Changing Barns is HARD!
 
 

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Changing Barns is HARD!

This is a discussion on Changing Barns is HARD! within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • How do i tell my trainer that I'm changing barns?
  • How to tell a barn owner you are leaving

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    09-29-2011, 06:08 PM
  #1
Foal
Changing Barns is HARD!

WOW! My anxiety level is at about a ten. The barn I've been at for 11 years isn't working for me anymore. It's a pristine, well-kept barn where the horses get excellent care. Access to great trails, which is primarily what I do. The problem? It's evolved into a teenager's jumping barn and that's where all the energy and focus goes. When I started there, I had many friends who were trailriders and we accomodated each other's schedules. Over time, that too has changed until I only have one person to trail with and only if I can make her 2:30 start time. My new western pleasure Paint needs more training and I need more lessons, but not in jumping. SOOOOO.....I found a new barn, or rather an old barn, taken over by new owners, that specializes in Paints. That barn is no where near as beautiful and consistently clean as the barn I'm at now, but the people are awesome, friendly and the trainer is superb. The horses are well cared for but the aisles are not always swept and there are no fancy individual lockers for each boarder. But people seem to be having fun and the horses are super happy and well behaved. At the barn I'm at now we all have to have leather halters and leads, blanket bags in the barn colors and it's always immaculate. I'm so afraid to tell my current owner that I'm leaving. She'll say that I'm going to a slum situation. I can just hear it. But I'm an adult and I know what I need. Still it's hard to leave a place you've been at for 11 years! But honestly, I haven't been really happy there for the past 3 years. So I know what I need to do. Bottom line - leaving barns, changing barns can be a difficult and tricky thing. As horse lovers we can only hope that the humans handle it in an adult and healthy manner. Can someone write a book on how to do this? MoonlightEm
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    09-29-2011, 09:20 PM
  #2
Yearling
The way I look at it, you're going to barn that would drive many people bonkers (you *have* to use a leather halter? Really?) to one that sounds fantastic.

I've gone that opposite way. And, luckily, back. I "grew up" at a laid-back stable, surrounded by friendly people who did everything from dressage to herding cows to endurance, and it wasn't the cleanest or neatest-looking facility but the people were wonderful and the horse care excellent. From there I went to New England for university and kept my horse at the college barn, which was a little bit like your old barn but not as anal until it got a new barn manager my junior year. She set out rules similar to the ones you illustrated. So I spent the next two years rebelling and testing enforcement of said rules by getting rid of any and all solid coloured saddle pads and acquiring a collection of ones like those in the pics on my horse's profile (a few examples of the many), keeping all clippers and clipper-like devices as far away from my horse as possible, threatening dismemberment to anyone who *thought* of chopping her mane off, and buying a traffic cone-coloured halter (which sadly, over the years, has faded to the colour of an ill salmon). As I'd come from a background of doing what I wanted so long as it wasn't outrageously dangerous or stupid, I wasn't going to tolerate levels of micromanagement dictating how long my horse's mane was and such. Hence I went out of my way to give it the 'two fingers.' I think I got away with it because the barn manager knew I'd be gone in a couple years anyway but I doubt I was ever her favourite person.

In other words, you are now free to buy the most garish, hideous, neon halter you can find!
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    09-30-2011, 12:08 AM
  #3
Weanling
Wow. I think I'd go nuts in a barn that enforced colors, mane lengths and other silly things. I specifically picked a barn that would let me do whatever I wanted, provided it was safe. I ended up at a barn that had no set hours - boarders get a key and show up whenever. As long as gates are locked, lights are off and barn is closed, all is well. I'm the only English rider in a stable full of Western people and that's okay. No one cares. We all get together, trail ride and shoot the sh-t because we genuinely enjoy being there. Everyone brings their own trunks, their own feed containers, their own tack... so you can imagine the myriad of colors and conditions we have. One boarder has a metal garden shed as her personal tack room, for goodness sakes! Sure, the barn is old, but it is safe and kept in good repair. There are few rules, but all are designed to keep horse and rider safe.

I think you'll be much happier at your new barn, even if it isn't 100% clean all the time.
     
