Diamond Willow Stables near Cochrane, Alberta
Just a warning for anyone looking for stables around Calgary....
Diamond Willow Stables was a considered a poor choice by myself and many I knew who boarded there (and now left). If you're considering Diamond Willow and are wondering why there are so few horses, I'll tell you what my experience has been...
Diamond Willow considers itself open to all disciplines without recognizing that different disciplines require different footing... this was my first indication of the knowledge base the owner has.
The owner likes to talk and is good at it...very convincing...but acutally knows very little. She's unaware of how the horse world really works and doesn`t seem to be getting ``out there`` and asking questions and educating herself. I heard a lot of distorted information and feedback from her that wasn't very accurate.
If you want to take lessons, you should know right off the bat that school horses don't jump. That said, when you're signing up for lessons, you're told the possibilities are endless and you can choose your discipline...dressage, jumping, western pleasure...blah, blah. That's true if you're willing to spend a lot of time and money down the road and are able to do more than ride in the lesson program. For a lot of people, this isn't clear and they end up disappointed and not advancing. Lessons are good for purely recreational riders, but you do pay a lot for this.
If you want to board at this facility, know that you're paying high-end prices for a not-so-high-end facility that is brrrrrr cold in the winter. The facility is a great design for Arizona but not so much for Calgary. The fact that it is insulated is pointless due to the kind of roof it has on it. The facility's design is extremely inefficient and labour-intensive so the owner loses money and needs to charge boarders/trainers a lot to make up for it. Again that was an indication for me of a lack of common sense and owner`s knowledge base. There is also a hay surcharge of $50 right now which is fine except a new boader wasn't told about it. "What?!?! I'm paying $475 for outdoor board?!?``
If you want to bring your own business there, know that she charges an arm and a leg for arena usage and use of school horse.
If you want to lease a horse at Diamond Willow Stables, know that she charges extra for "high performance" horses that any real horse person can see aren't all that "high performance." Again, this shows they may be more interested in your money than in furthering your riding career.
The facility assumes all people interested in horses are rich people. Expect prices to rise and things to change on you. A consistent, stable, and thoughtful environment was not my experience. The owner doesn`t seem realize that her full-time staff rely on the facility to pay THEIR bills so varying peoples hours and pay systems without advanced warning is kind of mean and inconsiderate.
Riders/trainers/boarders do come and go at Diamond Willow Stables. That's been my experience. There is much more but I'm hoping YOU do not have to learn the hard way. Best of luck.