Barn Loyalty/Switching Barns??

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Barn Loyalty/Switching Barns??

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    07-28-2011, 02:44 PM
Barn Loyalty/Switching Barns??

So in searching for horses for lease online, I came across a barn that seems incredible. I have been at my barn pretty much since I learned how to canter, and its the only barn I've taken real lessons at. I had been to other barns, like for camps when I was little, but this has been my main barn.

My current barn is 15 minutes max from my house, and according to Google Maps will be 55 when I go back to school in the fall. This barn is 40 minutes from both my house and school.

Lessons at the new barn are half price of my current barn, but board is $150 more per month. I am not sure about showing costs, but riders are provided with grooms and assistants at shows. It seems like a very legitimate hunter show stable.

Also I looked up their show records, and they seem to have some incredible horses.

The idea of leaving my current barn makes my stomach squirm. Without them, I wouldn't even know which end of the horse was the front. But this place seems so so nice. I feel torn. I recently found a craft from summer camp at my barn dated 2001. And I am only 19 years old, so 10 years is a HUGE HUGE portion of my life.
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    07-28-2011, 02:50 PM
Super Moderator
Where is your school?
    07-28-2011, 02:55 PM
I go to University of Maryland College Park
    07-28-2011, 08:39 PM
Green Broke
Well, a good coach would understand that sometimes a rider has to move on to further themselves and their riding.

Obviously in the end, the decision is yours, but you should ask yourself some questions.

-Have you plateaued (sp?) with your current coach, so that you have been at the same level of riding for a year or so?

-Since you do not own/lease/coboard a horse, is there a school horse at your current barn be able to take you into the ring you want? What about at the new barn?

-Why are the lessons half the cost at prospective barn, compared to current barn?

-Are there different showing fees that could be possibly hidden, because of the addition of a groom/assistant at the shows?

-Does 15 minutes further really (in gas, time, lesson cost) really break the bank for you?

-What happens if you change barns, then realize you don't like the coaching style or the coach.

You also might want to consider taking several lessons at the prospective barn, just to get a feel for it, before committing. You might find out that the school horses are poorer quality, or that they are awesome. Coach sucks or is great. Etc, etc, etc.
    07-28-2011, 09:06 PM
I would switch barns. You don't owe your current barn anything; you paid for a service, got that service, and now want to move on. You only live once...if you really like this new barn and think everything added together is worth it, go for it.

I have a friend going through a similar situation. She learned to ride at one barn, wants to lease a horse, and board is too expensive at her barn. She feels horrible about potentially switching to a cheaper place, but you do what you have to do.
    07-28-2011, 10:06 PM
I would go and talk to the barn you are looking at and make sure that what they offer is what you want. I would give the current barn say 30 - 60 days notice that you will be leaving. Tell them it has to do with the cost involved and increased time in driving to get there when you return to school. Leave on a good note, thank them for everything they have done for you and let them know if things change in the future you would hope to be welcomed back.

We boarded our horses with a very nice lady and still are there off and on for events. We consider them dear friends and if we ever move back to the city (we are currently renting and keeping our horses with us now) we are welcome to bring them back.
    07-29-2011, 11:26 AM
Velvet, you definitely bring up some good points.

1. I have most certainly not plateaued with my coach, she is fantastic and I really admire her. Leaving her would absolutely be the hardest part of switching barns. The idea of running into her at shows riding for someone else makes me sad.

2. I think I am going to lease one of the upper level "lesson" horses at my barn. I put lesson in quotes because only very few get to ride him, and two years ago he was showing rated hunters up and down the East Coast, and I think he could take me where I want to go. Also, by leasing him at my barn, I wouldn't go through the hassle of bringing in a horse and signing a year contract and such, so if I did want to leave it would be less drama to not have to bring in a trailer and take my horse away. At the new barn, they have only rated show horses, even for lessons, and their horses seem absolutely incredible. I have always wanted to be the prissiest of hunter princess hahaha, and this seems like the place to go.

3. The lessons are half the price, by that I mean what my barn charges for a half-hour private they charge for an hour private. Lessons at my barn didn't use to be this much, my trainer recently got her own barn on the property. There used to be a different barn in that building, but they moved out and my trainer moved into it with all of her and her student's show horses, and her prices went up. Also, the price for lessons seems quite cheap at this new barn, which is interesting. But at my barn, board is rather cheap. So I think it all evens out in the end.

4. I would have to look into the show fees to figure this out, but it does seem like show fees could be more. It does say that shipping is free for shows, while at my current barn it is not, but that price could just be absorbed elsewhere (perhaps in the board fee?)

5. As for the fifteen minutes, I need to see. At the very earliest, I would leave my barn at the end of this year, so that would give me the entire first semester to see how travelling to my current barn goes. It will let me see how an extra 30 minutes of travel time would affect me.

6. I would definitely want to leave doors open at my current barn. I love it there, so if I don't like the new barn as much I would totally want to come back to it. Once the new year starts, there is again three/four months before summer, and during summer I could easily switch back to my current barn. This current year, I only rode with Equestrian Team at a different barn, and it was no trouble for me to rejoin the community at my current barn.

I've been thinking a lot about this over the past few days, and I definitely want to go check out this new barn and get an idea of their show fees.
    07-29-2011, 11:33 AM
Originally Posted by VelvetsAB    
You also might want to consider taking several lessons at the prospective barn, just to get a feel for it, before committing. You might find out that the school horses are poorer quality, or that they are awesome. Coach sucks or is great. Etc, etc, etc.
I totally agree with this.

It sounds like you are thinking of changing barns just because you saw what looked like a cool place.
New to you can be exciting and cloud our opinion of something just because the newness is that exciting.

A fancy show barn with cheap lesson prices very much sends up red flags to me.
    08-02-2011, 03:09 PM
Haha AlwaysBehind, they still aren't cheap, just $50 bucks a lesson :P My barn charges that for a half hour private, this one for an hour private.

I was thinking of going for maybe like a set of six lessons or something, just to see what its like. I want to know if it really is what I picture it being in my brain. Also, they don't list an outdoor on the website, but I've never seen a barn without atleast a converted paddock to use as an outdoor ring.
    08-02-2011, 03:15 PM
A converted paddock does not have footing so it is not really an outdoor. That might be why they do not list having an outdoor, even if they do have something like a converted paddock.

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