AlexS, I guess I might have a paranoia concerning hay in barns, although I realize that keeping hay in barns is a common practice. You see, the barn where my horse was kept as a youngster before I bought him, burnt down to the ground one day - the fire started in the hay storage. Luckily, there were only two horses in the barn at the moment (the others were in the pastures), and one of them was mine. They were lead timely and safely out of danger,, but my horse still reacts with heightened attitude towards any flames and bigger smoke, so it has somehow been sealed in our memories.
It is true, automatic waterers are not that common actually, I've just got used to them in my current barn. There is still the possibility to keep a bucket in your horses stall and the BO or a barn hand will clean and fill them for the horses every morning and evening, so I guess it shouldn't be a problem at all.
Meanwhile, I had a long talk with the owner of the third option. The place sounds almost too good to be true, but for now I will be boarding in the second option with my two friends and their horses from April, and just look how everything will be going.
For a little while today I considered staying in my current barn due to emotional attachments (the other boarders and the trails are fantastic, it's like leaving a family!), but then I realized that I am fearing the upcoming chat with my BO regarding me leaving. That made me understand one thing - what good can rise from a place in which I fear the person that should be trusted over anyone else?
Sometimes changes are very hard, but we have to be considerate about both those of whom we are responsible, and ourselves. And, to add to my choice, I just got a titbit of information that my Dressage trainer is giving lessons also in this barn, as it is not far from my current place. And my farrier already agreed to visit us in the new place. That's a good start! I'll just have to get an additional lock for my geldings' stall - he's a genius when it comes to opening any locks he can reach, and then letting out all of his buddies. :)