Looking at new yard - what to look for/ask?
I've been in touch with a new yard and am seriously considering moving my boys there. At the moment they are kept at a racing yard. The yard I'm going to look at is a riding school, which I am slightly anxious about . Part of the reason I want to go to a riding school is for my daughters sake and she can have friends to ride with. I also want her pony to be somewhere with lots of activity and kids hangin around.
Anyway, it has been years since I've kept horses at a riding school. I only previously kept them at a small yard with no arena/facilities that just catered to 3 DIY liveries.
What am I looking for?
What questions do I ask??
What sways your opinion on a yard?
ETA: I am going to look at the yard after work tomorrow, as it is located not even a mile from where I work.
Aside from the basic neccessities like feeding, turnout, arena use, etc...what do they have in terms of a tack/feed room area. I swear, when I had to board mine there was more drama over the use of storage area than anything, and this was at every barn I boarded at. If it's shared you have to worry about stuff coming up missing. If it's private you have to worry about jealousy because your spot may be bigger and nicer than anothers who has been there longer. If there isn't any storage, you have to just figure out what you can do. It sounds like such a trivial thing, and I never really let it bother me, but my gosh at the drama I heard every day.
This has not been an issue with my own barn, but I have read plenty of threads where people complained that their BO required that they use the same farrier, trainer, vet, etc. that they use at the barn. I would ask about that. I'd especially make sure that it is ok to have your farrier to continue with your horses. Maybe I am just overly sensitive about that subject because finding even a half-way decent farrier has been a nightmare for me, but that would be very high on my list of importance.
I would also ask about the availability of the riding arena and any other riding areas they are offering.
I would also ask about the kind of riding they are doing. Talk to other boarders. Make sure it will be a place of common interest. For example, I am a trail rider. I doubt I'd be happy at a barn where nobody trail rides or where there are no good trails to ride on.
Then depending on whether or not it was full board or self raises a whole other list of questions. If it is full, I'd certainly want to know their feed and turnout schedule. I'd also want to know if you have to use their feed and if so, what are they feeding. I'd also want to know what kind of and how much hay they are providing or pasture.
Pay very close attention to the space that is available. Make sure it is clean and safe. Make sure where the horses are turned out, they have clean fresh water. Also, pay close attention to the environment. See if the other boarders around you are pleasant and having fun or not. It sounds simple, but so many little things are easy to overlook.
Sorry for the novel. However, I have been in enough bad situations to know that it is best to check everything you can think of. I sure hope you can find a nice barn for you and your daughter.
Sorry for the novel. I
#1 Question: DO YOU Close?
You do not want to find this out afterwards, especially if you have an interesting schedule.
Ask if you can bring your own trainers or if there are trainers available? Same with farrier and vet.
How many times a day they're fed, if you or the barn provides feed. If they get turnout, and if so how much time do they spend on turnout and stalled?
If they charge for blanketing services, basic barn rules, what kind of hay they feed, barn hours, if they expect you to worm or the barn to.
Thanks guys! The last time i kept a horse at a riding school was about 7 years ago.... I'm somewhat nervous of being surrounded by teens who quite possibly think they know everything. I'm also concerned over how much time I'd get in the arena and if I would have to work around lessons. If the arena is going to be jammed full all the time, it won't work as I have to work my horses around work and kids. I suppose I'll know more tomorrow :)
I went and had a look at the yard and am undecided if it suits me or not. They close Sunday and Monday (Sunday????? what the fudge!) . The man who owns the place didn't as much as show me around. The "tack room" is all of the tack thrown into a stall and you are just to put your name on stuff. This sounds alarm bells for me as I'm certain all of my stuff will go walk about in no time.
They have two arenas. One is small enough but would suit my little girl. The other isnt BIG but it'll do the job. There are nice roads for hacking. He told me that the majority of the riders are kids and there are about 4 boarders. There doesn't look to be much turnout and he told me during the winter they are only turned out into the arena while they are mucked out. I'm finding that over here I struggle to find places that turnout during the winter... and I don't like my horses being stabled all the time when I only get to ride 3 - 4 times a week.
There is another riding school in the area, that I may go have a look at. My friend from work is taking on one of the TB's when it retires so she might bring him down as well.
I'm somewhat disappointed :( Thought I was onto a good thing.
I feel for those of you that have to board their horses. It would be difficult for me, but I suppose if the other option is no horse thenI guess I would consider it. My conditions would be that I could put MY OWN locker/bin/box whatever with my tack and MY LOCK on it. I wouldn't put my tack in a communal tack room, locked or not. Have had stuff walk away at the racetrack, rodeo grounds, and the 4-h arena! 4-H for crying out loud! I hate thieves and would probably resort to physical violence if I ever found the #^@%%$@# that stole my grand champion award bridle! (ok bitter childhood rant off) but I just don't like to test anyones honesty. Tack is too expensive to allow to be held where others have access.
While boarding I have only had something stolen once. This particular place was really small, maybe 12 boarders, and I accidentally left my halter out one evening, forgot to put it back in my truck (no tack rooms there). The next day it was gone and no one had a clue where it went. Pissed me off so bad.
Communal tack rooms are bad if you don't have an area to put a locked box. I never left my stuff out like that, but there were days that I'd come to tend to my horse and someone was upset because so-and-so used something of theirs without asking. Sometimes whatever was used was gone because said person had went out for a trail ride or something. Things like saddles even...so the person it belonged to couldn't even use their own stuff. Just a headache.
I'm sorry this place didn't work out, maybe the next one will. I'm glad to have my horse at my own place now, but I boarded for years. There are parts of it that I miss, but there were plenty of headaches involved, too.
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