Big location change on the horizon for me - and with it a change in barns! So while interviewing for the new position, I also toured some barns in the area (cause ya know, priorities!)
|Gotta Love Barn Owners with a sense of humor LOL|
While the barn I really liked from the online website was full, the owner did have some recommendations of other barns in the area which might work for me (so sweet!!)
What I was looking for:
1) Covered arena/lights (I ride after work, so this is a must)
2) turn-out/runs with a shelter (neither mare does well in just a stall)
3) 30 min radius from work/home
4) potential room for 2 horses
Barn 1 was expanding from 6 to 15 horse capacity. A covered arena was in the process of being built (the frame was up already!) including 8 new runs (1 of which was spoken for). Horses were fed timothy/grass mix 2x per day. All the horses on the property were in beautiful condition and content. Trainer/owner/manager was lovely, took exceptional care of the horses, and board includes 2 lesson per month with her. Had a round-pen made with unelectrified tape (not a fan of the electric fencing in general, but new runs will be panels). Full care including supplements (such luxury!) and runs are generous in size. Adorable little fluffy dog.
Barn 2 was about a 10min drive from Barn 1. Only 1 stall was available (and all other boarders sounded permanent), ~10 horses total. Was a bit more rustic, fencing was a mix of panels and no-climb wire. Horses were fed by weight 2x per day according to owners wishes (LOVED this!!) Absolutely no jumping at this barn - only longing over jumps - and most boarders were Western. Easy access to trails/terrain to keep horses in tip-top condition. Had stalls set up for temporary rentals. Footing was OK. Panel round pen with boards available. Horses seemed happy, well-fed and content. Full care, cleaning 1x per day, sand-rid 1x per month, will feed owner allotted supplements. Three sweet dogs who will heel with their ears right at your fingertips for easy ear cuddle access.
Barn 3 was the closest, and was the most "in-town" barn with the capacity for the largest number of horses (20-30). The barn had lights out at 10pm (SCORE!). It had been newly acquired by the manager, and everything was in a state of repair/disrepair: in fact I would be the only boarder, besides the manager/trainers personal horses. Alfalfa was fed 2x per day (grass could be arranged), full care in stall or runs. The indoor was HUGE, and there were strict scheduling rules that no more than 2 horses could be in at a time, outside trainers allowed.
Which barn would you choose?