    09-30-2011, 06:41 AM
  #4
Foal
Thanks! Both of those posts were helpful and supportive. You're right. Cleanliness is not always the most important factor. Yesterday I dropped in at the "new"barn and it felt so "right." BO, trainer and some other adults were sitting in the main aisle relaxing and talking. I joined them and it was great. At my current barn it's always the teens and BO at the picnic table. I loved the fact that this was adults having a break together. Owner invited me to stay and ride one of her horses but I needed to go see mine at my current barn. Before I left I was able to discuss with her how anxious I feel about giving notice to current BO. She gave me some advice and was SO understanding. This new BO is more my age and a very kind person. Current barn BO is 30ish and a good person, but yes - ANAL! Well, today is the day I need to give my month's notice. Hope it goes O.K. EM
     
    09-30-2011, 07:23 AM
  #5
Started
Your new barn sounds like my kinda place! If it feels right to you, then you shouldn't feel bad about leaving. It's always hard to leave the familiar and head to the unknown. Good luck and let us know how it went with the old BO.
     
    09-30-2011, 11:12 AM
  #6
Weanling
I agree you old barn is not cool I mean its your horse if you want his mane a certain way or to use a different halter you should be able to. I think you will be much happier at your new barn.
     
    09-30-2011, 12:07 PM
  #7
Green Broke
If they are more focused on Jumpers and may be glad you are leaving so they can bring in another boarder with the same interests. My best advice would be to not burn any bridges incase you need to come back. I am sure they will understand.
     
    09-30-2011, 12:46 PM
  #8
Green Broke
I am trying to understand the concept that I see alot of on this forum. People seem to have lost sight of the fact that barn owners are a business, and the boarders are the customers. If the business is no longer meeting my needs I wouldnt loose a second worrying about what that owner says or feels, why should I care. If my plumber decides he doesnt want to fix copper pipes anymore and only wants to work on PVC, you think I would get in a tizzy about his feelings if I wanted copper pipes ? No Id find another. So I don't see why your curren BO feelings or opinions are even an issue. Give notice as it is spelled out in your contract and leave it at that.
     
    09-30-2011, 01:05 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
I am trying to understand the concept that I see alot of on this forum. People seem to have lost sight of the fact that barn owners are a business, and the boarders are the customers. If the business is no longer meeting my needs I wouldnt loose a second worrying about what that owner says or feels, why should I care. If my plumber decides he doesnt want to fix copper pipes anymore and only wants to work on PVC, you think I would get in a tizzy about his feelings if I wanted copper pipes ? No Id find another. So I don't see why your curren BO feelings or opinions are even an issue. Give notice as it is spelled out in your contract and leave it at that.
It's not a plumber that she see's when her plumbing leaks it's like a nanny that has taken good care of her child for 10 years and friendships along the way.
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    09-30-2011, 10:05 PM
  #10
Foal
Churumbeque - you are SO right! Thanks! I had the WORST encounter with my barn owner tonight - insulting, belittling and hostile. My anxiety was sky high when I got up the nerve to tell her I was leaving after 11 years. (She's a **** jumping barn for teens and I'm an adult western rider and she has no programs for her adults!) She reemed me up one side and down the other said every vile thing she could thing of about the new barn I'm going to. I just listened and thought "wow, I've made the right decision." Told me I'd never ever be welcome at her barn again - closed to me forever! Yes, she runs a ship-shape operation and impeccable care for the horses, but I haven't been able to grow at all in my equestrian life. She claims that I could have but didn't take advantage. BUT she's an accomplished jumper and I don't jump at all. I tried to hand her a nice letter I'd written her with my last month's board but she wouldn't take it. So I said, "guess I should leave this on your bulletin board" and I turned and left. Meanwhile at my new barn and horsey family, after I dissolved into tears about how the farewell had gone, the BO said, "if you at all feel uncomfortable at your barn, call me and you come here for free until Nov 1st. That made me cry really big tears that she'd care so much about my feelings. Why, oh why do some horse people have to be so exclusive and mean! I tried to exit the barn properly and be respectful. So, So glad I'm going to a new place with warmth, caring for both the horses and people and a sense of fellowship. Em
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