Some of you may know I've been looking for a barn where I can work in exchange for lessons/riding time. The barn I am working at right now has a few benefits (basically the only work they have me do is riding; it's very close to my house and school) but I really don't like it there. There are a lot of reasons, but the bottom line is I'm just not comfortable being there so I would like to try and find another place to ride. I have done a lot of searching and have found 3 or 4 barns I would like to take a look at but I need some advice first.
The first issue is that some of these barns either don't state that they have a working student program, or state that you must already be enrolled in their lesson prgram to be a working student. Should I bother contacting these barns to see if they will let me be a working student? In the case of the places that don't say they will take working students, do you think it's worth a shot to ask and see if they will? And with the places that say you must already be taking lessons, do you think they might make an exception?
My second issue is more of a personal/emotional issue. One of the barns I found is owned/run by one of my old riding instructors. When I sold my horse, I sold her to someone who rides at his barn. So were I to end up there I would be faced with seeing my old horse all the time. I'm not sure if I could handle that. I really regret selling her and I just don't know if I could deal with that. Also, when I sold her my mom kind of got into a... disagreement with my old instructor. There was a vet bill that needed to be paid and there was a question about who should have to pay it... Anyway it seemed to me like maybe things ended badly so I don't know if he might be mad about that... Any advice would be good.
So far I've only emailed one of the barns about being a working student. Though they never actually said it anywhere, I got the feeling that they want you to already be taking lessons there before they will let you be a working student. But since I couldn't actually find anything stating that, I emailed them anyway. That was about a week ago and I haven't heard back yet, so I don't know if I should try again or just let it go.
So those are all the issues I'm having with finding a barn. Again, any advices/opinions/comments would be appreciated. I have been working so hard on this, but I just don't know what to do right now.