Bye bye indoor facilities - what would you do?
I have been boarding at this barn for the past year that has awesome potential. We have a huge barn with big box stalls, sliding doors, outdoor space to ride, practice race track, and a huge attached indoor arena. Problem is, the facilities are very neglected. This barn is almost completely empty even though there are 20+ stalls. Before my group came in with our horses, there were only 2 horses stalled there. Everything was just kind of deserted and taken over by dust and cob webs. It is a self care facility.
We were doing a good job maintaining the property ourselves bc one of our boarders gave lessons, maintained the arena, mowed the grass outside, etc. It was like having our own place really. All was good for nearly a year until a couple months ago this all changed because the owner all of a sudden decided he did not want her to teach lessons (or wanted 50% of her profits which she did not go for) and when she did not agree to pay him, he also relieved her of all duties that she was doing for the barn. I am now convinced he is nuts but that is another topic...
Well there goes the nice mowed grass and arena footing! The arena was horrible to begin with but with multiple waterings per week and drags it can be pretty good. The dirt is not good arena dirt and there is SO much of it. When it is left alone is it completely dry and feels like walking through the sand dunes. My horse's hoof completely disappears when he steps in it. You can't use the corners at all on one side bc that is the deepest part. The arena was worked on a few months ago (labor paid by owner) making it more level and even. And everything was good until our fellow boarder had to stop keeping it nice. It now gets watered once a week, maybe dragged, and then it is dry as a bone and a deep, uneven dust storm a couple days later and for the rest of the week. It gets so dusty with one person riding that it looks like smoke comes out of the sides of the building. I love riding outside too, but what is the point of having all this when riding on grass is really the best option?
There's also a smaller outdoor dirt ring the size of a large roundpen that recently over grew so badly that it became a breeding ground for bees and wasps. It literally buzzed. Someone finally mowed it and dragged through it this week but that also is very deep and uneven.
I have seen the owner on property maybe 5 times in the year I have been here. It makes me sick because this could be a really nice place! Owner put in several thousands of dollars to put in a race track and even that has been neglected. It is like money has no value to him, and even things he spends a lot of money on, he lets it go to waste. Tree branches have been falling in pastures, fences have been down and are not fixed right away. I have no idea what he does during his days, but he did take a long vacation to Hawaii a few months ago...
I have found a cute barn that is 12 miles closer, has a well manicured outdoor arena, no lights, not covered, pasture space to ride, and smaller but nice barn. Owners live on site. It would take less than 10 minutes to get to which is valuable to me getting to ride more often. I really want to move there but I bet if the place I am at now was actually kept up I would never have looked for another barn! I am really going to miss the indoor option to ride....or I would miss it if it was actually safe footing for dressage and jumping.