I really love my barn – not just my trainers (M and L) and their program (though that is great as well), but the physical space. It’s a bit of a commute for me, especially on week nights, but the way it’s situated makes it feel much further from the city than it actually is. That means there’s room for a lot of this:
It’s a fairly small barn, about fifteen stalls plus a large field for the outdoor gelding gang. It’s gloriously quiet, as the client list is small, and during the summer, I’m the only working adult who regularly rides after work. Sometimes there are evening lessons but the vast majority of weekday evenings, I’m alone, especially since a large contingent of the horses is on the road for most of the summer, horse showing. Sometimes I feel out of the barn loop due to my solitary habits but 95% of time, I’m so grateful for the quiet. My job is fairly high-stress (…as is my personality) so the barn is an important decompression time. We have a large sand ring bordered by a larger grass field, both of which I have to myself a lot of the time.
Additionally, the care the barn provides is impeccable. The farm is older and, prior to my trainers taking over, was run for many years by a successful show program. Their attention to detail in designing and building the barn is evident in how safely and efficiently it’s laid out. It isn’t a fancy place, but it’s neat and workmanlike – everything feels like it’s immediately to hand. It helps that my trainer L is an organizational
freak maven – everything is super orderly and matchy-matchy. Makes my heart happy.
My trainers’ program is one of those high-end full-care (read $$$$) jobs – lots of staff paying lots of attention to the horses’ welfare. Of course, this comes with a hefty price tag for clients in full training board (one month trainng board = two weeks of my salary) so it’s the kind of place I could never afford for a horse I owned. Bottom line, I’m lucky to have “back-doored” my way in here: I started taking lessons with my trainers in university (they coached my school’s riding team), had the bright idea to attempt to befriend them, and have basically stuck around ever since. And as an added perk, they have provided me with some great horses to ride, like Schmoodle. I’m probably the smallest invoice they send out every month, but I appreciate that, even though I can’t keep up with the big boys financially, I have access to top-notch training and a beautiful facility. (Even if I can basically only afford to lesson once in a blue moon, it seems. Sorry, M and L.)
Sadly, if/when I next end up purchasing a horse ~*~of my very own~*~, it means I’m going to have to find some new digs, where board is in my actual price range, rather than my wishful-thinking one.
Barn hunting is the worst. Agreed? I’m not looking forward to it.