Oregon rider-Should I give up covered arena for near-perfect barn??
I live near downtown Portland, Oregon and have dreamed of a barn close to my home that I can afford. I finally found one. It has everything I've been looking for EXCEPT a covered arena of some kind. It has a wonderful outdoor arena with great all-weather footing that is usable even after the worst rain...and that is a rare thing around here. Also lots of outdoor riding space, which the other place does not have.
I currently board at a large, busy barn with an indoor arena and outdoor arena and all the basics but it is twice the driving distance as the new place I am considering and I've never had warm, fuzzy feelings about it. Feels very sterile but it has everything I need, I suppose. I have always seen it as a "training barn" but I'm ready for a place to really settle in and feel at home.
I take dressage lessons once a week and my instructor has agreed to teach me in the rain, if necessary..although I don't think she's excited about it!! I love being outdoors more than indoors but I'm not used to riding in the rain because I haven't had to.
I would love to hear from other riders who live in wet climates who deal without a covered area to ride. Frankly, I hate riding indoors. I always have. But I'm not used to riding in the rain on a regular basis either! My hose is turned out in the rain so I think she'd be fine.
Thoughts? Am I crazy for giving that up? If I move, my drive distance will be a lot less so I'm able to relax more at the barn when I do go. Not as rushed. Is it worth it?? Perhaps I've just been spoiled and I'm making too big a deal of this...lol!
Would you give it up for the perfect place otherwise?
I personally live less than 20 minutes from Portland so I know how bad the rain is..... The barn I used to board at has an indoor arena and I still ride there everyday pretty much but I seriously miss the aspect of not having to trailer to ride indoors. So for me, I wouldn't give up the indoor arena, especially considering it gets dark so early that it would really suck to have to ride outdoors in the rain at night.
Well if you don't like riding inside, the footing is fine in the rain, AND your trainer is willing to work with you in the rain. and its closer! i don't see why not! Especially if your not happy at the one your at currently. Personally if I were in your area i'd go for it :)
when i was barn shopping i never even considered a place that didn't have a covered arena. as it is, i'm moving from a barn that's 20 minutes from my house to a barn that's 45 minutes from my house. both have covered arenas (technically the current barn has an indoor and the new barn is just covered as the sides have a mesh screen thing going on).
I grew up riding in Vancouver (BC) and despite the fact the fact our club had a nice indoor, I very rarely used it. So a good footed outdoor only wouldn't bother me. I'd rather go for the better barn, but it depends how much you really like the rain
One thing I found my mare did if it was really rainy and windy was try to swing her butt to protect herself from the wind the same she would if she was standing in her paddock, so it can affect performance a bit
Not having a covered arena would be a deal breaker for me. Maybe if I had a more flexible schedule where I could go to the barn whenever it's not raining or only raining lightly and the barn was PERFECT in every other way. But, that's a lot of "if"s :-)
But, if it seems like it might work out for you, then give it a try. You can always move again if you find that you hate it.
Another Oregon person here. I live about 40 minutes from downtown Portland. Now that I have a horse I hate the rain. If I counldn't find a barn with an indoor/covered arena I wouldn't have a horse. How many nice days to we get a year? 50? Its up to you. If the rain doesn't bother you and your horse then take the better barn. But I would rather have a sterile, boring barn or getting rained on. There is also the thought that you can haul in. Not just to your current barn but any equestrian center when the weather gets bad and have your lesson there.
I'm not from Oregon, but I'm from Scotland where it rains pretty much every day. I've never had the luxury of an indoor school, but te allweather outdoor surface is great. You just learn to ride in waterproofs and invest in a waterproof exercise sheet! They settle down to work after a few minutes unless its properly howling a gale as well as tipping down - and if the floodlights are good, you can ride all evening in the pouring rain too. But then I'm the hardcore, ride any weather type - done people don't enjoy riding in the rain/snow/sleet/wind/hail. The only things to stop me usually are thunderstorms.
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