a ways to and from whatever barn I choose. I can live with that. CEC wasn't exactly in my backyard.
I want my horses to have turn-out. When I first bought them I was in a barn where there was no turn-out. They spent everyday, all day long, in their stalls except for the hour or two they were in work. I didn't know any better. When we moved to CEC the whole concept of turn-out really made me nervous. I was terrified they would get hurt...and sometimes they did...but they were happy and I could tell they were happy. I finally came to the realization that they were horses and they deserved to live like horses if I could manage it. So, turn-out is a big deal for me.
I want them to have a roomy stall with good bedding. I want a decent sized arena with good footing. I don't like dark and gloomy so good lighting is essential and there must be good air circulation. I want a safe place to store my tack. I want someone to put on and take off blankets when I can't. I want mud control, fly control, good drainage, and the manure pile to disappear on a regular basis. Part of any boarding experience is the social aspect. I like having barn friends to ride with. I like young people and I like having a few people closer to my own age too. Having trails to ride would be an added plus, and last but not least I want to be able to continue working with my trainer.
So...was I able to find all this or did I have to make some compromises. What do you think?