Friday, November 1, 2013

Moving On

So, I got kicked out of my barn. Ok, that's a little bit strong wording, but that's what I essentially feel like.

The BO left a note on my stall last Friday and I thought it was the invoice for next month's board. The week prior I got a note that they were going to start doing invoices instead of just expecting us to pay on our own and that board was being raised by $25. Ok, I could handle that. I didn't actually read the note until Saturday morning and it was definitely not an invoice...

They're "closing the barn to boarders for the winter and will reopen in the spring". It said the reasoning was that they "wanted time to focus on changing parts of the barn and making it better for boarders". I texted the barn owner to let her know my plans and she responded that "life just threw them a curve ball" and that she considers me a good friend. What I don't understand is that if she considers me a friend, which I thought was the case, then why not tell me the real reason that they're closing? Especially since I'm seriously the only "real" boarder. I've been there a year. The other boarder has been there 2 weeks barely since they bought a horse from the BO so I don't really count them. And the other boarder gets to stay since they have a "business obligation".

Whatever though. I know they are probably having personal problems that they don't want to talk about and there's no reason that they have to share them with me. Just frustrating because finding a new barn is so painful and it's poor timing being in the middle of the term so I can't spend as much time as I'd like searching. In addition, the barns in my area are awful. I don't understand why there are no decent barns. I think I need to move to somewhere more horsey. I swear that my state has to be one of the least horse-oriented places ever (ok, possibly a slight exaggeration, but still).

In reality, I guess it was time to move on. I've become increasingly disgruntled with the level of care decreasing over time. They stopped feeding the horses lunch hay. The stalls no longer get cleaned every day. Some days that are perfectly nice out the horses don't get turned outside. Their sheets are left off on nights that get into the 30's. They've gotten stingy about hay, they've stopped letting me know when I run out of grain or my horse breaks something on their blanket, etc. I've been considering a move for some time but was going to hold off the search until winter break. The sad part? I'm really going to miss most not only the beautiful drive, but also "my" cat and dog. I just love Snowball and he's my baby but I can't have pets at the place I live now. And my dog, which isn't even close to "mine" yet I love her all the same. Going to miss those two!

My fuzzy little Pie puppy

In the meantime, the horse's are living at home at my parents'. I got the horses and all of my stuff moved home last night. I have only been able to ride 2 to 3 times at most in a week so having them an extra 15 minutes drive is not that big a deal. My mom is being really supportive and my dad is trying somewhat, though he is clearly NOT happy about me moving the horses home which does make me a little upset that he can't support me in my horse habit, but that's how life goes.

Must keep repeating this to myself.

In the barn search, here is what my dream barn would have:

  • Year round turnout. At the very least, good weather turnout is a must. 
  • Access to trails
  • Daily stall cleaning
  • Stalls with runs
  • Trailer/truck parking
  • Large space in tack room
  • Heated tack room
  • Large indoor arena with good footing
  • Outdoor arena
  • Jumps, would love to be able to set them up and leave them (for instance, in the outdoor)
  • No trainer and be allowed to have trainers come give lessons at the barn
  • Heated wash rack
  • Feed large amounts of hay 3x per day
  • Nice quality (prefer orchard grass) hay
  • Clean, well lit barn
  • Affordable
That is the ideal. Italicized items are the ones I'm negotiable on. The sad part? The full list DOES NOT EXIST ANYWHERE IN MY AREA. There's nada, even if I get rid of the "affordable" requirement. I could drive a couple hours north and find some super, super $$$$ places, but a several hour drive is not an option, not to mention that I'm very horse poor. The remaining items that I'm not negotiable on? There might be a few places... but you'll have to be negotiable on other aspects. For instance one place I'm thinking of going to that has multiple availabilities and fits my "hard" requirements, the owner has been deemed "crazy" by the current and past boarders and the list of rules for that place is literally 7 pages long. Or I could go back to the place I boarded at last school year, but the paddocks are super deep mud and the barn does not meet the "clean, well lit" qualification, nor the heated wash rack. But there are trails...

Benefits of having the horses at home.

  • Year round turnout
  • Neighbor has hot water wash rack I can use
  • Really big stalls with runs
  • I can feed them however much I want! My mom will do morning and some evening feedings (I'll try to do at least 3 days a week in the evening) and they'll get nice orchard grass hay
  • My neighbor has a nice outdoor arena I can use
  • Mostly clean-ish and well lit barn
  • I have the whole tack room to myself
  • The tack room is kind of heated, there's a heat lamp that keeps the mold away
  • I can park my truck and trailer there
  • There's the trails behind the house (not useable in the winter) but I can hack on the roads
  • My mom is NOT a horse person
  • My parents will try, but they will still complain every step of the way
  • There's no indoor arena
  • It's an hour drive
  • MUD

I really wish school was closer to my trainer friend, JF. She has always been so nice and supportive of me. She messaged me that she heard about my horse/my own living situation (in two months I will also be homeless, sigh) and said that she wishes school was closer to her place as she has stalls available at her barn and a trailer house on the property she needs to rent out. How perfect would that be?! Especially since she has stopped starting babies and has always wanted me to take over that side of her business for her. Um, dream situation right there. Can I just stop going to school now and just train horses? Sigh.

We'll figure it out. Eventually.

At least the ponies will be so happy at home!

As a side note, anyone interested in a barn tour? It's not much, but I'd be happy to make a post about my barn if anyone wants a virtual look around :)

Also, reminder: if you are interested in any tack I have for sale, let me know. This Friday I'm going to consign everything that isn't sold so don't miss your opportunity! Pretty please?


  1. Ugh -- moving barns just sucks. And YES I want a virtual tour!!

    1. Haha, ok! I know I always like seeing where/what/how people keep their horses and since it's "my" barn I feel like I can share all the pictures and info on it I want to!

  2. That sucks! It is very frustrating searching for a barn and there are only a couple really nice ones in the area. Having them at home sounds like it will at least be a good winter option. How many acres do your parents have?

    1. 13 total acres, with 3 fenced as a pasture that's connected to the barn. I just wish I could pick up the barn and pasture and translocate it to school!

    2. That is awesome! At least you have a place to keep them in a pinch!

  3. Oh that stinks. Barn hunting is no fun, especially when it's not on your schedule. Good luck!

  4. That sucks :( Hopefully you find something that works soon.

  5. Boo! Sorry for the "kicking out" but hopefully this will lead to better things!!

    1. I sure hope so, but I've had such a rough week in general I'm having a really hard time remaining optimistic about anything :( But things can only get so low before they start going up again, right?

    2. Yes!! Very right!! Move the ponys to CA!! Henry would love to hit on Jetta ;)

  6. Unfortunately that list would be hard to find most places. I live in horse country supposedly and that's still hard to find. Especially affordable! Good luck in your search.

    1. I know and it seems silly that it doesn't exist anywhere. Like I said, I could throw out the affordable requirement if there was an amazing facility (I'd probably have to sell one horse though) and could be negotiable on several aspects. Someday I hope to have my own place that fits these requirements - dream big or go home, right?

  7. Crappy way to ask you to leave, but you're lucky you can move them to your parents house in a pinch. I know when I got kicked out of my last barn, I just about gave myself an ulcer trying to figure out where to put Lucy with less than a day's notice.

  8. Sorry to hear of your boarding troubles. I completely understand how hard it is to find a good, safe place for your horses. Hope everything works out for you soon!

  9. Ugh, that sucks, I hate barn shopping. Especially when you aren't counting on having to barn shop! You're lucky to at least be able to take your ponies home and know they are getting good care.

  10. Oh bummer!! I hate moving, and moving horses and all their baggage is even more difficult. Hopefully you find something for a good fit soon!